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How to Cartoonize Photo Photoshop in Easy Steps

Liza Brown
Liza Brown
Originally published Apr 21, 22, updated Jul 12, 24
How to Cartoonize Photo Photoshop in Easy Steps

An easy yet powerful editor

Numerous effects to choose from

Detailed tutorials provided by the official channel

Cartoons, an already catchy entertainment source, can upgrade other media utilities on integration. Look through the easiest ways of creating cartoonize photo Photoshop stills!

Part 1 Types of Cartoon Effects in Photoshop

It is an absolute fun activity to explore your editing creativity in the realm of cartoonizing the otherwise ordinary still captures. Talking of the most convenient cartoon creator and editor applications, you can safely rely on the Photoshop Image Editor application to choose from a pool of cartoon editing effects for adding that spunky and funny element to your image files.

Presented in the following section, is a discussion of some of the most stunning and visibly amazing cartoon effects in the application’s Editor Library to cartoonize Photoshop images:

01Pop Art Photoshop Action

The effect is a predominantly preferred as a cartoon action Photoshop utility to caricaturize a normal image, along with customizing the same to change the colors and background of the original still capture for creating a brand new appearance with utmost ease. Apart from this, the aforesaid effect allows you to exclusively customize the globally acclaimed graphic masterpieces of Roy Lichtenstein. Working with the effect, you can edit a self-portrait or the favorite image of your pet to give the latter, a funny retro feel.

Pop Art Photoshop Action

02Vintage Comic Creator

If the idea of sticking to just the creation of cartoon images is not enough to satisfy you, the Vintage Comic Creator effect allows you to expand your creativity level to work on cartoon based shape and text edits. You can use the effect to enhance an image logo or plain text with a comic book oriented text. A download of this cartoon effect template facilitates you with diversities of customizable layer styles, overlays and patterns.

Vintage Comic Creator

03GTA Photoshop Action

This is a complete pleasure for the creative fan of Grand Theft Auto, the wicked chasing game series. Additional to creating a stark variety of edited cartoon stills, you are free to reinvent the aforesaid game’s most popular caricature edits, while using the GTA Photoshop Action editing filter. Launched by Indworks, the effect package consisting of 15 vibrant themes and 5 collage templates; promises a quick mimicry of your most cherished video and console games.

GTA Photoshop Action

04Vector Paint Photoshop Action

The one is an amazing Photoshop effect for creating cartoon edits, which works through a merger of two different ingenious art themes or styles for transforming basic images into cartoonized stills.

The effect grants you the liberty to use varieties of art styles, such as, comic, photo retouching and energetic oil to obtain editing results comparable to that of any original photograph. The template is conveniently simple to use and assures you of quick results. All this, just at a nominal price of $6! Interesting, right?

Vector Paint Photoshop Action

05Ultra Realistic 3D Space Effect

Considering the fact of you being a space admirer, this one is the perfect image editor for you to add the vibrancy of stunning space elements and backgrounds within your cartoonized edits. The effect lets you play with the diverse range of customizable text and exciting caricature backgrounds. When downloading the template, you get a main setup file, a few editing examples and a web link to the free fonts present in the effect.

Ultra Realistic 3D Space Effect

06Animated Zombie Grime Art Photoshop Action

Are you in love with the latest zombie grimes? If yes, then this action set is exclusive editor package for you. Working with the aforesaid image template, you can effortlessly add the perfect zombie theme to your cartoon edits, along with simultaneously creating a stunning animation, which you can use to enhance your video or GIF uploads on social media. Not forgetting the best part, you get a free access to this amazing utility.

Animated Zombie Grime Art Photoshop Action

Part 2 Easiest Ways to Cartoonize Photo in Photoshop

Having known about the amazing varieties of cartoonized editor templates in Photoshop, it is a natural instinct to feel motivated to create your own caricature images from normal capture stills. Addressing the concern of image transformation methods to turn a photo into a cartoon Photoshop, let us dive into some of the most affordable methods of creating cartoonized photos in the aforesaid editing application.

Talking of the most basic Photoshop tools for creating caricature images, you can start your editing spree with using the Graphic Tablet, Brush Tool, Layer Masks and a graphic pen to create amateur cartoonized edits from your still photographs, getting a full control on image tracing.

01Brush Tool

A few usage examples include working with a combination of the graphic tablet pen and the editor brushes to trace your image, using the brush in a masked or a fresh layer to avoid altering the actual image, and much more.

02Graphic Tablet

It is best to use the Photoshop Graphic Tablet for adhering to the concern of tracing cartoonized images. You can alternatively cater to the job with a trackpad, mouse, or even your hand. It is however, difficult to assure steady hand postures for image tracing, lest you are using a stylus pen.

03Pen Tool

Using the Pen Tool for cartoonizing your portrait, allows you to draw outlines along the desired figure within the image, along with its important elements, so that you can easily use these outlined paths to introduce different color blocks.

Similar to the Brush Tool, the Photoshop Pen utility grants you the freedom to vary the degree of detailing in your cartoon edit, from being highly expressive to only remaining around the shore. Working with the Pen Tool can, however be a bit tiring and time taking, with respect to the extent of detailing you wish to add to the caricature edits.

Additional to the aforementioned tools, you can also consider using the default image filters of the Photoshop application to get comparable results. This is an exclusively better option to choose, compared to the Pen Tool, when you are working without a Graphic Tablet. To get over the top realistic caricature renderings, you will need to supplement the use of Photoshop filters with the application’s editing channels and other adjustments.

Part 3 How to Use a Variety of Photoshop Special Effects to Create the Final Caricature Look

Considering the extensive discussion on the credibility of the Photoshop Image Editor application in the realm of creating stunning caricature images in high end resolution, let us proceed to learn about using the diversity of Photoshop’s special effects to get the last stage cartoonized appearance of ordinary still images.

User’s Guide to Create High End Cartoonized Look

The following tutorial is a stepwise explanation of the process to convert photo into cartoon Photoshop in the easiest possible way. Stick to the method for getting affordable results in a quick span.

Step 1: Download and Launch the Program

Visit the official website of Photoshop Image Editor for a free download of the software program in your system, followed by installing and launching the same in your device.

Step 2: Upload Your Image

On a successful launch of the editor program, you will be directed to the ‘Photoshop Editor’ window, where you are required to upload any desired still image from your device for creating a cartoonized edit. To do this, either simply add your image to the editor workspace using the ‘Drag and Drop’ method, or navigate to the ‘File’ tab in the top toolbar and click on ‘Open’ in the dropdown menu.

Step 3: Edge Enhancement

Once your image appears in the editor timeline, proceed to sharpen the edges of the face and body of the portrait. Start with navigating to and clicking on the ‘Filter’ option, followed by tapping on ‘Filter Gallery’ and selecting the ‘Artistic’ folder, where you need to choose the ‘Poster Edges’ option. Observe the effect of these setting on the portrait and make necessary changes.

Photoshop Image Editor- Edge Enhancement

Step 4: Background Setting

Ensure that the background and foreground of your image are set to white and black colors respectively. If not, proceed to adjust the same as required.

Photoshop Image Editor- Background Setting

Step 5: Distorting the Edges

You now need to introduce some distortion in the edges of your portrait. Navigate to the ‘Filter’ option again, open the ‘Filter Gallery’ and choose ‘Torn Edges’ from the menu that drops down. Select the desired parameter values in accordance with your creative suitability.

Photoshop Image Editor- Edge Distortion
Photoshop Image Editor- Edge Distortion Parameters

Step 6: Using the Channels Panel

The next step is to select and copy your portrait using the ‘Ctrl + A’ and Ctrl + C commands respectively. Navigate to the ‘Channels’ panel at the right of the Photoshop workspace. At the panel’s bottom right, proceed with creating a new channel. It will be assigned the name ‘Alpha 1’ by Photoshop, which you are most welcome to change.

Photoshop Image Editor- ‘Channels’ Panel
Photoshop Image Editor- Image Selection and Copying

Step 7: Color Inversion

When you finish creating the channel, use the ‘Ctrl + V’ command to paste your portrait in the same. Proceed with inverting the image colors by navigating to the ‘Image’ option, followed by choosing the ‘Adjustment’ and ‘Invert’ options from the consecutive drop downs. Now, make a selection of the ‘White’ regions of your portrait by pressing the ‘Ctrl’ key and clicking on the ‘Alpha 1 Channel thumbnail.

Photoshop Image Editor- Color Inversion

Step 8: Layer Creation

Navigate to the ‘Layers’ panel at the right of the Photoshop workspace, and click on the ‘New Layer’ icon for creating a fresh layer. Fill the just created layer with black color, either by pressing ‘g’ from your system’s keyboard, or using the ‘Paint Bucket’ tool. Don’t forget to assign a suitable name to the layer.

Photoshop Image Editor- Creating the ‘Black’ Layer

Repeat the above process to create a separate layer and e fill the same with white color. The layer creation process is essential to separate the white and black colors of the actual image.

Photoshop Image Editor- Creating the ‘White’ Layer

Step 10: Layer Dragging

In the ‘Layers’ panel, drag the ‘Black’ layer above the ‘White’ one.

Photoshop Image Editor- Layer Dragging

Step 11: Creating Additional Layers

You are now required to create three more layers, with the same process as for the above two, for adding effects to the Skin, Clothes and Teeth/Eyes of the portrait. When you finish creation, assign suitable names to the layers, followed by dragging them below the ‘Black’ one within the ‘Layers’ panel.


Step 12: Color Selection and Application

Choose the respective colors for the clothes, skin and teeth/eyes of the cartoonized edit. To proceed with color application, navigate to the toolbar at the left of the Photoshop workspace and choose the ‘Brush Tool’. Finally, choose a particular layer and apply careful brush strokes to add color to the specific area of the portrait that you wish to edit. Follow the same process to add colors to the remaining layers to get the desired result in all areas of your cartoonized edit.

Photoshop Image Editor- Color Selection and Application

Step 13: Using the Gradient Tool

Navigate to the ‘Layers’ panel again and create a new ‘Gradient’ layer to further enhance your creation. You now need to select the ‘Gradient Tool’ from the toolbar at the left of the Photoshop workspace. The ‘Gradient Editor’ pops up with the continuously running ‘Gradient Bar’, as soon as you make the selection. Double click on the gradient boxes at both ends to select them, followed by making your color choices. Tap on ‘OK’ when you are satisfied with your work.

Photoshop Image Editor- Using the ‘Gradient’ Tool

Step 14: Filling the Gradients

To proceed with gradient filling, press and hold the mouse button on the image at the bottom left and continue to drag the cursor to its top right corner. Leave the mouse and navigate to the ‘Layers’ panel for dragging and dropping the ‘Gradient’ layer above the ‘White’ layer.

Photoshop Image Editor- Filling the Gradients

You are now done with the process of creating a caricature edit from a normal still portrait. Your final image output will appear something like the following:

Photoshop Image Editor- Final Cartoonized Edit

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