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10 Best Photo to Cartoon Software

Sep 28, 2020• Proven solutions

Besides enhancing the photos you take with your Smartphone or your DSLR camera, you can use photo editing software to produce images that don’t look realistic. Cartooning a photo is one out of many options nearly all desktop-based photo editors offer, although in most cases you will have to combine several effects in order to cartoon your pictures.

However, photo to cartoon software products require some previous photo editing experience since you will have to do much more than apply an effect to a photo in order to make a photo look like a cartoon. We’ve selected some of the best photo to cartoon software products that can help you create stunning cartoons from your photos.

Top 10 Photo to Cartoon Software Products for Windows & Mac

Even though you can cartoon photos with each photo to cartoon software we included in this article, which effects you will have to use depends on the software and the style of the cartoon you’re trying to create. So, let’s take a look at what these photo to cartoon software products have to offer.

1. Adobe Photoshop

Price: $20.99 per month as a single app

Compatibility: macOS, Windows

Adobe Photoshop is one of the best photo editing software ever created, which is why it is hardly surprising that it can help you to cartoon a photo. Photoshop’s rich selection of effects includes a number of effects you can use to turn a photo into a cartoon.

However, you will also have to create several layers, change blend modes, and create masks. Effects such as Sketch, Ink Outlines, or Cutout can all be used during this process, and you can also combine several effects while turning a photo into a cartoon. Needless to say, inexperienced photo editors can find this task overwhelming, because it requires a lot of patience and excellent knowledge of the software’s features.

2. Paint.net

Price: Free

Compatibility: Windows

PC owners in need of a simple photo editing software that can help them turn a photo into a cartoon are going to love using Paint.net. This is a simple photo editor that has more to offer than Microsoft Paint, and it is as easy to use.

In order to cartoon a photo with Paint.net, you just have to import it into the editor and then head over to the Effects menu. After you locate the Artistic sub-menu, you should pick the Ink Sketch option and then adjust the Coloring and Ink Outline options. Optionally, you can also add Noise to the photo you’re cartooning if it fits the style you’re trying to achieve.  However, picking the right picture can turn out to be vital for the success of the cartoon process in Paint.net.

3. iToon

Price: 14-day free trial, $29.95

Compatibility: Windows, iOS

iToon makes turning photos into cartoons look easy because everyone can cartoon their photos with this photo to cartoon software. Once you’ve installed iToon on your PC, you just have to launch it and import the photo you want to cartoon and then choose the effect you want to apply.

There are more than 50 cartoon effects to choose from and you just have to click on the one you like to apply it. Each effect can be edited so that it fits your image better, and if you don’t like how the effect matches your photo you can always hit the undo button and try another one. Click on the Apply icon to confirm the changes you’ve made and proceed to save the cartoon you created to your hard drive.

4. XnSketch

Price: Free

Compatibility: macOS, Windows, Linux

This is a simple software that doesn’t offer much more than visual effects you can use to cartoon a photo. In addition, you won’t need too much time to get used to XnSketch because its software is intuitive and easy to use. Moreover, the software supports a broad range of image files, which enables you to edit your photos regardless of the format in which they are saved.

So, once you open a photo you want to edit in XnSketch you should either click on Cartoon 1 or Cartoon 2 options and then proceed to adjust Hue, Saturation, Brightness, and Contrast. When done you can easily save your creations and share them on social networks, but you cannot upload photos to an account on social media directly from XnSketch.

5. FotoSketcher

Price: Free

Compatibility: Windows, macOS

Applying or combining two or more effects with FotoSkecther is a simple and fun process that takes just a few clicks. Unsurprisingly, there is more than just one way of turning a photo into a cartoon with FotoSketcher.

Cartoon 1 and Cartoon 2 effects can be accessed by clicking on the Drawing parameter menu and then choosing the Stylized Effects sub-menu. You can then pick one of the available Cartoon effects and customize the color blending, edge intensity, and other settings. FotoSkecther allows you to see the original photo throughout the cartoon process and enables you to undo all mistakes you make. Keep in mind that you can only save images in JPEG, PNG, or BMP file formats.

6. Gimp

Price: Free

Compatibility: macOS, Windows, Linux

Gimp is an iconic open-source photo editor that offers a broad spectrum of photo editing options. Its extensive collection of photo effects also contains the Cartoon effect, so all you need to do to cartoon a photo in Gimp is go to the Filters effect, expand the Artistic sub-menu and pick the Cartoon option.

You can then adjust the Mask Radius and Percent Black settings and customize it in accordance with your needs. Gimp also grants you access to other effects such as Photocopy, Cubism, or Clothify that can be used to cartoon a photo. This photo editor supports almost all common photo formats and it lets you save cartoon images in a variety of file formats so that you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

7. Sketch Me!

Price: Free

Compatibility: Windows

PC owners that have Windows 10 installed on their computers can turn their photos into cartoons for free with Microsoft’s Sketch Me software. This photo to cartoon software is equipped with all tools you are going to need to create visually impressive cartoons from your photos.

There are just two effects labeled Cartoon in Sketch Me, although the software features other effects like Comic, Dull Pastel, or Neon that can also help you create a cartoon from a photo. You can adjust the intensity of both Cartoon effects or play around with Contrast and Brightness settings in order to achieve the best visual results. Keep in mind that you can only edit or save JPEG photos with Sketch Me.

8. Image Cartoonizer

Price: $19.95

Compatibility: Windows

As its name indicates, this software product was designed to help PC users to cartoon their images with ease. There are more than a hundred effects to choose from which leaves you quite a bit of space to experiment with different combinations of effects.

What’s more, Image Cartoonizer lets you customize each effect, so that all pictures you edit with this photo to cartoon software can look unique. The results of the changes you make are visible instantaneously which means that you don’t have to wait to see how your photo is going to look after you convert it into a cartoon. What’s more Image Cartoonizer features the Red Eye removal tool that can assist you in correcting this common mistake.

9. Pixelmator Pro

Price: $39.99

Compatibility: macOS

There is no quick or simple way to cartoon a photo with Pixelmator Pro since this image editor doesn’t offer any cartoon effects that can be easily applied to a photo. So, in order to cartoon a photo with Pixelmator Pro you’ll have to place the photo you’re turning into a cartoon onto a blank layer and then outline the figure in the photo.

This process can be very slow, especially if the person you are outlining has long hair or wears a sweater that has a wrinkled sleeve. Once you are done with this step you can proceed to paint the figure using the Color Fill tool. It is important to be patient and go through this stage of the process slowly in order to avoid making mistakes.

10. Adobe 2D Animation Software

Price: Free trial, $20.99 as a single app

Compatibility: macOS, Windows

Even though Adobe 2D Animation Software has an intuitive interface that doesn’t take much time to get used to, creating cartoons from photos with Adobe’s highly praise animation app can be an overwhelming task if you don’t have previous experience.

What’s more, you’ll have to convert your photos into vector drawings before you can import them into Adobe 2D Animation Software and use them to make a cartoon. Once you arrange all the images in the exact same order in which you want them to appear in the final video, you can proceed to use the lip-sync features, synchronize the sounds with the movements of your characters or utilize the Bone tool to make the movements more fluid.  All animations you create can be exported and used in HTML5, Canvas, or WebGL while you can also export them as GIFs or MOV files.

Frequently Asked Questions About Photo to Cartoon Software

1. How to Cartoonize a Photo?

There is more than just one way to cartoon a photo, but most photo editing software products feature effects you can apply to a photo to make it look like a cartoon. The exact steps you need to take to cartoon a photo depending on the software you are using.

2. Are there any apps that turn photos into caricatures?

Yes, there are hundreds of apps that enable you to make caricatures from your photos. You can either use them from your Smartphone or install them on your Mac or PC.

3. What is the photo to cartoon software?

A photo to cartoon software can be any image editor that offers the tools users need to make a photo look like a cartoon. Some photo editing software products offer effects that cartoon a picture instantly while others offer only drawing and painting tools and you must complete this process manually.

Conclusion

Turning a photo into a cartoon on a Mac or PC doesn’t have to be a slow process, because most of the photo to cartoon software products offer a variety of effects that enable you to cartoon a photo with a single click.

However professional photo editing and animation software can be a bit more difficult to use, and you may need some practice before you can start using it to cartoon your photos. Which of the best photo to cartoon software products are you going to choose? Leave a comment and let us know. 

Liza Brown
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.