One of the most popular photo effects in Photoshop is the cartoon effect. It can turn any photo or portrait in a colored cartoon image. With just some few filters and overlays, you can achieve this kind of effect. Luckily, this can be done easily with just a few steps.

Here are the steps in creating a cartoon effect

  1. First, you need to select your desired portrait or any photo that you want to apply the effect.
  2. Next will be duplicating the layer by pressing a CTRL + J.
  3. After that, you need to click the toolbar and select Filter, and then click Filter Gallery. A menu will pop up.
  4. The next step will be opening the Artistic drop down menu and selecting the Poster Edge filter effect, then adjust the Edge Thickness and Edge Intensity to 10. Now you need to press OK.
  5. You need to make some changes by clicking the Image tab on the tool bar and hovering to Adjustment, then selecting Threshold.
  6. Threshold menu will pop-up, you need to adjust its value to 49 making the image a black and white outline.
  7. Next step will be adding some oil painting effect by simply clicking Filter then Style and Oil Paint. As you click the Oil Paint filter, a menu will show up. You need to adjust the Stylization to 5.0 and Cleanliness to 2.0, then press OK.
  8. Once you are done, the next step will be duplicating once again the Background layer by pressing CTRL + J. As you make a copy of the background, you need to hide the layer 1.
  9. After that, you need to click the Background copy and adding another effect by going to toolbar and clicking Filter, then selecting the Filter Gallery.
  10. Once the menu shows up, you need to adjust the settings of Edge Thickness as well as the Edge Intensity to 0, and then press OK.
  11. Now, you need to select Image on the toolbar, then Adjustment and click Levels.
  12. A menu will show up once again, you need to adjust the Output Level’s left side slider until the contrast will be slightly reduced.
  13. Now, go to Image and select Adjustment, then you need to open the Hue/Saturation.
  14. A menu will show up. The next step will be selecting Saturation and adjusting its value to 40.
  15. The next step will be adding a new Filter effect. You need to select Stylize, and then Oil Painting.
  16. As you select the Oil Paint, you need to adjust some value. The Stylization must be 5 and Cleanliness must be 2, and then press OK.
  17. Now, you need to unhide the Layer 1, and then adjust its blending option to Multiply.
  18. Next step will be adding some Layer Adjustment option by clicking it on the bottom right corner and then select levels.
  19. Now, a level slider will show up. You need to adjust the left and right bars towards the center until you achieve the desired style of the photo.

There you have it! You now have a cool portrait or photo cartoon effect on your selected image.


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