Part 3 : Transform A Real Picture Into Cartoon Style

Thursday, October 10th 2013. | Tutorial

Part 3  : transform a real picture into cartoon style

This is part 3 of how to transform a real picture into cartoon style.

If you missed before posts,you can read them here:

part 1

part 2

In this part, we will concentrate on applying shading to the picture that we have colorized. By then, we have made the base structure for the color layers so we can move on to the next step.

And here is  what we got so far on before post:

cartoon style
Applying Shading

Shading the picture will add more depth on it and make it look even better to look at. Other benefit that you can get from this action was to make the person in the picture recognizable by those who see it. Shading will stand out the person face characteristic such as jaw bone and check bone that make the person different from others.

In this “How to transform a real picture into cartoon style” tutorial,

for the face,you can add three colors on it

1.  Skin  base color

2.  Shade or darker color

3.  Tint or lighter color

In part 2 we have colorized the picture and that was the skin base color. Now, we will work with the shade and tint color.



1.  Make a duplicate of “Layer 0” that will named “Layer 0 Copycartoon style tutorial

Move the copy on top of “outline layer”


2.  Go to the Menu –>Filter –> Blur –>Gaussian Blur







This give a little blur on the picture. cartoon style tutorial

You can set the radius between 2 to 4. 2 pixels was good enough but for now, set it into 4 pixels. Click OK





3.  Go to Menu –> Filter –> Artistic –> Cutout

Set up Numbers of Level, Edge Simplicity and Edge Fidelitycartoon style tutorial

For the Numbers of Level, you ca n choose between 5 and 8 (typical values that people use). Check on the preview window to see which value that gives the best result. For now, set the value of “Numbers of Levels” at 8 which have the nicest shading

For Edge Simplicity, set it to 2

For Edge Fidelity set it to 1

Click OK




4.  Once we have finish with the Cutout Filter, then we will create the shade and tint

cartoon style tutorial

5.  Give the “Layer 0 Copy” a new name “Shade

6.  Make a duplicate from “Shade” layer and named it “Tint”

7.  As you can see, we have two new layers Shade and Tint. We will work on the Shade layer first. Before that, we need to turn of the “Tint” layer visibility.


Then click on “Shade” layer





8.  Go to Menu, Image, Adjustment, Threshold


Experiment with the slider by turn it left and right and have a look at the preview which one that has the best result. Then click OK

9.  Click on the “Magic Wand Tool” on the “Tools Palette”

10.  Click white area on the canvas

11.  Cut  entire white area in the “Shade” layer by press Delete on your keyboard

12.  Then, you need to deselect the selection by pressing Ctrl + D







13.  Then set up the blending mode (next to the Opacity button) to “Soft Light”

You also need to set up the Opacity level until you got the result that you like (for now set it to 60%)










You have finished working out with the “Shade” layer and now you can move to “Tint” layer. It has exactly the same steps just like the one that you have work on the Shade, with little difference on the set up.










14.  Now, you select the “Tint” layer

15.  Go to Menu –> Image –> Adjustments –> Threshold


Again, you can experiment with the slider; moves it from left to right or the other way around until you satisfied with what you see on the preview window, then click OK







cartoon style tutorial

16.  Pick the “Magic Wand Tool” from the “Tools Palette”

17.  Go to the black area in the canvas and click on it

18.  Cut the entire black area in the “Tint” layer by press Delete button

19.  Then deselect your selection by press Ctrl + D








cartoon styling



20.  Once again, set up the blending mode to “Soft Light” mode. For the Opacity, you can set it up until you find which result that you like the best, for example set it to 60%

We have finish with the entire shading step by add shade and tint layer. To complete the whole result and get the cartoon style picture, you can move on the last part of this tutorial.

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