Turning Photograph Into Cartoon-Style Picture

Turning Rihanna Photo into Cartoon


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Wondering how those guys on the internet turn photograph into a nice cartoon-style picture? Eager to make one yourself but don’t know how to do it? Looking for an Adobe Photoshop tutorial on it but couldn’t find any that satisfies your need?

Search no more. You’ve already found it!

Now here’s how to turn your favorite photo into a cartoon photo.

Be aware though, a photo cartoonization process (or cartooning, some people may say) is a patience-demanding job. But the result is very much satisfying.

For this tutorial we will use a photo of Rihanna.


Here’s the original photo

original picture

And here’s the final result of this tutorial

cartoon photo



First of all, download the original photo of Rihanna here.

And start to work.


Step 1: Preparing the Canvas


layers1. Open the original photo in Adobe Photoshop. (In this tutorial I use Adobe Photoshop CS. I haven’t got other versions of Adobe Photoshop, but I guess the entire steps described in this tutorial can be applied on any version of Photoshop)

Note: On choosing the photo to be cartoonized, choose a clear and sharp photo with the face of the person clearly seen. Blur, out of focus, or under-exposed photo is a bad choice. The larger the resolution of the photo is the better


layers2. On the ‘Layers Palette’, drag and drop the ‘background’ layer to the ‘New Layer’ new layer button to duplicate it.

Rename the new layer to ‘original’. (To rename a layer, right-click on the name in the Layers Palette and select Layer Properties).

We will keep the original photo (the ‘original’ layer) intact in case something ”wrong’ happened in our cartooning activity and need the original picture.


layers3. Lock this layer (click the ‘lock all’ button lock all ), and turn the visibility of this layer off.





layers4. Double click the ‘background’ layer. Click ‘OK’.






5. Create a new layer. Rename it into ‘background’. We will use it as background layer for our cartoon photo. Fill it with orange using Paint Bucket tool.



6. Move the layer to the bottom.

Now our layers will look something like this:





Step 2: Removing Unwanted Areas of the Picture


Isolate the object. Clear out all unwanted parts of the photograph. Use Pen Tool for this purpose. If you’ve never used this tool previously, I suggest you to take a look at Melissa Evans tutorial first.

Take the Pen Tool, create a path around the object (Rihanna for this case), load path as selection (ctrl + Enter), inverse the selection (ctrl + shift + i), cut (del), then deselect the selection (ctrl + D).

Note: You could use Eraser Tool, Magic Eraser Tool, or Background Eraser Tool which is simpler and faster for this purpose, but the result won’t be as professional.

clear unwanted parts



Step 3: Creating outline of the picture


Our next step is to create the outline of the picture.

canvas1. Copy the ‘Layer 0’ layer (drag and drop it to the ‘create a new layer’ new layer button).

Rename it to ‘outline’.


2. Menu: Image :: Adjustments :: Shadow/Highlight…
Click OK.

This step is not a must. But most of the time it will improve the clearness of the outline.


default color3. Make sure color palette is black for the foreground and white for the background. (Press ‘d’ if they’re not).



4. Turn the picture into outline using photocopy filter.

photocopymenu: Filter :: Sketch :: Photocopy…

Set ‘Detail’ to 3.

Set ‘Darkness’ to 8.

Click ‘OK’


after photocopyThe value for ‘Detail’ depends on the picture. Most of the time a value of ‘2’ gives the best result.

Experiment with this setting. The goal is to make the outline as detail as possible so we can recognize the result as Rihanna, but not over-detailed that the outline becomes ‘dirty’.



5. Turn the outline into solid black lines.

menu: Image :: Adjustments :: Threshold…

thresholdTurn the slider right and left, experiment with it, until the preview displays the best outline you can get (a compromise between ‘detail enough’ and ‘clean enough’).

Click OK when you’re satisfied with the result.




That’s it. Now we’re done with the outline.

Here’s the result so far..

after threshold


Next, we will apply some shading to give depth to the picture and then colorize it.

Go on to the next part of the tutorial.


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Jan 2023 at 1:55 pm



Nov 2020 at 6:07 pm



Apr 2020 at 3:06 pm

I love this, thank you very much, very good job! but you didn’t told about the famous prima cartoonizer!!! maybe it will help someone! https://primacartoonizer.com/Prima-Cartoonizer/

Kareem Tijani

Feb 2020 at 6:32 am

Please send me your WhatsApp number so I can forward some pics to you that u can help me to cartoonize it
I will be glad if u can do so
This my WhatsApp (+2349051605916)
Thanks slot.

Jibstar imagination

Jan 2020 at 4:11 pm

I really want to know more about this cartoon stuff….
Add me on whatsapp @ 08113473840


Nov 2019 at 2:49 pm

m using cc 2019 and hv failed to locate the sketch filter please help me


    Dec 2019 at 7:23 am

    Filter :: Filter Gallery
    or in the photoshop preferences -> Plug-Ins
    check “Show All Filter Gallery Groups and Names” and then after restarting photoshop cc you should see it on the filter list.

Gabriel Gyimah Darko

Mar 2019 at 4:39 pm

Please can you turn my picture into cartoon if i send some to you.this is my whatsapp number +233 243695028

chinee gaba

Sep 2018 at 7:01 pm

can you help me? I need it for my finals project. Will be drawing it, i need a pattern/basis for me to copy it. pleaseeE? :((( It would mean the world to me.


Jul 2018 at 3:21 am

please can you toon for me?
lemme ave your Facebook handle
or add me and message me



Apr 2018 at 10:21 am

God Bless You..
What a nice tutorial..


Apr 2018 at 8:43 pm

Can you cartoon me

Michell Barrett

Mar 2018 at 12:16 am

can i be cartoonized if i leave an image of me


Nov 2017 at 11:17 pm

this is helpful.. thanks

best creation

Sep 2017 at 12:18 am

guys send some pic to me mo help u do it

    Diamond iare

    Apr 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Best creation please I want you to teach me more on cartoonation
    whatsapp 07063503498

Antwi Ayim Amos

Aug 2017 at 2:24 pm

can I get my picture done if I send it to you


Mar 2017 at 2:34 am

Pls can it be applicable in phones?


    Mar 2017 at 12:22 pm

    This tutorial is about cartoonizing a photo using Adobe Photoshop on desktop computer.


Mar 2017 at 4:17 pm

Please I’m using cc 2015 but couldn’t locate the sketch filter in my filter menu. Can u help me?


Sep 2016 at 2:56 am

Now give her giant boobs and it’s anime 🙂


    Mar 2018 at 12:13 am


Abdul malik

May 2016 at 4:44 pm

Can i get on image of me if i send it to you

    Escore Bassey

    Jun 2017 at 10:17 pm

    I can get that done for you.


Mar 2016 at 2:36 am

its awesome …. I want one!!


Jan 2016 at 1:19 pm

Briliant technique.. Also check my tutorials too youtube.com/bennyqibal


Nov 2015 at 12:10 pm

can u make one of me if I email you a picture of me??? it would mean the world to me!! <3


    Apr 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Yes dear
    Send it to my email

      Gabriel Gyimah Darko Junior

      Mar 2019 at 4:42 pm

      please this is my whatsapp number +233 243695028,please whatsapp me so that i can send some of my pictures to you for you to do some for me

    pema dechen

    Apr 2018 at 9:11 pm

    can you too help me in converting some images of mine into cartoon form…i need it for my major assignment…plez


    Apr 2018 at 7:25 am



    May 2018 at 12:13 am

    Send me your facebook handle or instangram handle to my e-mail account at Officialsteve00@gmail.com. I’ll get back to you am into cartooning of photos and graphic designing

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