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Creating Cartoon Characters

I've been having fun creating cartoon characters out of real pics lately. I haven't perfected my techniques just as yet. Hopefully, I could spend more time working on it and improve my techniques, specially on the colloring part. Here's the pic again showing the cartoon version that I have made and the original pic.

For now all I can give is the overview of the steps how I made this pic. Since this is not a full tutorial, I'll focus on the skin, as you can see, It's the color is not flat, it has a shaded part and some soft highlight.

  1. First, I created a new layer for the outline and named it "Outline ".
  2. I used photoshop's pen tool to make  vectors to trace the outline of the picture, making sure all lines are closed and there will be no leaks when I select a portion of the face or other parts of the person.
  3. Using the wand tool, I selected a the face and the portion showing the skin.
  4. Creating a new layer, I filled the selection with a skin tone color. I named the layer skin-tone
  5. I duplicated the skin-tone layer and this time I named the layer shade.
  6. Using a soft edge brush, I changed the brush mode to multiply.
  7. I traced the parts that should be darkened. With the mode set to muliply, every every stroke of the brush makes the color darker. From time to time, I adjust the size of the brush and the opacity as well.
  8. Now with the whole skin-tone selected, I created another layer on top of the shade. This time I named it "Highlite" (you may use the correct spelling if you want to heheh)
  9. This time I switched the brush mode to color dodge and brushed on where the skin should be lighter.
  10. after I've finished coloring, on the layer window I dragged the outline layer on top of everything.

I used the same process to make the hair and the eyes, and the lips.

As I've said, this is just an overview. Hoping though that this will give you an idea how to turn your own picture into a cartoon character. The important thing you need is, if you're really interested, you need to spend time to practice.

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