Books Advises


This book is particularly good for beginners but doesn't dumb it down too much that you'll outgrow the book too quickly...




It's  is all about the drawing of humorous faces




 It has 225 pages and it is chock full of great tips and tricks that have improved my drawing immensely.


Why testing cartoonizing solutions ?

Avatar from photo method

This is a recurring question: how to turn a photo into a comic character, in an avatar, brief how to turn your picture into a cartoon.

And both say that the simplest solutions are far to our satisfactory ... although ... What are these solutions? In fact, they are 4 in number :

Going online, on specialized sites.
- Working with cartooning specialized autonomous software.
- Working on an image processing software (Photoshop, Gimp, PaintShopPro...)
- Working with a graphic tablet and literally draw the characters.

You'll see the results of this are quite varied ... and not always live up to our expectations!


The test conditions

We chose a photo 1600x1200 pixels, normally exposed and well contrasted :


Test Avatar chlo 350

The picture is sharp, the light is correct, the shadows are detailed : conditions are here for a "size" test of the various processing methods to turn photo in comic character and obtain a good cartoon picture.


Specialized sites

BeFunkyBeFunky is a site that produce "wonderful images in one click! That's what we tried to check by submitting our photo test.

Note that access to most image processing techniques is not free ... So I've tried only free features to Cartoonize ! There are 2 precisely who can give "toons" ... The second method of treatment has two settings (color and features). Here are the best results obtained during the test.


Toon obtained

It is not "terrible" just acceptable. No doubt that the "Paying" transformations give a better result because here the colors are simplified to the extreme! No shades on the sweater, not resembling hair ...

BeFunky can do better!

KUSOCARTOON is an atypical site, who as its name suggests, works exclusively to turn photos into cartoon pictures and comics characters.

Access is completely free and the interface is nice. Just upload your photo, and once you've tagged it(given a title) you can start the process.

KusoCartoon image obtained after cartoonisation

A result quite nice with flat colored surfaces made of little nuances. The simplification of facial features is efficient and hair color is successful.

KUSACARTOON pretty good!

- "Ah! I've kept the most "pretty" SITE for last! I love its design! is an interesting site to more than one way ... with various possibilities ... but stay on the toonisation of our pictures.

Arriving at the site, we choose the online services menu ... then cartoon picture! Simply upload our test photo and in a few seconds is the result :

Cartoon result

A little disappointing ... color rendering does not displease me ... but the over-simplification of facial features makes it not very expressive! It's not very bright for a specialized site!

PHO.TO can do better!


One solution to try ... the mix of images!

Take in each image, which is the most successful! But it is necessary to use PhotoShop (or other). This consists of superimposing two or three pictures each on a different layer (they must have exactly the same size).

We then use the eraser tool and layers transparency to keep, for each image that is well treated.

In the picture below, I stacked the results (which I liked the color rendition) and the KusoCartoon (for treatment of the face). All this without too many complications.


Mixing and kusacartoon


Specialized software

In fact, there is not much software cartoonisation pictures ... Only two apps share the bulk of the market: if you know others cartoonizing softs, please let me know!

All this software is distributed as shareware, meaning you can try them almost as you wish : some trial versions are limited to 10 changes, others can not save images created ... What's classic!


Cartoon Maker 6.1Let's eliminate Cartoon Maker 6.1! for his very poor performance and its too slow running In fact, it merely transform (very badly) a photo in a faux pencil sketch ... without any colors ... Too ill to consider it more!

Photo to cartoon soft cartoon

What a horrible interface! Basic, monk! Adding some modern design would make it better to see ... even if only to compensate for some shortcomings!.

You can watch a short video (very basic) on the capacity of app. Suffice to say that again, this is hardly satisfactory !

There is no drawing on the processed pictures : only color rendering which is interesting. Colors can be processed later ... but the graphic ruins everything.

Photo to cartoon test

Of course you can get these colors by combining the results with others pictures with photoshop ... Photo to Cartoon can do better!



It's also a little app that has a too basic and unpleasant interface : there would be to make large efforts of design and ergonomics to make it pleasant to use !

There are quite many settings because we can adjust graphics and colors (in different ways). Here is the cartoonized photo :

Into Cartoon Pro test

This is significantly better than with its competitor Photo to Cartoon ... But I do not like the rendering of meshes of sweater much too detailed. A real cartoonist does not draw the meshs of the sweat one by one ! Also, eyes are not beautiful !

It would still merge results to obtain a fair result !

SOFTWARE TESTING: InToCartoonPro prevails but is so poor !

With image processing software

We chose to work with Photoshop (CS3 in this case). Several methods (described on this site: photo to cartoon ) can be used ... we briefly recall them here.

Turn photo into comic strip method 1: the easiest ! You've just to use the built in filter Poster Edge.

Open your photo and give it the Poster Edges filter (Filter> Artistic> Poster Edges).

Too simple ... and a result that bears comparison with the previous ones !

Look HERE the comic strip from pictures : "les aventures de Chloé" (Chloé's adventures), all photographs are filtered by Filter> Artistic> Poster Edges.


Result with Poster Edges

If you work with or PaintShopPro Gimp, you'll get similar results ...

Method 2: Open the photo in photoshop and duplicate it 2 times to obtain 3 similar layers... Apply the stamp filter to the 3rd layer. On the second layer choose threshold in the settings menu.

Put 3rd layer opacity to 50% and merge with the second. Give back to the second layer an opacity of 50% and merge with the background layer. Here the image as it appears:

Buffer + threshold for cartoon

The image appears lighter: it is normal because the color is reduced by 50% during the last merge.

Working with the graphic tablet

If you work from time to time the pictures ... you've got to use a graphics tablet.

I can hear you sigh of dissatisfaction : think again, It is not required to invest a fortune to start with a tablet ... not necessarily be good at drawing ... If you know hold a pen, you can use such an instrument and become a true cartoonist !

I started with a tablet BLUESTORK ( AMAZON sold equivalent one  DIGIPRO around $30) ... I've used it extensively before moving to a more substantial material! This is an excellent little material you can buy for the price of a mouse, and you can introduce you to the graphics on screen.

The technique used working with photoshop on a system of layers : one for sketches and drawings which are made with the electronic pen, one another for colors painted below the sketch ... These layers are finally merged.

Chlo to the tablet

Obviously, the transformation is interesting because with this technique, at the same time drawing and color distribution are controlled..

If you want a fuller explanation of the technique used, send me a mail ...

Order your avatar !

draw my avatar cartoon from photoIf you want me to draw your comic character from your photo... and having it sent by e-mail very quickly ...

Prepare a photo with a good resolution (600x800 minimum). Email-me the photo you want "to cartoonize" and for only $20, I send you back your avatar by mail to the format and size you want (JPEG, GIF, PSD ...).

No postage or packing! And it's fast ... less than two days!

In conclusion:

Avatar GDDo not expect miracles in transforming a photo into a cartoon character ... Online sites, specialized softwares ... all have their qualities (and unfortunately large defects) : they can help you, nothing more.

Feel free to start in screen graphics : start small, without breaking the bank ... there will be time to dream about prestigious WACOM , even if only one of their entry !