Convert photos into cartoon drawings.

Transform any picture into a cartoon in a few simple steps. Learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to easily add creative cartoon photo effects to your image.

Realistic cartoon image of a dog

Borrow a style from your favourite comic book.

Cartoon art has been a massive and enduring cultural influence, from the mid-century pop art movement to your favourite comic or graphic novel. Whether you want to posterise your pets or give your profile picture an illustrated look, cartoon effects can give your photos a fresh twist. 


If you’re on the hunt for a quick and easy way to turn photos into retro, cartoon-style masterpieces, look no further.

A split photo of a person smiling, showing half as traditional photo and half as cartoon

How to add cartoon effects to photos in Photoshop.

Follow this tutorial to quickly transform your photo into a cartoon picture.


1. Add your image.

Choose the image you want to cartoonise into Photoshop.


2. Convert your image into a Smart Object so you can make non-destructive edits.

Go to the Filter menu and click Convert for Smart Filters.


3. Apply the Poster Edges effect.

Click Filter › Filter Gallery › Artistic: Poster Edges. From here, you can set a high Edge Thickness, set the Edge Intensity to a low value or add a low Posterisation value depending on the image.


4. Save your cartoonised photo.

Use Save As to convert your photos into any format you need — from JPGs to PNGs, TIFFs and beyond.


When it comes to Poster Edge effect adjustments, a higher edge thickness will make heavier, more noticeable edges, while a low edge intensity will give you a cleaner, less gritty look. Posterisation values control how simplified the colours in the photo are. A higher value will give a more screen-printed look, while a lower value will retain more colour gradations.


Go further with the caricature look.

If you have a selfie or portrait and want to create an illustrated version of yourself in the style of a caricature cartoonist, simply overlay another filter to exaggerate the eyes. Here’s how:

The Adobe Photoshop toolbar superimposed over an image of a cat that has cartoon effects added to it

1. Go to Filter › Liquify.


2. Choose the Bloat tool in the toolbar on the left.


3. Set the Brush Tool Options and make the brush two to three times the size of the eye.


4. Centre the brush over the pupil and click a few times until you get the look you want.


Put your best photo forward with Adobe.

The fun doesn’t have to stop there. There’s even more you can do with Photoshop, the industry-leading photo editing software used by beginners and pros alike. Try to turn your cartoon photo black and white for a pencil sketch look, add a watermark and then convert the image to different file types before you share your pic on your social networks. Whether you need a photo editor to make a photo into a cartoon or you simply want to boost saturation in a single click — even if you want to go all out with art filters or customised photo filters — you can count on Photoshop to bring your idea to life.

Do more with Adobe Photoshop.

Create beautiful images with Photoshop brushesContent-Aware FillPhoto effectsNeural FilterSky replacement and the many tools photographers rely on.

Explore the Photoshop family of apps.

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