Cartoons are a fun alternative to traditional portraits. The idea is to comically exaggerate individual character traits to create a funny image of the person described. Adobe Photoshop tools such as Transformation, Warp, Plastic are ideal for creating caricatures from portrait photos. This lesson is part of a series of lessons on Deformation, Transformation and Plastic. All these lessons can be found on the Tuts + website.
The final result:
An alternative method of creating a caricature.
In this tutorial we will create a caricature from a photo. But if you look for an alternative method of creating a caricature, then the best method is to use the Photoshop action program, for example, a popular action such as Caricature Photoshop Action, which can be downloaded from the Envato website. You can download a variety of cartoons effects with a few clicks.
If you still decide to create the effect of caricature yourself, then you can proceed to the implementation of this lesson.
1. Prepare a Photo
The most important thing in caricature making is to find elements that are, by their nature, accentuated, and then exaggerate them to a certain degree of comicity. In our original photo, the jaw line of the young man is pronounced, and therefore his smile is immediately noticeable. Eye-catching horn-rimmed glasses, as well as the hairline, which seems to be starting to recede. These are all the features we can play a joke.
The pure white background in the photo simplifies the process of separating the image from the background. Use any selection technique of your choice – I used the tool Fast Allocation (Quick Selection Tool (W)) to create a selection – and then go Layer – New – Copy to New Layer (Layer> New> Layer Via Copy) or press the keys (Ctrl + J) to copy the selected image of a man to a new layer.
When each element of the image is selected separately, then it is easier to work with each individual element. Therefore, using the same technique of selection, select the following image elements. Head with neck and jacket should be highlighted exactly along the t-shirt line.
The head / neck should fit exactly under the t-shirt.
When allocating a chin, it is not necessary to observe accuracy, create a rough selection — later, we will combine the chin with the entire head.
Try to allocate a mouth on external area of lips, so that there was enough place for carrying out combination further.
In the same way, highlight the nose. Create a rough selection around the nose, leaving enough space for the combination.
Next, carefully select the glasses, as well as the eyes inside the glasses.
Next, select the ear exactly on the outer contour, but leave enough space to work with the inside of the ear.
To make it easier to work, let’s transform each layer with an image element into a Smart Object. Being on each layer, in turn we go Layer – Smart Object – Convert to Smart Object (Layer> Smart Objects> Convert to Smart Object).
2. Transformation and Deformation
So, the individual facial features are located on separate layers, now we can begin to transform them, creating a caricature. The versatility of Smart Objects helps to work with a different combination of sizes in order to get a cheerful effect.
The traditional technique of caricature is to create too large a head compared to the body. To do this, we need to significantly reduce the image of the body, so we go Editing – Free Transformation (Edit> Free Transform).
Next, go Editing – Transformation – Deformation (Edit> Transform> Warp) to begin to deform the image of the head. The neck should fit under the neck of the T-shirt, and also inflate the upper part of the head. The main purpose of this step is just to create a basic head shape that will serve as the basis for the rest of the image elements.
Apply the distortion to the chin in order to pull it out and also sharpen it a little. Try to combine the upper part of the chin so that the joints at the transition of the images of the elements are not too noticeable.
Make a big grin even more by stretching the mouth image.
Very often in caricatures, noses are made very large and exaggerated. Big noses just look very funny! Increase the image of the nose to comic proportions – even if the nose will overlap the mouth, it’s okay.
Points require more accurate work than just scaling, which we applied to other elements of the image. Tool Deformation (Warp tool) will help to combine the stretched frame on the face, for this we go Editing – Transformation – Deformation (Edit> Transform> Warp).
During the distortion, we practically hid the ear on the main layer with the image of a man. To fix this, we zoom in on the ear so the ear will be large enough to hold the attachment points!
Next, for each layer with the selected element, add a layer mask and with the help of a soft black brush process separate sections of the image elements to combine them.
The most difficult part of the job is handling the chin on the layer mask of the layer, since It is necessary to process the hairs in the area of the beard on the chin. Just use a smaller brush and be patient. In the screenshot below, you can see the processing on the layer mask of the chin layer and the result of combining.
Create a new layer on top of all selected elements of the image of the head and using the tool Spot Healing Brush (Spot Healing Brush (J)), in the settings select the option Sample of all layers (Sample All Layers), paint over the obvious joints or problem areas that you could not fix with layer masks.
3. Apply Plastic to the Face
Next, there is a powerful tool that is used in the process of creating a caricature – it is a tool Plastics (Liquify). We have already done a lot of work with the deformation, however, with the help of Plastics, we will create a really funny caricature. Tool Plastics (Liquify) is a powerful tool, and at the same time it can be unpredictable, but fortunately, the tool is supported Smart Filter (Smart Filtering), therefore, do not worry!
Select all layers with selected elements of the image of a man’s head, including the upper adjustment layer, to merge them into one layer. Convert this layer to Smart Object (Smart Object), for this we go Layer – Smart Object – Convert to Smart Object (Layer> Smart Object> Convert to Smart Object).
Next, go Filter – Plastic (Filter> Liquify). When the settings window appears, check the box Advanced mode (Advanced Mode) for additional settings to appear.
Using tool Deformation (Forward Warp Tool), brush size, approximately 200, increase the volume of the frontal part. Gently lift the skin to the top of the hairline.
Next, select the tool Bloating (Bloat Tool). Click a few times on the tip of the nose to make the nose look more convex.
Next, select the tool To freeze (Freeze Mask Tool). Highlight the spectacle frame. This will preserve the rim and prevent from distortion while working with the eyes.
Using tool Deformation (Forward Warp Tool), once again deform the area near the temple, and then using the tool Bloating (Bloat Tool), slightly increase the eyes – the only thing, do not forget to reduce the diameter of the brush when using this tool on the eyeballs. When finished, click Not (None) in settings Mask options (Mask Options) to remove all frozen areas.
Slightly lengthen chin with a tool Deformation (Forward Warp Tool), and also make the chin more round and convex with the tool Bloating (Bloat Tool).
Finally, make the male smile wider with the tool. Deformation (Forward Warp Tool). Pull the corners of the mouth to the folds on the cheeks. The only thing, be careful, and do not deform the shape of the teeth.
After applying the filter Plastics (Liquify), the result should be as in the screenshot below.
4. Artistic Back Background
So, we have completed the deformation and work on a poor male face, now let’s make the pictures more artistic. We will start by creating a more artistic background.
Add a layer mask to the caricature layer and use the textured brush to paint the bottom of the image, shading it on the layer mask. I chose the Sponge Brush Projection brush. Decrease opacity (Opacity) brushes, approximately, up to 40%, thus, the transition texture will be smooth.
Open the texture with the background by downloading the link at the beginning of this lesson. Position this texture below the cartoon layer.
Add a layer mask to the background texture layer. Using the same brush, paint the texture on the layer mask to create a colored effect around the edge of the image.
5. Effect of Painted Picture
So we are ready to transform our caricature, giving it the effect of a painted picture. We will keep a small photographic quality, while creating a sense of the painted picture. This is easily achieved with the help of the tooling technique. Finger (Smudge Tool).
Small details have a destructive tendency, influencing the created effect of the painted picture, so at first we will soften them, this will be the best solution. Let’s go Filter – Blur – smart blur (Filter> Blur> Smart Blur). Set the following settings: Radius (Radius) 2.0, Threshold (Threshold) 10.0, Quality (Quality) High (High).
The light highlights on the photos are a little brighter. We will fix this with a correction layer. Curves (Curves). Add an adjustment layer to the cartoon layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask to loosen bright areas.
Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Choose a tool Finger (Smudge Tool), set the brush size to approximately 40 px. Set the value Intensity (Strength) 80%, and also put a tick in the box Sample of all layers (Sample All Layers). After setting up the tool, start smearing your Finger along the main features of the man’s face. Walk through the natural texture of the skin to give it a more flowing texture.
Reduce the brush size to about 5 px. Next, walk your Finger along the smaller details, such as eyebrows, individual hair locks, eyes and teeth.
Create a merged layer from a blurred texture layer with a finger, a cartoon layer and an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves). To do this, first select all the layers, then hold down (Alt) and go Layer – Merge Layers (Layer> Merge Layers (Ctrl + E)). On the merged layer, go Filter – Color Contrast (Filter> Other> High Pass). Install Radius (Radius) 5.0 px. Name this layer ‘Details’.
Change the blending mode for the ‘Details’ layer to Overlap (Overlay) and also reduce opacity (Opacity) layer up to 78%. Next, go Layer – Layer Mask – Hide All (Layer> Layer Mask> Hide All). Use a soft white brush to work on details like eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth, and beard to make them appear again.
Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Fill this layer with 50% gray. You can pour through Editing – Run Fill (Edit> Fill). Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), and then, using a soft black brush with an opacity of 30%, recreate the blackout effect. Switch the color of the brush to white to recreate the lightening effect.
Next, we will add the final touch. First, create a merged layer from all layers. To do this, hold down the (Alt) + key and go Layer – Merge Visible (Layer> Merge Visible). Next, go Filter – Camera Raw (Filter> Camera Raw) and in the appeared window set the following settings Contrast (Contrast) +10, Brightness (Clarity) +22, and Vibration (Vibrance) +48.
And we have completed the lesson! Hope you enjoyed this awesome caricature lesson! Now, using this technique, apply it to the photos of your friends or family members to create fun, unique and unique portraits!