Make a portrait in the style of manga in Photoshop

I wanted to write this lesson a long time ago, but I was busy with other projects. Suddenly, I saw a manga effect on the cover of the Advanced Photoshop Magazine (Photoshop Magazine) and I decided that I would make my own version of the lesson. I do not use the same technique as in the magazine, but the result is really cool. Enjoy!

I don’t know how the guys from the Advanced Photoshop Magazine made this effect, since I didn’t buy that release. I will show you my way of creating a manga effect. You will see how many things you can do with the Plastic filter.

Preview of the final result

Materials for the lesson:

Step 1. As I said in the introduction to this tutorial, I used a Photoshop filter “Plastic” (Liquify filter) to achieve this effect. Best of all, if you use a high-resolution image, otherwise using this filter on a low-resolution image is likely that you will lose image quality.

For this tutorial, I used a stock photo with a resolution of 3000×4000 pixels. Using a high resolution image like this will give you the opportunity to resize the resolution to a smaller one after using the filter.
So, open your image in Photoshop and duplicate it so that you have one copy in reserve. Now go to the duplicated layer and name it liquified, now you will work on this layer.

Step 2. Go to Filter / Plastic (Filter> Liquify). Now let’s see what you can do here to create a manga effect. If you looked at the manga pictures, you should definitely notice a few things: 1 – big eyes, 2 – small mouth and nose, and 3 – a rounded head with a pointed chin.

This is what you need to achieve with the commands of the Plastic filter. I advise you to use large brushes when working with this filter, because if you work with small brushes, you will get irregularities on straight lines and the edges of the face.
The plastic tools that we will use above all are the Bloat Tool to make the eyes bigger, the tool “Shrinkage“(Pucker Tool) to reduce the nose and mouth, and the Forward Warp Tool to change the position of the nose and retouch the chin.

Step 3 – eyes.
Let’s start with the eyes. On the right side of the screen you see the brush settings. As I said, use a large brush. How big? It depends on the resolution of your image and the elements you are working on. For eyes, for example, use a brush that is larger than one eye.
We will use the tool “Bloating” (Bloat Tool) to make the eyes larger and rounder, so select this tool. Click above one eye and see how it starts to change its shape. Make a few clicks in different parts of the eye and gradually increase its size, maintaining its rounded shape. Use the tool “Deformation” (Forward Warp) if you need to fix the position of the eyes.

Step 4 – Mouth.
You need to make the mouth much smaller, if the model you have chosen has the mouth open, this step will be more difficult. Choose a tool “Wrinkling” (Pucker Tool) and, as in the previous step, select the desired brush size so that it is larger than the mouth itself.
Set the Brush Rate to about 30 and the Brush Density to about 50. Start working from the corners of your lips, then center.
After that, take the tool “Deformation” (Forward Warp) and drag the corners of the lips so that the mouth appears already. See how the image below.

Step 5 – nose.
If you have the right eyes and mouth, I advise you to make a copy of the layer before moving on, just in case. Use the same technique as for the mouth to reduce the nose. Use the tool “Deformation” (Forward Warp) as much as you need, and use small-sized brushes to fix the details.

Step 6 – the shape of the head.
Here you will have a little more work. The main goal is to make the lower half of the head smaller and rounder, and the chin more sharp.
The main tool used here is a tool. “Deformation” (Forward Warp). Use a large brush to move parts of the face. You will need to raise your mouth closer to your nose.
Try to keep the shape of your hair and not create large mutations, otherwise people will definitely see these mistakes. By reducing the density of the brush, you can avoid it. The density of the brush works like stiffness when you paint with a regular brush.

When you’re done, take the tool. “Precision Healing Brush” (Spot Healing Brush Tool) and remove as many blemishes and imperfections as possible. Do not forget to make as many copies of the layer as you need.

Step 7 – color settings.
Once you are finished with the shape of the head, you can add a little color and contrast effects to make the image look more interesting.

First, slightly discolor the image with an adjustment layer. Channel Mixing (Channel Mixer) with an opacity of 45. I added yellow using an adjustment layer. Color balance (Color Balance), increasing the yellow (Yellows) on the channels of medium tones and light, and purple (Cyans) on the shadow channel.

Step 8 – improve the eyes.
Create a new layer on top of all layers, go to Editing / Fill (Edit> Fill) and fill the layer with 50% gray. Set the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay) and paint over tools Dimmer and Clarifier as shown below. Use 30% exposure for these tools. Do the same for both eyes.

That’s all. The rest of the things I did are explained in my other lessons.
In short, I created a new layer, added blur to the surface to make the face smooth, and erased those parts of the image that were supposed to maintain sharpness. Then I connected all the layers using the Shift + Ctrl + Alt + E combination, transformed the resulting layer into a smart object and added the Lighting – Filter / Rendering / Lighting Effects (Filter> Render> Lighting Effects).

The final result.

Author: Andrei Oprinca

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