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Tutorial. create a cartoon style Character

10 February 2011no comments all

I’m reading a lot of comics when I’m having some free time, and I noticed that the color dots of certain comics are kind of big.
And since this Print-style was very difficult during the old days, I thought to make a nice picture with the materials we have nowadays.

I’m guessing you’re kind of lazy, so we are not going to draw a whole character. I will focus on an exsisting picture of some random person (me) just right-click the image and save it to your computer.

Open the picture using Photoshop and apply the following things:
• Surface blur
• Contrast up
• Extract from background
• Make the picture “indexed” (from picure mode) and give it 5 or 6 colors and apply “Dithering” NONE.
• Redraw the parts in the face you don’t like
You can do this yourself or download the picture from bellow

Ok so you got your picture…
Close Photoshop and open Illustrator.
Make a new document with the specs from the picture bellow:

Place the picture using:
–>File –>Place

Go to
–> Object –> Live Trace –> Trace Options and get the specs like bellow (use the same number of colors as the colors you used to create the indexed picture).

Now click the expand button in the first row of menus at the top of your screen.
When you can’t see it you can use –> Object –> Expand

Now search your favorite colors for the objects.
You can do this manually, but there’s also a massive database of colors and palettes at I Picked this one:
click here to download as .ai file

When you download the color as an AI formatted color book you can simply load it into the document using:

Before we go on with the next step we need to “split” transparent from white. (illustrator has white background by default.
Do this by pressing [ctrl]+[shift]+[D]
You should get something like this:

We are going to make a nice pink dot for the face.
Make some dots below by using oval tool and rectangle tool (shortcut [M] and shortcut [L].
The distance between the border of the dot and the border of the rectangle will be the density of the dots.

Select both shapes (the rectangle and the circle) and drag them to your swatches

Select the shape of the face using Direct selection tool (shortcut [A]).
And apply your “color” by clicking it in the swatches sidebar.
Cool huh?

For black details in the face (like glasses, eyebrows) you can make something like below:

Eventually the face should become something like this:

Imagine you had to select every part of my t-shirt….

That would be days worth of work.
No that can be done much easier. Just make sure every other detail (arms, face, hair, etc.) have been done by now.

Select one of the objects on the t-shirts and go to:
–> Select –> Same –> Fill
All objects with that fill have been selected now (jippee)

Well after lot’s of tweaking and creating you should get something like this:

Now Just download some kind of old-school 60’s comic front and make a nice cover for your new Picture.
Well this is what I made:

Cool huh?

Post your results bellow :)

About the Author

My name is Peter van der Meulen, I'm 21 years old, love computing, drawing, surfing (reallife), And i'm completely blown away by people who make good design (including me :p) I study Graphic Design @ ROC Friese Poort Drachten, and as a freelancer I create all kinds of stuff for my customers.

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  1. Tutorial. create a cartoon style Character « Amonfog the Blog | PhotoShopped

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