Turning Photos Into Cartoons: A GIMP Tutorial
An Easy Method to Turn Photos Into Cartoons
Step 1: Create a Duplicate Layer: Use Edge Detect
- Go to FILE and OPEN the selected image.
- Go to WINDOWS and select DOCKABLE DIALOGS. From the drop-down window, select LAYERS.
- A new layers window will open up. Click on the overlapping photo icon in the layers window to DUPLICATE LAYER. Alternately, go to the LAYERS tab and select DUPLICATE LAYER.
- Select the new, duplicate layer.
- Go to FILTERS, then select EDGE-DETECT. From the drop down window, select EDGE.
- A pop-up window will appear. Verify the chosen algorithm is SOBEL (this should be the default) and then select BLACK among the three options (smear and wrap are the other options).
Step 2: Invert Colors and Divide
- Go to the LAYER WINDOW and change the mode from "normal" to DIVIDE.
- The photo will now appear in its final cartoon form. Go to FILE and select SAVE AS. Save the image with an identifying name.
Troubleshooting: My Cartoon is Too Light
If the final cartoon drawing is too light, simply apply the edge detect/edge/sobel filter once more on the duplicate layer.
- Click on the duplicate layer and select FILTERS, EDGE DETECT, and EDGE.
- When the pop-up window appears, verify the settings are for SOBEL and BLACK. Click OK.
- The cartoon will become more vibrant. Repeat this process as many times as needed to create the desired look.
Experiment With The Cartoonized Image
Experiment and Have Fun
By desaturating the final, cartoonized image, the picture will resemble a pencil-drawn sketch. Try changing the hue and saturation of the layers to achieve a different look with each cartoonized photograph: make each image unique!