How to make pictures look more like cartoons/illustrations?
July 11, 2006 1:00 PM   Subscribe

I would like to make some photographs look more like cartoons or illustrations in Fireworks (or Photoshop if necessary). Anyone have some tips on getting this accomplished? I have Fireworks 8 on my machine and access to Photoshop CS2 at school if worse comes to worse.

Hi, all. I have been doing web design for a while, and while it is appropriate to use photographs for illustrations sometimes, there are other times when it's simply not a good fit. Does anyone know any good techniques for making a picture less life-like in Fireworks or Photoshop? I use Fireworks primarily, but if it's only possible in PS, I will take a jaunt up to school to do it.

posted by jxpx777 to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: FWIW, i have already looked at some of the painting effects mentioned in other MeFi answers, but I would like something a little more illustrationesque. Think the difference between recent Simpsons episodes and the ones from the first few seasons.
posted by jxpx777 at 1:03 PM on July 11, 2006

uh... do you have a better example of the effect you wanna achieve?
posted by freakystyley at 1:49 PM on July 11, 2006

Best answer: Unless you have a ton of these to do probably the easiest way is to just draw cartoons over the photos on a different layer, and then just use that.
posted by aubilenon at 1:52 PM on July 11, 2006

See Rotoscoping. It's all the rage right now, even the soon to be released, A Scanner Darkly is done completely with the technique.
posted by JJ86 at 2:03 PM on July 11, 2006

Also Googling "rotoscope" gives plenty of tutorials on how it is done.
posted by JJ86 at 2:05 PM on July 11, 2006

But, essentially, it's drawing cartoons over the photos in a different layer.

Set it to normal and flip it to multiply or darken to double-check the outlines. Or, use shapes and vectors to do it, which I think you can do in Fireworks; my copy's a little unavailable to me at the moment so I can't double-check.
posted by furiousthought at 2:38 PM on July 11, 2006

Best answer: Here's a PS tutorial on getting a comic-y effct, and another on acheiving "Sin City"-style illustrations.
posted by youarenothere at 3:04 PM on July 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Also, if you have Flash, you can import an image into Flash by using "Trace Bitmap" and you can specify how many colours and how much detail you want. It's not so much "cartoony" but it's definitely an illustrated effect that gives you vector art which you can resize/play with to your heart's content, and save in any format. I've not discovered how to do the same thing in Photoshop or Illustrator yet.
posted by chococat at 5:01 PM on July 11, 2006

Best answer: Check out LiveTrace/LivePaint in Illustrator CS2. There are some tutorials out there. Here is the first one I found.
posted by nimsey lou at 6:47 PM on July 11, 2006

Painter would be a good thing to look into.
posted by baylink at 6:55 PM on July 11, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all the response. The new CS2 filters are going to be really helpful, and the tutorials referenced are cool. Thanks again!
posted by jxpx777 at 8:16 PM on July 11, 2006

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