In this tutorial, you will learn to create comic book drawings from your photos in Photoshop!
But if you have Photoshop on your computer, you can easily create comic book drawings from your photos!
In the next few minutes, I’ll be teaching you how to “extract” the lineart and colors from your photo and combine them to create marvelous comic art in just a few clicks!
Table of Contents
Creating the Lineart
On Photoshop, open your background image and the image of your subject. If you only have one image to transform into a comic book drawing, you may skip the next few steps.
Go to Select > All.
Then go to Edit > Copy Merge, this step will merge both photos to create one image composition with the full details.
To further apply more effects without destroying the quality of the image, right-click on the current layer and select Convert to Smart Object.
Press Ctrl J (Windows) or Command J (macOS) to duplicate the layer, then rename the duplicated layer as “Lines” to avoid confusion later on.
Then, disable the visibility of the original layer by clicking on the eye icon so you can focus on the next steps.
Achieving the Color
Comic book drawings are known for their vibrant and posterized take on colors.
Since the colors in our photos are fully-rendered in different shades, I would need to reduce the number of colors in the image by using Poster Edges on Photoshop to achieve the effect of comic book drawings from your photos.
Go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Artistic Group > Poster Edges.
The Posterization value slider dictates the number of colors shown in the layer.
That means, the higher the value, the more colors are shown, and the lower the value, the less number of colors are shown.
Next, set the outline edges. Every time Photoshop detects an edge, it will add black, and you can control this by adjusting the slider of Edge Thickness and Edge Intensity.
Emphasizing the Lines
Real comic book art is characterized by the thick lineart that emphasizes the characters and every detail in the composition.
Luckily, the Threshold effect can help us achieve this in Photoshop by transforming all light-colored pixels into white and turning all darker-colored pixels into black; this results in a high-contrast, black-and-white images
To proceed, go to Image > Adjustment > Threshold
PRO TIP: Any value lower than 128 will turn black, and any value higher than 128 will turn white.
Fine-tune the Threshold value to give you the lineart that you need to achieve the comic book look.
If you have a stark contrast between black outlines on a white background, then you have achieved the desired effect!
After playing around with the Threshold, you may notice the jagged black edges and are not so visually pleasing.
To fix this minor problem, go to Filter > Stylize > Oil Paint and uncheck the Lighting checkbox in the Oil Paint window.
This filter will give you a “painted” look of your lines by smoothing and elongating the jagged edges.
Lastly, experiment on the other sliders such as Stylization, Cleanliness, Scale, and Bristle Detail to help you give a cleaner, painted effect.
Creating the Color Layer
Disable the “Lines” layer so that the original layer is the only thing visible on your workspace.
After that, select the original layer and press Ctrl J (Windows) or Command J (MacOS) to duplicate it.
Rename the duplicated layer to “Color.”Go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Poster Edges.
With our lineart set, I will focus on the color by removing the edges and retaining the color.
To do this, set the Edge Thickness = 0 and set the Edge Intensity = 0.
Press OK to exit the window.
To give the color layer a hand-painted look, go to Filter > Stylize > Oil Paint.
After setting the right adjustments, just press OK to exit the window.
Combining the Lineart and the Color
On the Layers Panel, select the Lineart layer, enable its visibility, and set the Blending Mode to Multiply.
The Multiply blending mode is perfect for coloring lineart because, on a white canvas, it retains the original color and keeps the black color—similar to the traditional way of coloring with colored pens over a black lineart.
Go ahead and experiment on amplifying the saturation and hues of the image to give a richer color.
By sharpening the lines, you can emulate that gritty look of real comic book pages!
I hope you find this tutorial as a fun and informative way of learning how to create drawings from your photos in Photoshop!
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