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MAKING CARTOON IMAGES FROM 3D

This is a tutorial on how to convert 3D rendered images, into "cartoon-like" version, in post work, with Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop or the like :)
(Updated 04-08-2009)

There are three ways to turn a rendered image into a "cartoon like" one: using a plugin in, or, using actions/scripts to run a series of effects; or by hand.

*IMPORTANT TIP* for many of these effects, it's better if your image is very large, because it helps give the cartooning effect more canvas to spread it's effect over. Otherwise, your image will lose a lot of detail and be very dark. Thus I usually scale the image way up, say to 4000 pixels or so across. Also, sometimes you may need to increase the over-all brightness (Levels, curves or gamma) on the original image before or after cartooning, to avoid it being too dark.

ACTIONS FOR PHOTOSHOP:
Note, always turn on foreground colour to black/background white when using actions! (Hit the "D" key)

1) A simple way , if you need it, is to duplicate original image layer; use Find Edges effect (under "Stylize" in Photoshop), set the new layer mode to soft light.
Simple method

2) My way that only works on a few images, in Photoshop, is this: Duplicate original layer; desaturate it (make black and white), Invert the image, set to COLOR BURN, then use Gaussian Blur, 1 pixel or more, to taste, then merge down. The image is too dark, now alter the gamma (Image-->Adjustments-->Exposure change by about 0.60 in Photoshop) to boost the image brightness back up.
My own technique

 

3) Or more common black and white sketch is to: duplicate start layer, Destaturate it, Invert this top layer, then set it to Color Dodge, and then Gaussian Blur it (amount of blur affects the edges, usually 1 pixel). Then you can make a new layer form the image (Ctrl + shift + Allt +E) and use Levels or Curves to tweak it to bring the differences out.
(Updated 04-08-2009)

B&W effect

4) I also use "Art Actions" by Adam Wright, from Renderosity

Art Actions effect

PLUG-INS:
These include, India Ink (Flaming Pear), Sketchmaster (Redfield) and many others.

This pic was altered with India Ink.
My settings for India Ink are: Style -Basketweave; Scale -1; Line - Thin; Gamma - Normal; Glue - North.
Warp, Sharpen, Diameter, Angle are matter of taste per image.
Then to lighten it, I added a new layer, filled with white, set to "Soft Light"
India ink effect

This pic is with india Ink
india ink effect on Neogi Prowler Image

"Art Actions"
Art Actions

This one is special I used Paint Shop Pro, with "ShielSoft "scripts" (same as actions in Photoshop), then a lot of postwork to tidy it up.

shielsoft Paint SHop Pro and post work

I hope you find this of use! :)

Steven "Silverblade the Enchanter" James, copyright 2008.

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All original art, writing on this site, copyright of Steven James, "Silverblade the Enchanter" ©2012