How to: apply a comic effect to your photos

Among the dozens of effects you can apply to your pictures, the comic strip look is probably one of the most attractive ones. Applying a comic effect usually takes a long time and involves using many different tools in Photoshop, but this tutorial will show you that the same effect can be achieved in an easier way. So if you’re ready, look for a nice close-up in your photo collection and follow these simple steps.

Add a comc effect to your photos

1. Open your image, press Ctrl+L to bring the Levels menu and fiddle a bit with the slides to obtain a highly contrasted version of your picture. In my case I set the input levels to 55, 1.00 and 225 respectively.

Add a comic effec to your photos

2. Go to Filters > Artistic > Film Grain and try different values for Grain, Highlight area and Intensity. I used 5, 1 and 10 for each of them, but other values may work better for your image.

Add a comic effec to your photos

3. Now duplicate the layer and with the newly created layer active, go to Filter > Pixelate > Color Halftone. Set Max. radius to 4 and press OK, without touching anything else. Now change this layer’s blending mode to “Darken“.

Add a comc effect to your photos

4. The picture starts to look like an old comic strip, but it still needs some work. Select the copy layer and apply a stroke effect to it, making it quite wide. Then create a new layer, draw a rectangle on it and apply a stroke effect on it too.

Add a comic effec to your photos

5. Create a new layer on top of the others and select the whole picture with the Marquee tool. Go to Filter > Distort > Ripple and apply a slight distortion so that the stroke looks like a hand-drawn line.

Add a comic effec to your photos

6. Now grab the text tool to fill in the rectangle you’ve created before. You’ll achieve a more realistic result if you use a comic-like text font, like DigitalStrip. Write anything that fits in with the image and play with text effects (mainly bold), color and sizes, especially on the first letter.

Add a comic effec to your photos

7. Done! Your customized comic is finished.

Add a comc effect to your photos

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