Turn a raw image into comic book style panel in this step by step Photoshop tutorial.

Turning Your Photos Into Comic Book Art Using Photoshop

If you're looking into designing posterscustom business cardsflyers or maybe--if it's appropriate for your line of business-- for catalog printing with a comic or animation theme, you will be glad to know that this is a very manageable effect to do in Photoshop. You just need to fill in the correct filters, colors etc. This tutorial will help you do the step by step process from raw image to comic book style. Let us start with the things you need.

You need:

  • Adobe Photoshop CS4 or higher
  • Decent Resolution image (72ppi for web, 300ppi for print)
  • Comic book fonts (Here's a link to an excellent collection)

Great now let us start by prepping the image.

1. We are going to start out with this image:

Comic Book Art #1

2. To start turning this into a comic book style sketch or graphic, we will need first to make the image a bit brighter and more surreal. The easiest way to make this brighter is to adjust its brightness and contrast settings.

3. To make sure that you can go back if you make a mistake, first duplicate the background layer so that you can have a working copy of your image. Just right click on the layer and select duplicate layer.

 Comic Book Art #2

4. With the new duplicate layer selected, go to Image -> Adjustment -> Brightness/Contrast.

Comic Book Art #3 

5. Now, this all depends on your image (if it is dark or terribly white). But usually for most Photographs, you’ll want to bump up the contrast to the full 100, and adjust the brightness according to your taste depending on your image. 50 should be a good value to try out first. Note that you can apply the adjustment more times if needed.

 Comic Book Art #4

6. Next, we will want to lose the colors of our image first. (don’t worry we’ll color them back later). Duplicate the layer that we applied the changes in brightness and contrast first so that again you can go back. Now, we’ll want to remove the colors here by selecting Image -> Adjustments -> Desaturate.

 Comic Book Art #5

7. That should remove the colors and desaturate the image giving it an extra grunge look.

 Comic Book Art #6

8. Now, duplicate the layer again. We will now add a few extra filters to achieve that comic book look. 

9. The first filter that we are going to apply is the graphic pen filter. You can find this at Filters -> Sketch -> Graphic Pen…

Comic Book Art #7

10. Try to adjust the values of the graphic pen to around the middle values to get a nice balance of the detail and the sketch effect.

Comic Book Art #9

11.  If your picture is not black like the picture below, this means that your foreground colour might not be black. Just cancel the effect and set it to black again to gain this style.

Comic Book Art #10 

12.  Next, Duplicate this sketched layer again. After duplicating it, apply the Stamp filter. Simply go to Filter -> Sketch -> Stamp.

Comic Book Art #11 

13. Just follow the default values and press OK.

Comic Book Art #12 

14. Now, here is where the magic happens. If you followed the instructions correctly you will notice that you should have four main layers that you worked with, beside your original one. (so five in total including the background).

Comic Book Art #13 

15. From top to bottom the layers should be stamped, sketched, desaturated and the color original that we adjusted the contrast and brightness. To make the final step in a comic book like effect in color, simple set these Opacity values for each layer.

  • Stamped: 30%
  • Sketched: 40%
  • Desaturated: 50%

 Comic Book Art #14

16.  Once done, the end result is a nice coloured and sketched comic style image.

Comic Book Art #15 

17.  Now just add some comic book text for that comic book effect.

Comic Book Art #16 

So that is how you easily turn Photographs into Comics. As is everything photoshop, you can adjust some of the filter settings to achieve a more raw and sketchy effect. Pretty exciting isn't it? Keep an eye out for more PrintPlace tutorials to add that extra flare to your print materials.

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