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How to Turn a Photo Into Comic Book Art in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial, I will show you how to turn a photo into comic book art in Photoshop using filters and textures. 

This comic book photo effect is a part of the Comics Book Photoshop Creator from my portfolio on Envato Market. The pack includes the comics book action, 20 vector speech bubbles, and 7 vector comic sound effects that you can edit.

Comic Book Photoshop Action Download
Comic Book Photoshop Action

Tutorial Assets

For this tutorial, you have to download these assets:

1. How to Create the Sunburst Background

Step 1

Create a new 850 by 645 pixels document in Photoshop. You can, of course, choose any size you want, but you will have to adjust the settings proportionally.

Make a new layer called Sunburst Background. Pick the Gradient Tool (G) and choose the gradient colors: #777777 and #c5c5c5.

Edit the Gradient Colors

Step 2

Keep the Shift key pressed and draw a vertical line starting from the top of the canvas, with Linear gradient shades from the starting point to the ending point in a straight line. 

How to Use Linear Gradient in Photoshop

Step 3

Go to Filter > Distort > Wave and make these settings to create vertical lines.

Wave Filter in Photoshop

Step 4

Make sure you have the first line light gray and the last line dark gray. If this is not the case, press Control-T to fix that.  

Photoshop Transform Tool

Step 5

It’s very important to go to Image > Trim and make these settings, otherwise the previous step will not count.

Trim Transparent Pixels in Photoshop

Step 6

Go to Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates to create the sunburst.

Polar Coordinates Photoshop Filter

Step 7

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map to add color to the sunburst background. You can choose any colors you want. I will use #003876 (location 23%) and #00b5e9 (location 100%).

Gradient Map Photoshop Adjustment Layer

2. Remove the Background in Photoshop

Step 1

On a new layer, add the Couple Photo and use the Lasso Tool to make a rough selection of the couple. 

Use Lasso Tool in Photoshop

Step 2

Press Shift-Control-I to invert the selection. Press Delete to remove the background.

Remove Background in Photoshop

3. How to Increase the Contrast of a Photo in Photoshop

Step 1

Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer to increase the contrast of this photo. 

Click on the third button from the left to add this adjustment as a Clipping Mask for the layer below.

BrightnessContrast Photoshop Adjustment

Step 2

Add a second Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer to increase the contrast of some parts of the photo. 

Click on the third button from the left to add this adjustment as a Clipping Mask for the layer below.

BrightnessContrast Photoshop Adjustment

Step 3

Click on the Layer Mask of the Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer and press Control-I to invert the white color. 

Pick the Brush Tool and, with a soft round brush, paint over some areas to add more contrast. Use the color white.

Paint Inside the layer Mask in Photoshop

These are the areas where I painted with white inside the layer mask.

Layer Mask in Photoshop

4. How to Make Photos More Vibrant in Photoshop

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Vibrance. Increase the Vibrance to 100 and the Saturation to 4. 

Click on the third button from the left to add this adjustment as a Clipping Mask for the layer below.

Vibrance Photoshop Adjustment Layer

5. How to Use the Poster Edges Filter in Photoshop

Step 1

Press Control-J to make a copy of the Couple layer. Call this layer Comics Effect.

Go to Filters > Artistic > Poster Edges and make these settings. 

Poster Edges Filter in Photoshop

Step 2

Add a Stroke layer style to the Comics Effect layer to create a black outline on the edges too.

Add a Stroke Layer Style

Step 3

Create a new layer and call it Color. Right-click on the layer and choose Create Clipping Mask. Set the blend mode to Color Dodge

Use the Brush Tool to paint over the blouse of the girl using the color #9a60c3. Do the same for the boy using the color #e06f00.

Colorize Photo in Photoshop

6. How to Use the Photocopy Filter in Photoshop

Step 1

Press Control-J to make a copy of the Couple layer. Move this layer above the Comics Effect layer. Call this layer Outline Effect. Set the blend mode to Multiply.

Set the Foreground Color to #000000 and the Background Color to #ffffff

Go to Filters > Sketch > Photocopy and make these settings. 

Photocopy Filter in Photoshop

Step 2

Go to Filter > Stylize > Diffuse to create a softer effect. If there are too many lines, you can use the Eraser Tool to delete some of them.

Diffuse Filter in Photoshop

7. Create a Halftone Texture in Photoshop

Step 1

Create a new layer called Halftone Texture and fill it with color #ffffff. Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise

Add Noise Filter in Photoshop

Step 2

Go to Filter > Pixelate > Color Halftone and make these settings.

Color Halftone Filter in Photoshop

Step 3

Set the blend mode of the Halftone Texture layer to Multiply, opacity 66%.

Comics Halftone in Photoshop

Step 4

Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer to lighten the image and make it brighter. If you want more vibrant and saturated colors, you can also add a Vibrance adjustment.

BrightnessContrast Adjustment Layer

8. Create Speech Bubbles in Photoshop

Step 1

Use the Ellipse Tool to create some rounded shapes as shown in the preview image. Use the color #ffffff for the shapes. 

To add the shapes on the same layer, make sure you check the Add to shape area button after making the first shape.

Photoshop Ellipse Tool

Step 2

There are all types of speech bubbles. For example, the one from the right is a thought bubble. 

Let’s make the other a speech bubble. Use the Pen Tool to add a triangle shape. Again, make sure you have the Add to shape area button selected.

Create Speech Bubbles in Photoshop

Step 3

Add a Stroke layer style to the Bubbles layer using the color #000000.

Stroke Layer Style

Step 4

Add some text inside the speech bubbles using a comics font type. I will use the font BD Cartoon Shout.

Comics Font Type

Step 5

Use the Pen Tool again to draw a new shape. For the background color, use #ffeb27, and for the outline, use #000000.

Add some text using the colors #000000 and #dd1735.

Comics Font Type

9. Create a Grungy Effect in Photoshop

To create a grungy effect, I will use the Old Paper Texture. Set the blend mode of this layer to Overlay

Old Paper Texture

Add a Levels adjustment just for this layer, using a Clipping Mask to adjust the effect to your liking.

Grungy Effect in Photoshop

10. Add a Border in Photoshop

Press Shift-Control-Alt-E to make a copy of all the layers. Add a Stroke layer style to create a border effect. Use the color #000000.

Add Border in Photoshop

Congratulations! You’re Done!

In this tutorial, you’ve learned how to create a comic book effect in Photoshop from scratch using filters and textures. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial.  

Create a Comics Book Effect in Photoshop

This comic book photo effect is a part of the Comics Book Photoshop Creator from my portfolio on Envato Market

Comic Book Photoshop Action Download
Comic Book Photoshop Action