This also is an invaluable technique for those of us (me) who want to draw anime, but can't for lack of talent.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
-Adobe Photoshop (elements, CS3,4,5, Extended) or GIMP
-About 2 hours minimum
-Several Manga/Anime pics for reference. search Google
-A victim...Ah, I mean, a model! yeah!
In this Instructable, I will refer to Photoshop instructions with P, GIMP with G, and both programs with a B.
-Your camera should be of decent quality. I'm not saying you need a DSLR, but you should have a higher-end point-and-shoot at the very least (like a Nikon Coolpix.)
-When I say photoshop experience, I mean you should at least be familiar with this list, which includes, but is not limited to, the following tools: Hue/Saturation, Magnetic Lasso, Magic Wand, Crop, Layers, Filters, paint, dodge/burn, smudge, etc.
-2 hours is minimum. you could spend a real long time if you are trying to make it look really nice.
Step 2: Taking and Importing the Picture
Now, it is time to import and prepare your footage.
P - Import, and start by selecting the background, clothing, skin, and hair and putting them on separate layers.
G - The select tools aren't nearly as sophisticated as photoshop, because hey, the program is free! therefore, simply selecting the person and background will be adequate.
B - Now is a good time to go through and get some measurements for a future step. Create a new layer, and on this new layer draw a horizontal line across the center of both eyes, the center of the mouth, and the bottom of the nose, as in figure 2.
Step 3: Cartooning
G - I am sorry, but you Gimpies have some work to do! You are going to first choose a color close to skin. a good start is R - 225 G - 227 B - 187. Paint over all of the skin. If you get some of the hair or something, that is ok. Sample the colors on the clothing using the eyedropper tool, then paint over the respective colored clothing. You can also do likewise over the hair, but that is optional. You will also erase the facial features here as well. Remember before doing this to mark out your facial features if you have not done so already.
B - The third pic is a snapshot from Pencil, a flash-based animation program. It has some nice skin colors. Feel free to grab the pic and sample from it. Also, if your model is heavy set, now is a good time to trim off some of the excess. Heck, it might not hurt even if your model is a twig. To be brutally honest, though, we could not live in a manga world, because we would all be malnourished.
Update: Here's another method: Open the file in Adobe Illustrator. Now Click the down arrow next to the Live Trace button. Wait for it to calculate, then open the Tracing Options Dialoge (located on the taskbar) and play with the settings until you get what you like. Note that for good results, it helps to have a lot of colors, and a bit of blur. When you are satisfied, hit the "Live Paint" button. You will get a message that basically says there is a chance that Illustrator may crash and hose your file in the process. Go ahead anyway. Watch your processor temperature skyrocket! When it is done, hit export in the file menu.
This should create a fairly well-shaded cartoon render of the whole thing. Try this at the end of your project for the paint filter you need, too!
Step 4: Facial Proportions
Step 5: Eyes
B - It would be a very good idea to draw the eyes on a separate layer. Start by "scatter-plotting" the eyes with the pencil, as in fig 2. Next, you will connect those dots to get a full shape, as in fig 3.
Use the paint bucket to fill in the shape with white, then paint individual eye colors with the paintbrush. Use the smudge tool to blend. Finally, use the dodge and burn tools to create the pupil and highlights. Remember, a little goes a long way with Dodge/burn! The final result of this is shown in fig 4.
Finally, you are going to outline the eyes using the paintbrush tool. The edges of the pencil line can be erased at this time. Fig 5 is the final set of eyes.
Feel free to touch up the eyes, or any part of the figure for that matter, at any time.
Step 6: Face
Step 7: Hair
P - Paint filter
G - Cartoon
If you want to, use the Hue/Saturation tool to change the color of the hair.
Also, if you want to spend more time on it, by all means, go for it! the next step will help immensely!
Step 8: Shading
B - Start by marking out where you want the photo shaded. This is where you will finalize the proportions you want. Use the original photo for reference, as well as a few reference photos for determining anime proportions. Remember this general rule of thumb for body proportions: Male - stick; Female - Hourglass. Fig 1 illustrates the overall. Fig 2 illustrates a closeup of a hand.
Fig 3 shows the final of filling. Use the paintbrush or paintbucket to fill the assorted shaded areas. Finally, use the smudge tool to smooth and blend the shading. Running the tool along the initial line tends to work well. This can be quite difficult to get right, so spend some time.
P - I would recommend doing this by hand, as it is detail work.
Step 9: Finishing
Note: Never Flatten your images!!! You never know when you will want to change something!
Step 10: Thoughts on Manga Cartoons
Step 11: Gallery
One rule, though: APPROP, PLEASE!!!
If your photo is indecent, it will be deleted. no exceptions!
Criteria for approp:
-No excessive skin (I would call my photo modest, though.)
-No explicit content.
-No inappropriate language (in the photo)
I am interested to see your artwork!