Sometimes it’s good to have fun with Photoshop, and today, we are going to learn step by step how to create an amusing cartoon character using some photo manipulation techniques retouching, and many others. There are of course many ways to do it, but you may find a lot of useful tricks and techniques in this tutorial, and with a little bit of imagination, you can use it to create your own unique character. So, let’s get started!
- Paper Texture
- Wood Texture
- Gold Frame
- Model 1, 2, 3
- Bird 1, 2
- Feather Brush
- Ink Splatter Brush 1, 2
- Crack Brush
- Doodles Images
Let’s start by creating a new canvas of 2800 x 2800 px and resolution of 72 px/inch. Always try to work on a large dimension because it gives us the advantage to adjust the image to a larger or smaller size without losing its quality. Now grab Paint Bucket Tool and fill the background with black.
The first thing we need to do is to create a background. Go to File > Place and select a Paper Texture image. This will automatically turn the layer into a Smart Object. Because the Paper image is smaller than our canvas, we need to duplicate the layer a few times to cover up our canvas horizontally. Then add a Layer Mask to the duplicated layer, and by using a Gradient Tool, draw a Gradient on its edges to make the texture seamless horizontally. Hold down the Shift key to constrain the gradient to a perfect horizontal.
To cover the canvas vertically, just duplicate the layers and flip it vertically. The result will look like this.
We need to create another texture on top of our Paper layers to make it stand a bit more. First, add a new layer on top of everything and fill it with black. Then go to > Filter > Noise > Add Noise, and set the Amount around 300%. You don’t have to be precise with the number here, as long as it looks good for you, go for it. Let your own eye be the judge.
Now go to Filter > Stylize > Emboss. Leave the default settings as it is and click OK. To brighten up this texture a little bit, add a Levels Adjustment Layer from the Layers Panel and move the Highlights slider to 165, but first we have to make sure a clipping mask is applied to the layer. Then set the Noise layer’s Blending Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to 28%.
Select the Brush tool (B) then set the brush size to 100 pixels and hardness to 50%. Paint over the object shown in the image below.Let’s now give a color to our texture. Go to the Layers panel, add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer and set the Hue to +105, Saturation to -22, and Lightness to -29. Then add a Levels Adjustment Layer to darken it a bit by move the Shadows slider to 36 and Midtones to 0.89. You can see all the settings below.
To add a pattern to our texture is a bit tricky here. Firstly, we need to create a new canvas with the size of 140 x 140 px with black as a background. Then, using a hard-edge brush with the size of 45 px, draw a white circle in the middle of the canvas and also on one of each corner just like in the image shown below.
Go to > Edit > Define Pattern, rename the pattern “Polka Dot” and click OK. Now go back to our main canvas, create a new layer and press Ctrl+A to select all, then go to Edit > Fill, choose Pattern from the Content dropdown menu, and select our pattern we’ve just created. Set the layer’s Blending Mode to Screen and the Opacity to 9%.
Next, we’re going to create a vignette effect, to add a bit of depth and to make the center of the image stand out. First, create a new layer, then grab an Elliptical Marquee Tool and draw a big circle in the middle of our canvas. Go to Select > Modify > Feather and set the Radius to 150 px. Press Ctrl+Shift+I to inverse the selection and fill it with black. We need also lower the layer’s Opacity down to 21%.
Now duplicate the layer, press Ctrl+T, scale it up about 137% larger and set the Opacity to 41%.
Add a new layer and grab a Gradient Tool. Use a linear black to transparent gradient to draw a small gradient in the bottom of our texture, then set the layer’s Blending Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to 25%. Repeat the process, but this time, make the gradient shorter than previously and set the Opacity to 35%.
Now add another new layer, and using a Brush Tool with the size of 25 px and 0% Hardness, create a line along the width of our canvas. Hold down the Shift key while dragging to get a perfect straight line. Then go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur, set the Angle to 90, Distance to 23 and turn down the layer’s Opacity to 64%.
Select all the layers, press Ctrl+G to group them together and name it “Wall”.
We’re done with the wall. The next step would be creating a floor. First, open the Wood Texture image and go to Image > Image Rotation > 90 CW. Double click to unlock the background layer, then go to Image > Canvas Size, set the Width to 4096 px, with the Relative option checked, and leave the middle left anchor selected.
Duplicate the Background layer twice, and place the image next to each other. See the result as shown in the image below. If you got it right, go to Layers Panel menu and flatten all the layers down.
Drag the Wood Texture image to our main canvas. Press Ctrl+T to bring up the transform box, right-click and choose Distort. Refer to the image below and see how to transform this image to create a perspective-look as shown.
Apply a Color Overlay using Layer Style in the Layers Panel. Set the color to #906522, Blend Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 44%.
To add a shading in the floor, duplicate the layer and press Ctrl+L to call up the Levels window and set the Shadows slider to 65, Midtones to 0.86, and White Output slider to 226.
Apply a Layer Mask and using a Gradient Tool, drag from just above the bottom of the canvas to the top edge of the Wood image. Press down Ctrl+Alt+G all at the same time to create a clipping mask. Our shading should now be clipped to the Wood image below it.
Now create a new layer and draw a straight line on the top edge of the Wood image using a 25 px Brush Tool with the Hardness of 0%, and also clip the layer to the Wood layer. The layers should now look like the image below.
Open and drag the Wood Texture image to our canvas once again. Rename this layer to “Bevel”. Press Ctrl+T and stretch the image until the dividing line match with the floor. Just try to make it as close as possible.
Grab a Rectangular Marquee Tool and make a selection around the dividing line. Select a Move Tool and drag the line until it coincides exactly with the floor above. Hold down the Alt+Shift key while dragging.
Add a Levels Adjustment Layer and set the Shadows to 10 and Midtones to 1.58. Lastly, In the Layers panel, right click the Wood texture layer and select Copy Layer Style, then right-click Bevel layer and select Paste Layer Style. This should apply the same Wood’s Color Overlay effect to the Bevel layer.
Open the Wood texture image once again and select a part of the texture and paste it to our main canvas. Copy the Layer Style from the Wood Texture layer, then add a Levels Adjustment Layer and set the setting as shown in the image below. Now create a new layer, grab a Gradient Tool and using a linear black to transparent gradient, draw a small gradient from the very top to the middle of the texture. Then group all the layers and name it “Floor”.
OK, we’re done with the floor. Let’s switch to adding Curtain now. Firstly, place the Curtain image into our main canvas, resized it to about 400%, and using a Pen Tool, start tracing over the part of the image we need. When you’re satisfied with your selection, right-click on the path, choose Make Selection and use the Layer Mask to mask off the part of the Curtain we don’t need.
The first thing that strikes me is that the image is way too dark and a bit underexposed. So, using a Levels Adjustment Layer, set the settings as shown below to brighten up the image. We also need to add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer and reduce the Saturation to -27 to soften the color. Make sure the adjustment layers are clipped to the Curtain layer.