Make a cel-shading image with Photoshop CS4

In my previous post I said that I want to post snippets and something like that and my first post is a Photoshop tutorial ^^’ !

For all my web activities I needed an avatar so “I make” one myself. My idea was : I want a chocobo and I want it with cel-shading. So, here we go:

Original image (under Square Enix copyright):


and the result at the end of the tutorial:


So, let’s start:

NB: My photoshop is in french sorry for the french screenshots

  • Unlock the main layer double-clic on it and Ok (the padlock will disappear)


  • Take the Magic Wand (don’t forget to use Maj to add to your selection) and select all parts thant you not wantchocobo_photoshop_02


  • Remove parts with del and then CTRL-D to unselect


  • Duplicate the layer (CTRL-J) and hide the duplicated




  • On the first layer : Filters / Blur / Smart blur with superior blur quality and Edge only mode



  • Make it negative (CTRL-I)



  • Filters / Artistic / CutOut




  • You will have this:



  • Come back to the duplicate layer and set the blending mode to Multiply



  • It’s dependant from this picture but I think the eyes do not stand out enough, so select them with Magic Wand



  • Then select the first layer and press del



  • To remove some artefacts do Image / Adjustments / Brightness/Contrast



  • Our chocobo became a little pale so let’s add some colors, duplicate the second layer and change it blend mode to Multiply



  • Then on it Filters / Stylize / Trace Contour


  • Image / Adjusments / Desaturate


  • Image / Adjusments /  Brightness/Contrast



  • Same as before, eyes doesn’t stand out enought, so take the first layer to get the same eyes hole



  • Going to the latest layer a press del



Here you are with a beautiful (I hope ^^) cel-shaded chocobo. I recommend to make your own adjustments because it depends of every image.

As you see, I use 2 différents adjustments between this tutorial and the first image presented as the result, so don’t hesitate to try differents combinations.

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2 Responses to Make a cel-shading image with Photoshop CS4

  1. Vovka says:

    Great tutorial, thank you!

  2. Pingback: 3D Modelling – Platinum Piotr

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