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ToonIt is a photo cartooning Adobe Photoshop compatible plug-in that processes your image and creates cartoon-style shading and lines.



ToonIt, a photo cartooning Adobe Photoshop compatible plug-in uses advanced algorithms to process your image and create cartoon-style shading and lines. You could do all this manually using time consuming techniques like rotoscoping and hand painting -- but it's so much easier and interactive doing it with ToonIt.

ToonIt analyses the image and reduces its color palette while detecting important edges. The Effects Palette within the plug-in interface allows you to add various special effects like outlines, enhanced shadows, color effects, and halftone effects. There is also a Style Creator with twelve different algorithms that can be used to create the u nderlying cartoon or painterly style. A Preset Manager provides a number of readymade styles; moreover you can even combine different styles and colors to create variations.

ToonIt is from Digital Anarchy, a company based in San Francisco, California, United States that specializes in special effect filters for image editing and pro-level photography.

You can download a free demo of ToonIt from the Digital Anarchy site. This works identical to the full version other than including a watermark in any output.

My contact at Digital Anarchy for this review was Debbie Rich, thank you Debbie.


How To Use

Follow the steps to use ToonIt!:

  1. Open any image in an image editor such as Adobe Photoshop.

  2. Choose Filter | Digital Anarchy | ToonIt!, as shown in Figure 1.

    Figure 1: ToonIt!

  3. This opens the ToonIt interface, with a default cartoon style applied to the image that you can see in Figure 2 below.

    ToonIt interface
    Figure 2: ToonIt interface

    The interface is explained below:

    1. Preview shows a preview of the changed/applied effect on the active image.

    2. Effect Palette allows you to choose the basic effect for the picture. There are 6 effects groups which are Blur/Color, Halftone, Stipple, Shadow, Outlines, and Marker Outlines. By default, Blur/Color is active but the other groups aren't. Each of these groups has set of parameters to change and tweak.

      Four of the Effect groups are designed to work with the cel-shaded color fields that make up the base of the Effect -- these are blur/color, halftone, stipple and shadow.

      Two Effect groups that are designed to work with the outlines -- these are outline and marker outline.

      The most important effect group is the blur/color for any cartoon effect. The parameters set in this group allow you to set the blur style and color properties used by the rotoscoping algorithm.

    3. Preset Manger allows to load up presets that come default with ToonIt. You can also save new presets and load them back in later. Preset Manager won't have the same effects for all the images, since every image is different -- you'll need to tweak them a bit. In general, the presets are designed to work with an image similar to the sample image, a well lit face, with a dark background, and not much detail in the clothing.

    4. Zoom Control, use this option to zoom in and out the picture.

    5. Style Creator has 12 parameter groups, this is where you fine tune the effect of the cartoon.

  4. Apply any of the cartoon styles from the presets, or play around with the Effects Palette, and tweak the parameters get a good output. Once you are happy with the changes, click OK to apply the cartoon effect to the picture.

  5. You can click the Reset button anytime to get all of Toonit's default settings restored.

Here are some before and after samples:

Before   After

Before   After



Photoshop Versions: 7+
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Site: Digital Anarchy
Price: US$159
Trial Version: Available


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