Saturday, October 3, 2009

GIMP Tutorial: How To Make Caricatures Using GIMP *UPDATED*

I'm going to show you how to turn this:

Into this:

Scripts/Plug-in(s) used in this tutorial:
  • In lieu of the former method, I have replaced it with Adaptive Contrast Enhancer, found at the GIMP Registry, here (for Windows) and here (for Ubuntu).

  • You'll need to download the G'Mic plug-in found here. This tutorial uses the Presets filter called PhotoComix Smoothing (using Photocomix's presets).

  • Other scripts used are built in to the latest versions of GIMP (Gaussian blur, IWarp, etc) so you should be fine with those.

  • I am using Windows 7 (64bit) and Ubuntu 10.04, with GIMP 2.6.11 (32 bit)

  • Please take your time to READ the Installation notes for the G'Mic plug-in prior to starting this tutorial. Read this post if you don't understand how to install scripts and plug-ins. Leave comments if you have any questions.

STEP 1: (Is G'Mic and Adaptive Contrast Enhancer loaded? They need to be, in order to proceed)
Don't have Adaptive Contrast Enhancer loaded in the latest GIMP? Click here

Find a suitable face picture of the intended "victim" for this tutorial. Use a picture of yourself if performing this tutorial could be potentially hazardous to your health using a picture of anyone else.

I will be using this picture of Napoleon Dynamite. You can grab it or use your own.


Run Filters - Colors - Adaptive Contrast on the image using the following settings (your preview should be similar to the one below):


Go to Filters/G'Mic/Presets/PhotoComix Smoothing. The correct settings we'll be using were suggested by Photocomix, and they are as follows:

The need for the dark outline becomes clear once you run this G'Mic filter. It actually highlights the shades and features of the entire image and makes it stand out. Adaptive Contrast adds those elements to your photo.

You should have something similar to this:


There is no right or wrong way to run I-Warp (Filters/Distorts/IWarp). Just remember to use the "reset" button as often as needed (instead of closing the image and restarting the script).

The way I used IWarp was to make minimal changes and then click ok. Open IWarp again and make more changes. Doing this prevents you from losing ALL of your changes when doing a reset.

When doing caricatures, I tend to avoid using Shrink and Grow, as much as possible, as it tends to distort the pixels to a point of losing quality. So, I prefer using the Move tool at the default setting.

On the Napoleon image I Shrank his eyes a little bit, used Grow on his bottom lip and forehead (slightly), and used the Move tool to extend his jowls outward, make his neck smaller, and to lower his shoulders.

Take note of the image for reference:

That's it, you're done! Enjoy... :)

Please leave a comment to report problems with steps in the tutorial or if you have any questions.

Some Additional Caricatures: