photoshop creative

How to create a comic book effect in Photoshop

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Tips & Tutorials, by The Photoshop Creative Team
April 20, 2014

Add a comic book effect to your artwork with Photoshop’s Stroke styles and halftone filters


Begin by double-clicking on the Background layer in the Layers palette to make it editable. Duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J), then working on the top layer go to Filter>Pixelate>Color Halftone. The larger the number you enter into Max Radius, the larger the circles will be. We used a 15px Radius. Set this layer’s blend mode to Overlay and 40% Opacity in the Layers palette.


Add the Curves adjustment layer (Layer>New Adjustment Layer) just above the bottom layer. Boost the highlights and shadows for a comic-style image by lifting up the top half of the line. Select the bottom layer, click on the Add a Layer Style button at the base of the Layers palette, and select Stroke. The Layer Style menu will appear, with the Stroke option on display.


Ensure the Position option is set to Inside, and then drag the Size slider to the right to increase the stroke’s width. When happy with the size you can then change the colour by clicking on the colour thumbnail. From the Color Picker menu, select your desired colour and hit OK. Keep the Blend Mode option set to Normal and the Opacity at 100%.


With the first stroke added, duplicate the bottom layer and reduce the top layer’s Fill to 0% in the Layers Palette. Double-click on this duplicated layer to quickly access the Layer Style menu. Click on the Stroke option once more, and this time add a thin white stroke. Hit OK when you’re done, and then select the Rectangle tool (U) from the Toolbar.


Draw a white rectangle to sit in the bottom corner, and double-click on the shape’s layer in the Layers palette. Add a thin coloured stroke to suit the photo, still set to Inside, Normal blend mode and 100% Opacity. Hit OK to apply and select the Type tool (T). Choose a suitable comic-themed font from the Options bar and write your text.


Write some more text to sit in the top left corner of the image. When the size is correct double-click on the Type layer in the Layers palette to bring up the Layer Style menu. Add a thick stroke, keeping the text legible, but this time set the stroke to sit outside of the layer.


With the stroke set, press Cmd/Ctrl+T to activate Free Transform. Hover over one corner and rotate the text. To increase the text size, hold down Shift and drag a corner outwards. To edit the thickness, or colour of the stroke, simply double-click on the fx symbol on the layer to bring the options back up.