How To Create a Cartoon Avatar from a Photo

Posted by Robert Hayes on November 16, 2019

Who doesn’t want to be honored in art?  Maybe you’ve got a full-sized portrait of yourself hanging in your boudoir, or maybe your aim is a little more realistic- perhaps a cartoon avatar version of yourself to grace your social media pages or website?  It may seem like you’ll need an incredible amount of artistic talent, one of those drawing tablet-thingies, or a portrait artist on standby, but actually, the internet is happy to take care of all the hard stuff for you.

Many social media websites allow their users to create avatars, cartoon-like images of the person or user. Avatars are in wide use on all sorts of websites, including Facebook and Bitmoji. Your online cartoon counterpart can go on loads of adventures across a variety of sites, and lots of people enjoy making new avatars for their various social media platforms. Through a variety of online platforms, you can create your own cartoon self with or without a photograph. Creating a cartoon avatar is very easy, and you can do it with free software and websites found online. In this article I’ll show you the basics of creating a cartoon avatar for yourself, both from a photograph and “from scratch”.


Avatars have come a long way in recent years. In the early days of MySpace and Friendster, we often had to settle for a grainy selfie or a boring stock photo. Today, photo editing software and the image loading capabilities of social media allow us to go much further in expressing our personalities online. Turning your photo into a cartoon avatar is simple, and you don’t have to find a local artist to do it either.

Creating a Cartoon New You With an App

Using an app to turn your photo into an incognito cartoon representation is actually pretty easy and doesn’t require an advanced art degree. Check out these easy steps to find out how.

Step 1 – Find the Right Photo

If you’re going to cartoonize a photo, then you should find a reasonably good photo of yourself that gives off the right vibe. For purposes of this article, we’re going to cartoonize a stock photo of some guy we found on the Internet. (It’s OK, it’s a public domain image and we have permission to use it!)

Some Guy Off the Internet

Step 2 – Pick a Cartoon App

With so many apps available, finding the “right” one may prove hard. To see a list of all available apps, type “cartoon avatar photo maker” into the search bar of the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Your choice will depend on the cartoon character style you’re looking for, as well as the level of control and the amount of editing options that you want in your software. Do you want one that renders the cartoon life-like and close to the photo or do you want a complete Warholian overhaul? A couple of examples you can try are Cartoon Photo Editor by Game Brain and cartoon photo by Pixelab. Both are photo editors and free to download from an app store. For purposes of this article, we’re going to use Cartoon Photo Editor.

Note: If you have an iOS device, you may want to check out:

  1. Cartoon Face animation creator by VicMan LLC
  2. Clip2Comic & Caricature Maker by DigitalMasterpieces GmbH
  3. Sketch Me! by Bluebear Technologies Ltd.

Most photo editor apps like the ones mentioned are free to download, but keep in mind that in-app purchases probably apply.

Step 3 – Open the App

Next, it’s time to open your new cartoon app. Allow all the necessary permissions so that the app can use your camera or access your gallery as needed. In Cartoon Photo Editor, the interface is very simple; you can choose between editing an existing photo or video, taking a new picture to work with, or upgrading to the professional version to get rid of the ads. If you aren’t planning to do a lot of cartoon avatars, you might be willing to put up with the ads in the free version, but the choice is ultimately yours!

For our sample picture, we’re going to tap Photos and then select the picture we want to cartoonize from the gallery.

Don’t worry about my finger, it healed up nicely.

Step 4 – Convert Your Photo

Now we’ve got the photo in the app. As you can see from the screenshot, Cartoon Photo Editor has a bunch of instant filters at the very bottom of the screen that we can apply (much like Instagram or Snapchat), as well as a slider section that will allow to to manually adjust different values to create the ultimate image.

Predefined Filter…


…or use the sliders for more control.

Step 5 – Save Your Work

Once you’ve got the cartoon looking the way you want it to, just tap the download button (the large arrow pointing down) to make a copy of the cartoon image on your device, or tap the share button (the three circles) to put it online instantly.

It’s that easy! Thanks, Internet guy- hope you like your cartoon version!

Create a Cartoon Avatar With a Website

If you’d rather not install any software or use an app, there are lots of web-based services that will generate an avatar for you based on your photograph. Let’s take a look at a few options to see what that might look like.

BeFunky One-Click Converter

BeFunky is an online graphics service with a lot of different features and options, and one of the options they have is a one-click photo cartoonizer. This is an upgrade from their free product, but you can try it at no cost. The image above is a sample of their cartoonizer’s output.  As you can see, it’s got a totally different feel than the previous cartoon, so you may want to play around with different options to choose the style for you.


Cartoonize.net is a free service that will let you use one of several different cartoon filters on your image. You can also download their full cartoonizing package which has hundreds of features. The image above shows one of their sample filters.  We could literally create a gallery of Cartoon Random Internet Guy at this point.


LunaPic is another online photo editor with a cartoonizing function. The site has a wide variety of other editing tools as well. The above image is the default cartoonizer filter.

Cartoon Avatar Creations Without a Photo

Another option you may want to check out is a cartoon avatar creator. These apps don’t require a photo or any artistic ability, and let you pick and choose the features that best represent you.

There are character creators for different artistic styles. Try Cartoon Maker – Avatar Creator by Picfix Art Studio for generic cartoon avatars that kind of remind us of the Wii-moji. If you prefer anime characters, you may want to check out Avatar Maker: Anime by Avatars Makers Factory. And of course, apps like Bitmoji have an internal cartoon creator.

Cartoon avatar creators are convenient if you want a simple representation of you that isn’t really your photo. Avatars like these may come in handy when you need one for public forums or other online places where you want to keep your identity a secret, but still want to express your real and true self.

There are also some websites you can use to cartoonize yourself – we wrote a tutorial article on websites where you can cartoon yourself for free! If you’d rather do a faceswap, we’ve got an article on face swap apps for Android and if you’d rather swap something else, we can show you how to change genders on Bitmoji.

Final Thought

Cartoon creators and artsy photo editors may put a variety of unique spins on an otherwise “regular” photo. Just check out all the different versions of Random Internet Guy we created today!  While exploring all of the options can be incredibly fun (and a great way to while away the hours), keep in mind that you may already have the means to do this on your smartphone.

Many camera apps have “artistic” filters that you can use on existing photos. Rather than downloading another app, you may want to check to see if you already have these capabilities. You’re more likely to have these types of filters if you have a different camera app than the one that came with your phone.

Finally, if you are using your stock camera, you still have options. Simply check out the recommended apps or try out some new ones. Most are free from your app store, so try out a few until you find the one that’s right for you.

For more avatar resources, be sure to check out our other offerings!

We’ve got a fuller review of online cartoonizing services.

Here’s our tutorial on changing your Bitmoji avatar.

Be sure to read our walkthrough on changing your Bitmoji pose in Snapchat.

We have a guide to making your Bitmoji listen to music in Snapchat.

And of course, see our tutorial on changing your Bitmoji’s gender.

2 thoughts on “How To Create a Cartoon Avatar from a Photo”

Mary says:
I have the avatar. How can I use it with bitemoji?
Shehroz Naeem says:
I generated thanks 🙂

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