How To Create a Cartoon Avatar from a Photo

Posted by Robert Hayes on March 19, 2019

Avatars are in wide use on all sorts of websites, from Facebook to Bitmoji and back again. Not every social media site supports avatars, but most do, and lots of people enjoy making new avatars for their various social media platforms. One creative way to tweak your avatar is to create a cartoon image of yourself based on a photograph (or even created 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. Don’t settle for a grainy selfie or a boring stock photo. Most moderators allow you creative freedom with your avatar choices, so why not make the most of them? 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

Turning your photo into an incognito cartoon representation is easy. 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 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 art overhaul? A couple of examples you can try are Cartoon Photo Editor by Game Brain and cartoon camera 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.

(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 probably only need to use the program occasionally and can put up with some ads, but it’s up to you.

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 we can apply, as well as a slider section. You can scroll through the filters and find one that is appealing, or you can manually adjust the picture using the sliders.

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 to make a copy of the cartoon image on your device, or tap the share button to put it online instantly.

It’s that easy! Thanks, Internet guy!

Cartoon Avatar Creations Without a Photo

Another option you may want to check out is a cartoon avatar creator. These apps normally don’t require a photo beforehand, but if you want to, you can pick various options to make the character look more like you.

There are character creators for different artistic styles. Try Cartoon Maker – Avatar Creator by Picfix Art Studio for generic cartoon avatars. 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.

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 unique spin on an otherwise bland photo. 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.

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