One of the neat things about digital photography and post-processing is that your creativity is limitless. Everyday I receive questions about workflows and techniques used to create different effects with Topaz. Today I want to share with you a quick and fun way to create cartoon-like images using your Topaz programs. Now, keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to achieve this type of effect and this is just one of many ways. Also, as you are following along, keep in mind that you can adjust your settings more or less to perfect the optimal look that is right for your image. So let’s get started!

Above is an overview of my image transition. This was created using Simplify, Clean and Adjust. Now let’s break it down.

The first thing I did was take my image into Topaz Simplify and applied the BuzSim preset. The preset simplifies the image by removing detail and saturates the image color. Manual adjustments were also made in the Simplify and Edges tabs. The parameters that were manually changed are as follows:

Simplify Tab:
1. Simplify Size decreased to 0.20
2. Feature Boost was increased to 0.28
3. Details Strength was increased to 0.10
4. Details Size was increased to 0.25

Edges Tab
1. Reduce Small was decreased to 0.13

When working on your images, be sure to play around with all of the settings until you find the right fit. Click OK to save the changes.


The next thing that I did was take the image into Topaz Clean and apply the CrispStyle preset. Using the preset, we were able to smooth out the image, reduce just a bit of texture and stylize the edges and lines. Manual adjustments were also made in each of the tabs. The parameters that were manually changed are as follows:

Edges Tab
1. Sharpness increased to 1.65

Texture Tab
1. Texture decreased to 0.15
2. Boost decreased to 1.10

Again, when working on your images, experiment with the sliders. Click OK to save the changes.

You can already see the cartoon effect starting to take shape. You may find that you are happy with the effect after applying Topaz Simplify and Topaz Clean and that is OK. However, for this image I decided to take it one step further by running it through Topaz Adjust – which is one of my favorite programs.


Now, the last set of adjustments were created in Topaz Adjust just to give it a little POP! The preset that I used in Adjust is one of my personal ones that I created. I will provide the settings used so that you can have it as well. If you like the preset then be sure to save it in your Adjust program after setting the parameters for your image.

The parameters are as follows:

Exposure Tab
1. Adaptive Exposure: 0.56
2. Regions: 32
3. Contrast: 1.07
4. Brightness: 0.09
5. Highlight: 0.00
6. Shadow: 0.04

Details Tab
1. Strength: 1.31
2. Boost: 1.21
3. Threshold: 0.18
4. Radius: 28.00
5. Sharpen: 1.02
(Process details independent of exposure is NOT checked)

Color Tab
1. Adaptive Saturation: 0.14
2. Regions: 15
3. Saturation: 1.31
4. Saturation Boost: 1.23
5. Hue: 0.00

Noise Tab
1. Suppression: 0.40
2. Amount: 0.75
(Use Topaz DeNoise IS checked)

If you want to save this preset then go to the presets panel on the left side of your interface and click “Save” then give it any name that you’d like!

Be sure to make adjust the parameters as needed to perfect your image. Once you are happy with your adjustments, click OK to process your image. And that’s it!


Of course this is just one example of the many types of effects that you can achieve in during post processing. All you need is an image and a little bit creativity. If you want to learn more about creating cool effects and other ways to incorporate to use Topaz in your workflow then be sure to stay tuned for our upcoming webinars. Details will be available online at:

This post was originally posted on February 18, 2011
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