Quick Way to Apply Your Photos a Retro Comic Book Effect
Before you start, you may like to view our previous post of How to Give a Cool Retro Analog Effect to Your Photos.
Open photo in Photoshop and increase the overall contrast of the picture by burning it a bit. Go to Image >Adjustments >Levels. With this image we are going to set the Input Levels to 60 / 1.00 / 220. But this is only for this example. Choose the best settings for each photo.
Now we are going to give the photo an illustrated look with some graininess to give the illusion of an old and bad quality paper. It is not a realistic effect; it’s just some distortion to the image to help us achieve the final look. Go to Filters > Artistic >Film Grain. Here we are going to use: Grain: 4, Highlight Area: 0, Intensity: 10.
You can use different setting for different photos. Duplicate the layer and name the new layer Halftone.
For this step we are going to apply a halftone pattern to the image to give the final old comic book printing effect. Go to Filters >Pixelate > Color Halftone. Set Max Radius: 4 and leave the rest with the default values. Press OK and then go to the Layers Palette and set the Blending Mode to Darken.
In this step we are going to add some unique elements that are very popular on comic books and strips. Select the Halftone layer and set a Stroke Layer Style of Width: 20px, Position: Inside and Color: #F5ECE1.
Now add a new layer and draw a small rectangle at the top left of the frame of the image. Give it a Stroke of 3 pixels and paint it orange. Draw another rectangle, a bit larger this time, on the lower left corner of the frame. Give it a Stroke of 3 pixels and paint it white.
Now add a border to the image: Add a new empty layer above the layer containing the rectangles we created in the previous step. Select the Rectangle Selection Tool from the Tools Palette. Draw a selection from the top left (right inside the frame) to the bottom right border of the image.
Now go to Edit > Stroke, and set Width: 4px, Color: Black, Location: Center. Deselect the current selection and go to Filter > Blur > Blur More. Then apply a small distortion using Filter > Distort > Ripple… (Amount 20%, Size Medium).
Now, sharpen the stroke a bit with Filter > Sharpen More and there you have a nice simulated hand drawn border.
In this step, we are going to add caption to the photo. You can use any font but using fonts specially designed for comic books you will be able to achieve the desired look. Here we have used free font Digital Strip.
And that’s all. We have applied a cool retro comic book effect in Photoshop.
Download PSD file – Retro Comic Book Effect in Photoshop