Create a Retro Comic-Book Look: Cartoon Effect in Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro 31/05/2022 3 min read

Cartoon effects are a lot of fun to create, no more so than the modern comic book style compositions. Creating a comic book look for your videos can be challenging, but we’ve got 2 fantastic methods ideal for your music, events, and story-based content. Let’s jump into creating your very own cartoon effect in Premiere Pro!

Part 1: Create Dynamic Hand-Drawn Comic Effects in Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro doesn’t have a native cartoon preset, but you can create a hand-drawn comic book look with a couple of effects. You’ll need your performer shot on a green screen and a background to match the fine line style for the best results.

  1. Stack your background video and green screen footage in the timeline.
  2. In the Effects panel, search for Color Key and add it to the green screen clip. 
  3. Grab the Color Picker from the Effects Control panel and select the green background of your clip, then adjust the settings to fine-tune the background removal.
  4. Adjust the Scale and Position of your video to fit the background.
  5. Search for the Find Edges effect and add it to your green screen footage. If needed, you can click the Invert box in the Effects Control panel for a darker style.
  6. Find and add the Posterize effect to your footage; in the Effects Control panel, adjust the Level to get the detail level you require.
  7. Finally, add the Posterize Time effect and decrease the frame rate; the lower you go, the more frames will be removed, resulting in choppy playback.

Part 2: Using the After Effects Cartoon Effect

After Effects has a pretty impressive cartoon effect, which you can use in your Premiere projects through Dynamic Linking, find out all about dynamic linking with this handy guide.

  1. Edit your background and green screen clips in the Premiere timeline.
  2. Select the Cartoon Effect layer and go to File > Adobe Dynamic Link > Replace with After Effects Composition.
  3. In After Effects, search for the Keylight effect and add it to your clip.
  4. In the Effects Control panel, use the Picker to select your background color; adjust the other settings until you are happy with the background removal.
  5. Search for the Cartoon effect and add it to your clip.
  6. Play around with the settings to create the cartoon look you like in the Effects Control.
  7. When you are happy, hit Save (Cmd+S or Ctrl+S) and close After Effects, Premiere will update with the new clip.
  8. To edit the effect, double click on the AE Comp from within Premiere, and After Effects will open with your clip ready to edit.

Part 3: Top 8 Cartoon Effect Templates for Premiere Pro

If you’re looking for a more stylized Cartoon feel, hundreds of Premiere Pro templates are available for you to download; check out our top 8.

1. Cartoon Drawn Opener

The Cartoon Drawn Opener offers 17 media and 8 title placeholders in an upbeat, retro feeling sequence. The template turns your photos into greyscale print style images with fun, colorful paper borders.

Download Cartoon Drawn Opener Now

2. Comic Book Intro

Featuring 4 media and 5 title placeholders, the Comic Book Intro template is ideal for YouTube intros, event invitations, and teaser trailers. Your videos/photos are added to comic book panels surrounded by bright, bold titles.

Download Comic Book Intro Now

3. Comics Instagram Stories

The Comics Instagram Stories Pack includes 6 stunning designs with a fun, bold comic book feel. Each story offers colorful background panels, comic book-style title bubbles, and flickering flourishes such as lightning and power pulses.

Download Comics Instagram Stories Now

4. Comics Opener

The Comics Opener is a fun and bold intro sequence, ideal for YouTube Channels, content creators, and businesses. The template boasts 27 media placeholders that turn your images into colorful oil paintings.

Download Comics Opener Now

5. Pop Art Opener

With 15 Media and 16 title placeholders, the Pop Art Opener is a striking and bold intro for your videos. The template moves swiftly across comic book panels filled with your media in a simple ink-drawn style.

Download Pop Art Opener Now

6. Pop Art Typography

The Pop Art Typography template includes 12 retro feeling full-screen titles for your projects. With colorful dot backgrounds, bold comic title cards, and tined media placeholders, this typography pack is sure to grab your viewer’s attention.

Download Pop Art Typography Now

7. Comic Sketch Effects

The Comic Sketch Effects pack includes 12 incredible presets to add a cartoon style to your videos and photos. Each effect plays with Find Edges, Posterize, and Color effects to create unique-looking compositions.

Download Comic Sketch Effects Now

8. Comic Neon Effects

The Comic Neon Effects pack includes 12 stunning light-based presets, ideal for music, events, and fashion content. The presets use fine edges and light rays to create a dazzling display of neon flares around your subject.

Download Comic Neon Effects Now

While there may not be a Cartoon Effect in Premiere Pro, there are many other ways to create a stylistic look for your compositions. If you’re not quite finding the effect you’re looking for, why not check out Motion Arrays’ full range of comic and cartoon templates.

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