ToonPAINT – iPhone App of the Week

picture created with ToonPAINT

ToonPAINT – iPhone App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive.

This week’s App is ToonPAINT – Toon-FX.

ToonPAINT allows you to easily create awesome looking cartoon-paintings with your own photos.

Even if you have never drawn or painted before, ToonPAINT sets you up for quick success by providing a “MagiSketch” that you can simply color-in. It’s as easy as “paint-by-numbers”, but using your own personal images. Unlike other photography apps, ToonPAINT is not just an image filter — it’s a smart-painting application that enables you to express your creativity and obtain compelling results without requiring you to take Art classes.

Simply import a photo, create an “automagic” sketch of the photo, color-in at your leisure, and you’re done!


I have said a few times in the past that I sometimes think the best Apps for the iPhone are the simple ones, the ones that do one thing well.

I was reminded of ToonPAINT recently by a photograph on Instagram, it had been “converted” in ToonPAINT before been uploaded to Instagram. I was impressed with the end result I checked out ToonPAINT, only to find I already had it! If I remember rightly I had bought it in the past, thought it was okay, but not what I wanted and forgot about it. As it is now on version 2.1, they have certainly improved it and it does exactly what you think it does, convert photographs (from the camera or the library) and convert it into a comic format. The key is that it does it very well and the end results do look like hand drawn comics.

So if you are using an application like Comic Life (on the Mac, Windows or the iPad now) you can create a series of comic images from photographs using ToonPAINT and then use them in the Comic Life application. Now it should be said that Comic Life does indeed have filters that do a similar trick, but I much prefer the results from ToonPAINT then the included ones in Comic Life.

The process in ToonPAINT is very simple, take a photograph, either with the camera or from your image library, the app converts it into a comic format, you then save it!


If needed you can go in and edit the comicfying settings, changing the levels, thickness of lines, etc… This can help especially if the default settings don’t work just right, which from my experience was rare.

You can also colourise the resulting comic using a built in palette to create coloured comics. There are two extra in-app purchase tools, ToonColor and Photo Brush both are 59p each. I think ToonColor is worth buying, didn’t find Photo Brush as useful.

There are plenty of export options and this makes it easy to show off your pics.

Would like to have seen a Dropbox option so that I could then use the images on my Mac more quickly.

Overall I like ToonPAINT, it does what it does well and as a one trick pony, it does what I want it to do.

Get ToonPAINT in the App Store.

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