Digital Anarchy has shipped ToonIt! Photo 2.0 for Photoshop, which the company says reliably and easily creates cartoon-like images from photographs, freeing artists from time consuming techniques such as hand painting and masking. The filters use advanced algorithms from Toonamation to create cartoon shading and outlines.

ToonIt! analyzes photographs and then creates flat regions of colour and outlines that produce a cel-shaded cartoon look. Controls include different paint/toon styles, shading and outlines. The Effects Palette adds various special effects like outlines, enhanced shadows, colour effects, and halftone effects.

The Style Creator has 12 different algorithms that can be used to create the underlying cartoon or painterly style. A Preset Manager and Preview Window give further options to control the appearance and behavior of the cartoon.

Digital Anarchy says that one of the key features of ToonIt! is its ability to translate the details of the human face and form into a believable cartoon. People are typically most difficult to ‘toon’ because most people know what facial features and expressions should look like.

The company says that ToonIt! is able to identify areas that should be shaded as one colour and uses sophisticated edge detection to draw outlines. This creates very consistent, pleasing large features in the face and body while also retaining smaller details like hair and eyes. The filter allows photographers and designers to quickly create the effect on a wide variety of images without time consuming experimentation and masking.

Toon It! Photo 2.0 runs under Mac and Windows versions of Photoshop 7 and higher, including the 64-bit version of Photoshop CS4. It costs $129 (£86) until December 31, when the pricing rises to $159 (£106).