Cartoon / Comic Effect in DaVinci Resolve (Under 1 min!)

Featured Cartoon Effect DaVinci Resolve BeginnersApproach.com

This is part of the DaVinci Resolve Effects series.

You can quickly convert your normal video or image into a cartoon in less than 60 seconds.

We’ll do this in the free version of DaVinci Resolve and, most importantly…

without Fusion.

Without wasting time…

… let’s dive right in!


This is how the video will look with the cartoon or comical effect applied.


DaVinci Resolve has many free built-in effects to save a ton of our time, as well as frustration!

All we have to do is leverage the effect and tweak it to our taste.

The “Watercolor” and “Abstraction” are two different effects – which can help you achieve the cartoon effect of your normal video.

There is no specific comic filter in DaVinci Resolve, but both the “Watercolor” and “Abstraction” effects can reproduce the comic look – in the free version of Resolve.

First, we’ll see how to use the “Watercolor” effect and then later “Abstraction”.

Before starting the work, the following is the actual video with no effects applied.


How to Make Cartoon or Comic Effect in DaVinci Resolve Free Version?

  1. Create a new project (or open already existing project).
  2. Go to the “Edit” page, and import your required video clips into the “Media Pool“.
  3. Drag and drop the video clips into your timeline.
  4. Now click on the “Effects Library” from the top left corner.
  5. Go to the “Toolbox” > “Open FX” > “Filters” > scroll down to “Resolve FX Stylize” > select “Watercolor”.
  6. Drag and drop it onto your video clip in the timeline.
  7. Your video will now mimic the cartoon effect!

(Keep in mind that this effect puts pressure on your computer. The frames might drop and you might not get real-time playback.)

You can further tweak the watercolor effect by going to the “Inspector” tab > “Effects” > “Open FX”.

(Make sure to select the clip on the timeline before going to the “Inspector” tab – this is to ensure the right clip is selected. This can save you some headache down the line.)

Adjust the “Smoothness” value to, let’s say, “0.006”, till you get the desired look.


Abstraction Effect in DaVinci Resolve

There is also another way to mimic the comic look in DaVinci Resolve free version.

Under the “Effects Library”, go to the “Toolbox” > “Open FX” > “Filters” > scroll down to “Resolve FX Stylize” > select “Abstraction”.

Drag the “Abstraction” effect and drop it onto your clip in the timeline.

That’s it. Your video now mimics the look of a cartoon.

You can further tweak the settings under the “Inspector” tab > “Effects” > “Open FX” > “Abstraction”.

Play with the settings like “Pre Blur”, “Abstraction Strength”, “Iterate Abstraction”, “Quantization Controls”, “Draw Edge Control”, etc., till you get the desired look.

Finally, you can click on the “Global Blend” setting (under the “Inspector” settings) and change the value to your taste. “Global Blend” lets you reduce the overall intensity of the effect that you just applied. A value of zero in “Global Blend” will remove the effect altogether.


If you are interested in effects like the above, then you’ll also find the below ones useful:

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