Selfie to Anime with Best Anime Selfie Apps 2021

Many of us are obsessed with anime selfie, perhaps due to their dynamic personalities in various shows. Thanks to the advance of AI technology, turning your picture to anime selfie is no longer a pipe dream.

Artificial intelligence develops so fast that it has almost been a part of our daily life. It seems AI can do a lot of things from composing music to unmanned driving, from playing games to da Vinci surgical system. For anime lovers, AI can help them turn their selfie to anime, just the same as other anime characters that they’ve seen in the manga.

Related article: Top 10 Waifu2x Tools Review


Part 1: 6 Best Selfie to Anime Tools

Unlike anime filter online, AI tools are more intelligent.  This post will not only show you several best AI anime selfie apps but also a bit technical background about how AI makes it possible. These anime selfie apps will be ranked based on ease-of-use, output quality, pricing and more. With 6 best anime selfie apps, you can go from picture to anime in an interesting way.

1. Toongineer Cartoonizer -Best for Anime Selfie Output Quality

Toongineer Cartoonizer lets you turn your selfie into cartoon anime effortlessly. Using deep learning and AI technology, this selfie to anime tool makes it possible generate anime-style characters from your own portraits online for free. The amazing part of Toongineer Cartoonizer is that the generated animes from your selfies look natural and stunning due to its advanced algorithms.



  • Use advanced algorithms to turn selfie into anime instead of common filters
  • Generate clear and beautiful anime from your selfies
  • Easy to use
  • Offer 24-hour customer service


  • Lack editing tools


2. Selfie 2 Waifu – Best for Turning Selfie to Anime Online Free

With Selfie 2 Waifu app, you can go from selfie to anime online in just one click. Just upload an image to this online anime selfie app and you can access a cool anime selfie in seconds. Selfie 2 waifu is fun to play. You can not only turn selfie to anime online but also play the waifu celebrity guess game or vote for your favorite waifu for free.


Click the link here to transform photo to anime now.


  • Fun to use
  • Turn human to selfie in one click
  • Free to use


  • Lack editing tools

3. Selfie2Anime – Turn Picture to Anime for Free

This anime selfie app is an official image dataset for the U-GAT-IT model. It is totally free now. Therefore, it performs pretty well in generating anime-style characters based on real people. Although it performs better than many other similar products, it is far from satisfactory. The output is quite blurry since many features of the original are not properly identified and generated, such as nose, hair, eyes and so on. Click the link here: to turn picture to anime for free.


  • Distinguishes the foreground and background.
  • There is not too much distortion on the whole. The outline of the figure is clear and the color is closed.
  • Turn human to selfie in one click


  • Although the stroke, color, and the whole style look like anime, there is a large gap between the result and real anime characters.

How to use Selfie2Anime to turn selfie to anime?

After you upload your portrait, Selfie2Anime requires you to crop the image to avatar size. Then you need to enter your email address to receive the result. Check out more details in this video:


4. Petalica Paint

petalica paint

PaintsChainer is developed by PFN in January 2017. You can upload a human portrait to turn it into an anime character. Unlike Selfie2Anime, this one doesn’t require you to crop your image. It seems it can’t handle the blurry background well and mix up the background and foreground. It identifies the human face but there is not any change. Another function works better. You can upload your sketch image and have it colored automatically through this program.


  • Useful editing tools
  • Add color hints to control the colorization results


  • The output is a little bit scary since the color, outline, and layout are quite bizarre.


5. Meitu


This anime selfie app is available on Android and iPhone. The most interesting part is that after you finish and move to the camera mode, your head will be replaced by the anime avatar that you’ve just created. It will exactly copy your moves, like blinking, raising the head and turning your head. You can even tune the details, like hair color, completion, and decoration.


  • Find a great number of filters in this app, like watery, creamy, lively, carbonic, normcore, peach, rosy, INS, or Ballet.
  • Its AI portrait function can automatically enhance your images while taking a photo.


  • Generated anime character is a little bit exaggerated

How to use this anime selfie app to turn selfie to anime?

Step 1: Choose the “anime” option and take a photo of your face. The camera will scan your face to identify your facial features, like eyebrow, hairstyle, and face shape.

Step 2: Meitu will match up with their datasets and generate an anime character that has similar features with you.

Step 3: Save the anime selfie in one tap

6. TwinFace


TwinFace applies the open-source U-GAT-IT to create an anime picture based on the input. But the results are not that satisfactory. It’s only got a 2.5-star rating on the Google Play store by 256 users. A lot of features would be distorted during your use, such as glasses, hairstyles, beards, and eye color. According to user reviews, sometimes it even produces terrible and even scary anime portraits that loos nothing like the original one. Some also complain that it takes much time to install and operate because it is too slow.

To find out more tools about Anime Character Creators and check out our list.


  • Use neural network magic will turn you into anime without even using any filters.


  • The results are distorted


Part 2: How does AI turn selfie into anime?

Generative adversarial networks (GANs), created in 2014, is believed to lay the foundation for a variety of image synthesis applications. Researchers can either use supervised learning to learn a mapping model from paired data samples, or use unsupervised learning to learn a shared latent space and cycle consistency assumptions.


A generative adversarial network (GAN) is a class of machine learning systems invented in 2014. GAN refers to two neural networks contesting with each other in a game. One is “generator” which is to generate candidates and the other is “discriminator” which is to evaluate them.

The training objective of the generative network is to “fool” the discriminator by generating novel candidates that the discriminator thinks are not synthesized. Provided with a known dataset, the discriminator is trained to achieve acceptable accuracy.


Researchers from NCSoft, a South Korean company, proposed the “U-GAT-IT” method in a paper titled Unsupervised Generative Attentional Networks with Adaptive Layer-Instance Normalization for Image-to-Image Translation. This novel method can transform a selfie into a Japanese-style anime face and generate visually superior results compared with previous techniques, such as CycleGan, MUNIT, and DRIT.

the second column refers to U-GAT-IT

selfie to anime

This innovative method improves GAN model performance in translating between images that are significantly different in shape, such as from cats to dogs, or from selfies to anime characters. It incorporates a new attention module in both the generator and the discriminator to identify discriminative image regions in source and target images. Then researchers trained an auxiliary classifier to guide the model to focus on important regions (eg. eyes and mouths) by generating a set of attention maps.

Adaptive Layer-Instance Normalization (AdaLIN), applied to the decoder of the generator, is to help the method flexibly control degrees of change in shape and texture without adjusting the model architecture or hyperparameters.




NCSoft is a South Korean video game giant. It has developed much well-known role-playing game series, like lineage, City of Heroes, WildStar, Guild War, and Blade & Soul. This company has been doubling down on AI since it launched its AI and Natural Language Processing Center in 2011. Then it introduced an AI system powered by reinforcement learning to battle down human professional players in its game Blade & Soul.

Want to enlarge your anime images? Check out our list of Anime Image Enlargers Review.


Speaking of the output, it still needs to be largely improved, especially for the details. These products either generate a good-looking anime character that doesn’t look like you at all or produce a blurry sometimes scary one that distorts a lot of features. In this regard, these products fall short of expectations for now. There aren’t many anime filter online currently, and most tools are for mobile devices. But they are believed to perform better as AI technology rapidly moves forward, and it will not take long.

If you want to find out more useful products to generate your portrait, check out our list of Portrait Generators Review.

About Mochen

Mochen is a technical worker in the AI field, and he knows the AI field very well. He really likes to explore good AI tools and is good at writing his experience in using them. He has posted lots of writings about the latest AI tools and their reviews.

5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. There’s another website called “selfie 2 waifu”, that can also transform selfies into anime. And it has the advantage that it outputs the result immediately without waiting.

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