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How to create your own illustrated avatar for free (without Facebook!)

Selfies and posed photos for profile pictures are so last year, and we think it is time to try something new. But where do you start if you aren’t terribly creative or have a full-time animator on standby?

Fortunately, there are several apps and online tools that you can use to create a digital version of yourself. Some are fun and quirky, while others are a bit more complex. But the result will be the same: a fun profile picture that looks professional.

For a laugh, you could also try this free app that lets you create a singing deepfake of anyone you know. But you don’t have to be an illustrator to use the free avatar apps we’re about to show you.

Avatoon

With over 15,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.6 stars, Avatoon is one of the most popular options. The app creates a rather realistic rendering of your face, and with a variety of customization tools, you can tweak the avatar to your liking.

Avatoon avatar
Image: Avatoon

While you can upload an image to convert, one of the best things about Avatoon is facial recognition technology. Using your phone’s camera, the app will scan your face and render a cartoon version based on your features.

Download the iOS version here, and the Android version here. The app is available for free but features in-app purchases.

Bitmoji

For a while, it seemed like the cartoon panel creations of Bitstrips were everywhere on social media. While that has (thankfully) faded away, the company’s other offering has gained more traction. Bitmoji has become so successful that it has over 100 million downloads and over 3 million reviews.

Bitmoji avatar
Image: Bitmoji

It allows you to create a “personal emoji” that can be used in Snapchat or anywhere else where you connect with friends. There are also versions for Apple’s iMessage, Gboard from Google, and Bitmoji for Google Chrome. The app features the ability to take a photo with your camera and create an avatar that closely resembles your face.

Download the iOS version here, and the Android version here. The app is available for free.

Bemoji 3D Avatar Creator

Clocking in over 5 million downloads with 49,000 reviews, Bemoji is one of the biggest emoji and avatar creators available for Android. The app lets you create a cartoon version of yourself with striking accuracy through hundreds of options.

Your creation can also be used on Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok, as well as using it as stickers on messaging apps. The application also features an emoji keyboard so that you can use your creations with any default keyboard. Sorry Apple fans, it’s only available for Android.

Download the Android version here. The app is available for free but features in-app purchases.

SP-Studio

If you are a fan of the cartoon series “South Park,” the German-based SP-Studio is for you. The website, which can also be accessed on a mobile phone, has been running for 19 years and has become incredibly popular.

South Park avatar
(image: SP-Studio)

It’s not officially affiliated with “South Park” or its creators, so the site is very careful not to mention the clear correlation. However, the site was used as a promotional tool on the official “South Park” website years ago.

It’s really easy to navigate and create your own avatar, with over 15,000 body parts, clothing, accessories and options to choose from. The web app is free to use.

You can visit SPStudio here.

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