(Pocket-lint) - UPDATE: Sadly, while the Toonify website still exists, its owners have had to suspend the service due to unprecedented demand.

"Sorry Toonify Yourself is offline for the moment," it reads on the site.

"Seems like it was a popular idea and server costs were going up quickly so we decided to turn it off. Thanks for everyone who tried out the model and shared the results.

"If we find a way for paying for it, or a more cost effective format, we'll bring it back! But until then, thanks for all the Toonifcations!"

Should it come back at some point, here's our original piece on how to use it (as posted earlier on Thursday 17 September 2020)...

A new face craze is sweeping across social networks. We've gender swapped and turned ourselves either younger or older, but now you can actually see what you'd look like in an animated movie.

Toonify is a website by Justin Pinkney and Doron Adler. It uses deep learning to recognise faces and turn features into cartoon equivalents. And it's hilarious.

The site owners promise that photos will not be stored nor used for any other purpose than the toonification process.

Here then are instructions on how you can do it to yourself.

How to Toonify yourself

- First, take a picture of your face (on a phone or camera) and head to toonify.justinpinkney.com.

- Browse for your photo through the site uploader at the top of the page.

- Click on the "Toonify" button.

- A short while later your Toonified image will appear alongside the original. You can click on it or drag it off screen to save it.

It's all simple stuff, although one thing we noticed is that even though a picture looks okay, the software used might not recognise your face. We advise ensuring the lighting is good and that your features (eyes, etc) aren't shadowed.

"The algorithm works best with high resolution images without much noise. Looking straight on to the camera also seem to work best. Something like a corporate headshot tends to work well," it suggests on the Toonify site.

The last thing to do is share it on your social network of choice and let hilarity ensue.

Writing by Rik Henderson.