Easiest Orton Effect for Photoshop or GIMP

A lot of tutorials cover the coveted “Orton Effect” for Photoshop and GIMP, but they also make things sound so complicated, far more than need be. Well, I have a habit of getting long-winded, but let’s see how much I can condense this one. 🙂

If you aren’t familiar with the Orton Effect, which I only discovered while Picnik was around, it sort of gives a glamor shots appearance. I fell in love with this effect in Picnik so when their site shut down, I had to figure out how to do it myself. It’s actually very easy!

Here is the original picture:

Picture Without Orton Effect

This is a picture of my friend from New Zealand, used with permission.

Now, let’s see the same picture with the Orton Effect.

Picture with Orton Effect

No other effects or adjustments used.

The Orton Effect gives her the appearance that she is glowing. I could have messed with the contrast to make it show even more, but this works.

Now it’s time for you to do the same! Very basic knowledge of Photoshop or GIMP is assumed.

IMPORTANT: My screenshots were taken in Photoshop but the steps in GIMP are exactly the same. The only difference you may notice is how the Gaussian Blur is handled in GIMP. Just make sure to click the chain link icon (so your blur numbers are equal to each other). Otherwise, it’s the same thing all the way.

1. Open a picture in Photoshop or GIMP.

Rose picture without the Orton Effect

This is our original photo, without the Orton Effect.

2. Make sure you have the “Layers” window open. If not, click “Window” and then “Layers” to open it.

3. Right-click your image layer (should be named Background by default) and choose “Duplicate Layer”.

Photoshop Layer Dialog Duplicate Layer

4. A little window will appear asking what you want to name your duplicated layer. This will be quick so we’ll just leave it as the default name, “Background Copy“. Click “OK”. (This window does not appear in GIMP.)

Photoshop Layer Dialog Duplicate Layer Name

5. Staying on the “Background copy” layer, change the layer blending properties to “Screen”.

Photoshop Layer Blending Options

6. Now duplicate the “Background copy” layer. Leave the name as “Background copy 2“. We’re close to done. 🙂

7. Change the layer blending properties on “Background copy 2” to “Multiply”.

8. Select your “Background copy 2” layer and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur…

9. Change the radius to around 10-15, and click “OK”. Feel free to experiment, but too high or too low will make the effect unnoticeable.

Photoshop Gaussian Blur

I’d suggest no less than 5, no more than 20.

10. You should see the effect instantly. If you are satisfied, right-click one of your layers and choose “Flatten Image”.

Picture with Orton Effect

Glamor Shots – Flower Edition

Voila! Glamorous appearance to an otherwise “OK” photo.

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This entry was posted in Beginner, Blogging, General Techie, Intermediate, Photo Editing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Easiest Orton Effect for Photoshop or GIMP

  1. Pingback: 4 easy steps to giving your portraits a glow | cameraconnect

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