The Ultimate Photoshop Resource

Photoshop effects with Smart Filter Blending – Orton effect


There are always lots of different ways of doing things in Photoshop.  Here is great tip that you can use when applying effects and working with Smart Filters.
As a bonus, you get to learn how to create the Orton effect. I mean, I had to use something as an example 😉


Hey, Cafe Crew, this is going to be a really quick video today. But I am going to show you something that is going to change your life. I am going to show you how to create multi-layered effects on a single layer inside a Photoshop.

So, I hope you appreciate the humor with the girl here because it kind of fits with the theme of what we are doing because hopefully, this is how you are going to feel when you’ve done this effect.

I am Colin Smith and I make tutorials on Photoshop and Light Room. If you haven’t subscribed yet, hit that subscribe button right now and hit that little bell so that you get notifications.

So, I am going to show you 2 different examples. We are going to start with a simple example here and then I am going to show you how you can take it even further with the next one.

Alright, so here we go, let me show you what people would normally do and let’s just take a simple Orton effect to create this effect. So, let’s just do this, we are going to duplicate the background layer and then we are going to change this into ‘Overlay Blending’ mode. And you might have seen me do this kind of thing on other tutorials and in the third step of the Orton effect, is to add a blur.

So, we are going to choose blur, Gaussian Blur, however you want to say it and then you might adjust the opacity. Okay, so here we go, now the thing is that if you give multiple layers and you give one of these layers separated, this is what you are going to end up with.

So I am going to show you a much better, much more efficient way of doing this. So, what we are going to do is we are going to right click and convert this to a smart object.

Alright, now it is a smart object that means every filter we apply is going to be a smart filter. So we are going to go to ‘Filter’, we are going to choose ‘Blur’, and then we are going to choose, there goes the Gaussian blur, once again.

Alright, so now we have applied it and you see this little thing here, if you don’t see that, you just bring that down and just click on there or double click and now we get our blending options.

So, under our blending options, we can change our blend mode to overlay, right there and we can also just add opacity. So, you can play around with this and get just the effect that you want there on a single layer and all of these stays together. And if you want to look at it before and after, that’s exactly how we do it.

Alright, let’s move on to a different example. Now remember that this effect that I am showing you here right now, I am just using the Orton effect as an example. Let your imagination go wild with the kinds of things you can do with this.

So let’s do it, once again, we can right click and we can convert to smart object, there or if you want, you can go under the filter menu, you can convert for smart filters right here. And this will do exactly the same thing but it just enables you to do it all from one menu.

Alright, so let’s go down, we are going to choose blur, we are going to choose the Gaussian blur, however you want to say it, I think it is Gaussian blur and we are going to click okay. Alright, so let’s go here, we are going to do our blending options, now, remember this other blending options that might work nicely too. Such as [Inaudible 03:06] if you want to create this kind of more dreamy, kind of Hollywood effect. That’s another option you could do but I am just going to go with the simple Orton effect just to stay consistent right now but, please, experiment. Because this work is all about you, figuring out ways that you like to do, faster and more efficiently.

Alright, so now, I am just going to click okay. So the next thing, this actually comes with a little white square, whenever you see that white rectangle, that means it is a layer mask. So if we grab a brush, that’s B for the brush and if you want to make a big brush key, I am just going to hold the control option and then just click up or down to make that hard or soft. I want to make it soft and I want to make it big. And that’d be control right drag, that should be out-right drag on windows.

Alright, so what we want to do now is with that black, make sure the black is set to a 100% opacity, we can just paint back in the old picture there. And you can see what we have got going in here in fact, why don’t we just double click this and we are going to increase opacity all the way up to just really emphasize what we have just done.

So, there it is, before and there it is after.

So, I hope you liked this and if you did, smash that ‘Like’ button into dust. So, subscribe, hit the notifications and add a comment. Let’s get a discussion going and if you have got any ideas of different recipes we can do with this effect, let us know in the comments. I’d love to answer all the questions and be involved in the discussions.

So, until next time guys, I will see you at the Cafe.

I hope you enjoy this and I’ll see you with another fun tut soon!




PS Don’t forget to follow us on Social Media for more tips.. (I've been posting some fun Instagram and Facebook Stories lately)
You can get my free Layer Blending modes ebook along with dozens of exclusive Photoshop Goodies here photoshop goodies for free

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Access The Photoshop Vault

Unlock dozens of valuable Photoshop resources for FREE

The Ultimate

Photoshop Resource