How to: Photoshop Filters in The GIMP

October 4, 2009

It is possible to get Photoshop filters up and running in The GIMP. It just requires a little legwork to set up. This has been tested to work on The GIMP 2.6.7, which is the latest release at the time of this post. I can’t comment or advise on any earlier version, but the good news is GIMP is freeeeeee, so upgrading won’t hurt your wallet.

Getting Photoshop filters to work requires two things.
The first is grabbing a GIMP plug-in that reads PS plug-ins.
The second is installing the PS plug-in with the GIMP plug-in.

Confused yet? Don’t worry. I’ll explain it more thoroughly, and include a heap of screenshots after the snip…

I’m assuming you’re running the latest version of The GIMP which is 2.6.7, and that you’re in a windows environment. This is the version I’ve tested this on, so I can’t really comment about earlier builds.

You also ned to download PSPI which is available here: http://www.gimp.org/~tml/gimp/win32/pspi.html . Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the appropriate download. Get it here: http://rsc.anu.edu.au/opensource/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_details&gid=94&Itemid=32 .   When that’s completed and you’ve extracted the file it’s time to move on to installing it.

PART ONE… Installing PSPI:

Fire up The GIMP and go to Edit >>> Preferences…

Edit >>> Preferences

Open up The GIMP and go to Edit... Preferences.

In the left-hand navigation pane, scroll down and expand the “Folders” directory. In the expanded sub-folder select “Plug-Ins”…

A new window will open...

A new window will open...

Make a “New” directory so any current setting don’t get overwritten…

Preferences... Folders >>> Plug-Ins... Select "New"...

Preferences... Folders >>> Plug-Ins... Select "New"...

You want it to point to the folder that contains the pspi.exe. When you’ve found it, click “OK”…

Browse to where you saved the PSPI.exe... Click "OK" to confirm.

Browse to where you saved the PSPI.exe... Click "OK" to confirm.

You’ll be taken back to the Preferences window, make sure your path appears and then click “OK” once more…

Plug-In Folder... Click "OK" to confirm New folder/path...

Plug-In Folder... Click "OK" to confirm New folder/path...

The GIMP will tell you to restart for the changes to take effect, so off you go.

You will have to restart GIMP for the changes to take effect. "OK"

You will have to restart GIMP for the changes to take effect. "OK"

PART TWO… Installing a Photoshop Filter:

Open up The GIMP and go to Filters… Photoshop Plug-In Settings.

Filter >>> Photoshop Plug-in Settings...

Filter >>> Photoshop Plug-in Settings...

A new window will open.  Make a “New” directory to point to, open the File Selector and browse to where you’ve stashed your Photoshop filters…

Photoshop Plug-In Settings... New... Browse...

Photoshop Plug-In Settings... New... Browse...

For the tutorial I’m using Abu’s nifty Multi Chan Hax. This time you want it to point to the folder that contains the .8bf for the filter/plug-in you want to load. When you’ve found it, click “ok”.

PSFiltersInGIMP_0005_Browse to folder with .8bf Filter
This time GIMP *won’t* tell you to restart, but you will need to before you can see the PS-Filter goodness in your Filter Menu.

Time to restart, again.

Now for the fun part! Open up The Gimp and go to Filters…*gasp*!!!!! There should be a new entry in your Filter menu detailing what you installed. I have successfully tested it on Abu Nasu’s TechSlop filters, the Flaming Pear freebies and an old version of Virtual Photographer. :D

From here on, you’re on your own depending on what filter you want to work with. The good news is the pop-ups work exactly the same as they do under Photoshop, so you shouldn’t have to do much tutorial translating when working with PS filters in The GIMP. My best advice is to install NEW filters ONE AT A TIME, so you don’t bork the GIMP too badly.

As proof that Photoshop filters work in GIMP, I’m gonna post a few basic shots of Multi Chan Hax in action… if you want to know more about it, check out this site: TechSlop

Filters >>> TechSlop >>> Multi Chan Hax

Filters >>> TechSlop >>> Multi Chan Hax

TechSlop Filter Popup- MultiChanHax Settings

TechSlop Filter Popup- MultiChanHax Settings

Example: Multi Chan Hax Scribble Test :D

Example: Multi Chan Hax Scribble Test :D

Example: Multi Chan Hax Scribble Test Result!

Example: Multi Chan Hax Scribble Test Result!

Hopefully this helps out some GIMP junkies. That’s a wrap! <3

About these ads

6 Responses to “How to: Photoshop Filters in The GIMP”

  1. Rucy Byron said

    Hi

    How are you? All good I hope!

    I have followed all the above steps, but with RBG Theta and when I open the normal maps and try to use RGB Theta it says (RGB color, Host is not photoshop 3.0 compatible) So, do you know if RGB Theta simply will not run in Gimp at all? Or am I doing something wrong?

    Oh and thanks, your site is a great resource!

    Best
    Rucy

  2. Marita Overland said

    I cant even get the plug ins to install in gimp.. I am so confused and frustrated

    • claireharford said

      What operating system are you using? I don’t think PSPI is Mac compatible so that might be a simple explanation.
      If you’ve managed to get PSPI installed, perhaps the filters you’re trying to use with it aren’t compatible? For example, the solidify filter from Flaming Pear installs fine but it just won’t work when you try to run it. It comes up with an error of some sort. There’s not much you can do to fix that, either.
      However, if you’re just struggling to follow the wall of text above and would prefer to watch and follow along- a lovely helper named Eloise has gone to the trouble of making it in to a two part youtube video.

      Eloise Baily said
      October 6, 2010 at 3:45 pm e
      Hi Claire.
      Thanks for this fab tutorial. I hope you don’t mind but I referenced this blog in a youtube tutorial I made to install and use this filter in GIMP.
      The links are here.
      Pt. 1 Installing the filter and creating the map

      pt. 2 splitting, saving and using the shaded map.

      Thanks again for a great tutorial.

  3. Tony said

    Hi, Claire… I did as you explained here and it doesn’t seem to work. Not only the preview window shows me a white or black image, but also when I hit “ok”, nothing happens, I can’t see the wireframe or whatever. Do you have an idea on what the problem is?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: