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…
In the left-hand navigation pane, scroll down and expand the “Folders” directory. In the expanded sub-folder select “Plug-Ins”…
Make a “New” directory so any current setting don’t get overwritten…
You want it to point to the folder that contains the pspi.exe. When you’ve found it, click “OK”…
You’ll be taken back to the Preferences window, make sure your path appears and then click “OK” once more…
The GIMP will tell you to restart for the changes to take effect, so off you go.
PART TWO… Installing a Photoshop Filter:
Open up The GIMP and go to Filters… 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…
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”.
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.
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
Hopefully this helps out some GIMP junkies. That’s a wrap! <3