someotherbob 5:34am, 8 March 2007
I uploaded this photo to show the results of a three layer Orton process I use. I use three layers to allow the retention of sharpness in any area of the photo, not applying the Orton effect across all the photo.

The video is available here.

It covers:
- what I do instead of "apply image" to do the over expose step.
- how to use layers.
- how to use layer masking, and why.
- how to group layers.
- how to retain shaprness in any area of the photo.


Orton Tutorial
KayCpics 11 years ago
Great video, Bob. Thanks for the effort. The video is easy to follow and informative. I think anyone that is creating orton images should watch this tutorial. It does not matter if this is your first orton or your 50th you will learn something new.
c@rljones 11 years ago
Ooh excellent, thanks for doing that Bob, will go download and check it out now, and hopefully post a few of my results soon :)
Michael.DK PRO 11 years ago
Super tutorial! Very good work - will try this out. Hope I can get results almost as good as yours.
c@rljones 11 years ago
Excellent tutorial, just finished watching it, thank you so much for taking the time to make it, definitely going to give this a go, and thanks for leaving the end-result here for us to see too, it's good to see how the tutorial came out (a bit hard to tell on youtube).

Marvellous, thanks
Orbital Joe PRO 11 years ago
I tried this on the photo you suggested and loved it...
Thanks for taking the time to explain this process... Here it is now:
Ballerinas (Orton)
secretsamba 11 years ago
Great tutorial!
QtrFlash 11 years ago
Thats a great tutorial and very useful. Thanks for sharing your process!
Vanapagan. 11 years ago
Great tutorial, really good work, thanks for sharing. Tutorial exceed all my waitings. Very clear presentation, witch contains different subordinate tutorials like comparing different methods to get overexposured photos or using layer mask.
Joe Plocki (turbojoe) 11 years ago
Wow, man. Thanks for taking the time... I learned cool extra stuff I can use on orton, but the layer grouping and layer mask explaination will be extremely helpful to me in other things, as well.
someotherbob 11 years ago
Glad you learned somethign from it. As for time....

10 minutes to record..
15 minutes to load Premire.
30 minutes to learn camera zooms.
24 hours of laptop chugging along! Won't use that system again!
eτi 11 years ago
Great , thank you. Lots of stuff you explained I already knew but it can't hurt to hear it again.

I always use eraser instead of layer mask but I'm starting to understand what the advantage of a mask is - you can paint white over it to undo the erasing.

One question: What is the advantage of opening adjustment layers for the levels? I normally adjust levels on the layer itself.
someotherbob Posted 11 years ago. Edited by someotherbob (admin) 11 years ago
By using levels in its own layer, you can paint in the mask.

In the extreme, put a levels layer on to brighten dark areas, also a levels layer to darken bright areas. Paint in the masks to get the ideal brighness for each part of the picture.

In context for Orton, you can keep an area from blowing out (too bright with just apply image) at the same time as keeping an area from getting too dark during the multiply step.

The best of all worlds.
freakdogsuncle PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by freakdogsuncle (member) 11 years ago
Brilliant tutorial Bob and thanks for your generosity in putting it out for all to learn. Thanks also to my fellow countryman Belial for leading me to it.
eτi Posted 11 years ago. Edited by eτi (member) 11 years ago
Oh, i see... the adjustment level consists of levels only, it holds no photo... didn't know that.

After painting on a layer mask, how can I go back to working in the layer the normal way again? I can't click the mask button again, there must be some other way?

edit: i think i found it... by clicking on the 'link' symbol
someotherbob Posted 11 years ago. Edited by someotherbob (admin) 9 years ago
Here is another photo that used the 3-layer process.

Chinese New Year Parade
smarti77 11 years ago
Thanks for the great tutorial.. I like the results alot.
I did notice that when I mask out the blurred layer it is also masking out the levels adjustment attached to that layer? I couldnt find any easy way to mask out the blur only? Any ideas...(or did I just miss something)
someotherbob 11 years ago
What you see is likely the result of falttening layers? Keep the 3 image layers separate from the 3 adjustment layers. When you mess with the blur layer mask, it should show through the lower layers without causing any exposure changes, since you are not changing any of the exposure layers.
murburger01 11 years ago
i will look at this when at home!
Kudos! Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!
RockThumper [deleted] 11 years ago
That's a great technique, allowing you to add sharpness wherever you like without changing the brightness of the final image.
For those working in PaintShop Pro, provided you have the levels adjustment layer as the top layer in each major group you don't need another levels adjustment layer for the middle layer. :)
brentbat 11 years ago
Hey Someotherbob,

First of all, great tutorial, thanks for taking the time.
Question for you though, when I follow your tutorial, I can't work out what the function is of the middle two layers.

1) Bottom layer = background
2) Levels adjustment to boost exposure of background

Top two layers are the blurred layer with levels adjustment (blend mode multiplied), so what do layers 3 & 4 do? I could hide these layers and not see any noticable difference.

I must be missing a step somewhere.

Thanks in advance


So wh
someotherbob 11 years ago
Let's ignore the exposure adjustment layers and the bottom one for now, so we can talk about the top 2 photo layers.

The top one is blurred, the other one is sharp. Without masking, all you see the blur across the entire picture. Masking the blur lets some parts of the next layer down show through and be seen as sharp.

These 2 layers need to be combined with an over exposure to make up the blurred Orton layer, which really is now partially blurred. But you still need an overeposure that is applied across the whole picture.

Then add in the over exposed bottom layer, the multiply step works correctly. You can of course add masking in the exposure adjustment layers to keep spots from being too dark and others too light.

The purpose for grouping is so that they can be acted on as a whole for the multiply step. This is the same overall effect as flattening, but allowing you to go into each layer and make further adjustments.

I always like to avoid flattening until I make a JPG.
namroff 11 years ago
Hey Bob--great tutorial! Your method is much more convenient than some others I've seen--going to try it right away. Thanks!
Kiwifirst (Lee) 11 years ago
Fantastic Video, really informative, especially the brightness control. I really need to watch it again, never thought to use mask layers within the effect, If you ever get round to it, I would love to be able to print off a wirtten copy of how you did it. Of course, you probably have a million other things to do.
queguenae [deleted] 11 years ago
Se agradeceria si alguien lo traduciera al español
TimFromWales 11 years ago
Great tutorial... Gonna see if I can do some of that layer trickery with PanitShop..

Little_Ricky 11 years ago
Just watched the video last night. Great job and thank you so much for taking the time to produce it. I learned quite a bit from it.
Mike Cohn PRO 11 years ago
Bob, thanks so much for sharing this technique. It's great to be able to selectively keep parts of the image sharp. In following your video there is one change I found I had to make in order the maintain the proper exposure when using the sharpening mask. I'm using Photoshop CS2 and I found I had to eliminate (or disable) the levels adjustment layer associated with the middle image layer. If I didn't, erasing parts of the blurred top layer to regain sharpness resulted in over exposing those areas. Here's my first attempt using your technique where I kept sharpness in the eyes, lips, and teeth.

McKenna & 'Cupcake' Revisited
Brad Ells. 10 years ago
big thanks for the great video, nice to see how others are doin it.

thanks for postin.
rickm FL 10 years ago
Thanks for the tutorial. Can the video be downloaded? I would really like to have this in file.
dewi silvana 10 years ago
thanks for the tutorial. really help me a lot .
Weird_Aunt_Martha 10 years ago
I really want to try this and think your tutorial will be extremely helpful. But help! I am stuck in Elements 5.0 and struggling to follow/find everything. I am not a photoshop wizard, but I'd sure love to try Orton!!
tino.valen 10 years ago
I thank you too Bob
Jobe Roco 10 years ago
Good tutorial. Works quite well! Thanks!
latarea_kamparea Posted 9 years ago. Edited by latarea_kamparea (member) 9 years ago
Useful Tutorial. Nice Job !!!
Shuggie!! 9 years ago
Viewed it .. didn't understand a damn thing! Viewed it again .. a flickr of light appeared! Viewed it again, understood it, liked it, played with the technique, got hooked .. and have just joined the group. Nice one, Bob ....
whitecat sg PRO 9 years ago
This is a tutorial that I found and used to give my first try at Orton...
KayCpics 9 years ago
Thanks for the link whitecat.
comandornorington 8 years ago
i'm a new here and i like you very much

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