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How to turn a colour image into one with split tone

Updated on June 3, 2013
Add split tone effect to your images in GIMP
Add split tone effect to your images in GIMP

In this tutorial I want to show you an easy and quick way to make your image look like it has only two colour tones in it. This technique is known as split-toning. What’s best is that this method can be used for variety of images from landscapes and architecture to still life and portraits.

If you don’t have FX-Foundry installed in your GIMP, you can get it from here because we will need one of its scripts.

Step 1

Open your image in GIMP by dragging it from a folder and dropping in on GIMP canvas or going to File / Open / find your image in folder / Open.

Desaturate your image going to Colours / Desaturate and choose Luminosity.

Step 2

Go to FX-Foundry / Color / Split Tone. Leave Highlight colour as it is, but for Shadow colour choose “0d127c”, press OK.

You should have three layers (Background, Shadows, and Highlights) as shown in Fig 1.

Fig. 1 How to turn a colour image into split tone in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 1 How to turn a colour image into split tone in GIMP 2.8

Step 3

Set Shadows layer to Colour opacity 100%, duplicate it and set this layer to Overlay, reduce opacity to about 25%.

Step 4

Set layer Highlights to Grain Merge, reduce opacity to 65%, duplicate it and set this layer to Colour, reduce opacity to 58%. Now you should have 5 layers, see Fig 2.

Fig. 2 How to turn a colour image into split tone in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 2 How to turn a colour image into split tone in GIMP 2.8

Step 5

Go to Image / Merge Visible Layers.

Step 6

Go to Colors / Hue-Saturation. Enter 8 for Hue and press OK.

Step 7

Create a New Transparent Layer by clicking on the first icon at the bottom of the layers dialogue or right click on the background layer choose New Layer / Transparency.

Now we will add some vignette. Go to Tools / GEGL operation / Vignette.

I usually change only Radius and Softness. For this image I chose: Radius – 1.60 and Softness – 0.60 see Fig 3.

Fig. 3 Final result of how to turn a colour image into split tone in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 3 Final result of how to turn a colour image into split tone in GIMP 2.8

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Step 8

Go to Image / Merge Visible Layers. Next flatten your image by going to Image / Flatten.

You are done, now you can save your image. Go to File / Export (for GIMP 2.8).

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Have any questions about GIMP, leave them in comments.

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    • Dina Blaszczak profile imageAUTHOR

      Dina Blaszczak 

      6 years ago from Poland

      @ Parks McCants Thanks for reading :)

    • Parks McCants profile image

      Parks McCants 

      6 years ago from Eugene Oregon U.S.A.

      Thank you. Well done!

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