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Changing eye colour to Blue in Photoshop
This tutorial is not about how to become Frank Sinatra, it’s intended to help you with retouching your photographs.
In the digital era, correcting photographs has become very easy but still we cannot leave everything to our camera or computer. It is always better to do some work manually because the results can be much better.
The topic of this tutorial is how to create Blue eyes. Of course, you can use similar methods to create Green and Brown eyes but I’d very careful with changing the eyes to Pink.
Ok let’s start. I found this photograph at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1113322.
Its quite good; but we could try to enhance this picture a little bit.
Technique 1 - The most basic technique to turn the eyes to Blue
1. Open the image in Photoshop
2. Go to Layers palette and create the new empty layer by clicking the “New Layer” icon in the bottom right corner of the palette.
3. Now change the New Layer blending mode from Normal to Soft Light
4. Pick some nice Blue shade for your foreground, something not too vivid and not too dull, I picked #3399CC
5. Select the Brush Tool and adjust the size of the brush using Left Bracket key “[” to decrease or Right Bracket key “]” to increase the size. If you hold down the SHIFT key you make the brush edges softer (“SHIFT+[“ ) or harder (“SHIFT+]”)
6. Now make sure you have New Layer selected. Start painting over the eyes. You’ll notice that colour is changing very subtley, and all the details are preserved.
7. The final effect should look like this.
If you want to adjust the effect , it’s very easy. If you think that effect is to strong, you can decrease the opacity of the New Layer. If you think the effect is to subtle, simply duplicate New Layer by dragging it onto New Layer Icon , or go to Layer > Duplicate Layer.
You could also change the blending mode of the New Layer from Soft Light to Color
This method is very similar to the previous one, but this time we’re going to use Photoshop’s Colour Replacement Tool instead of the Brush.
1. Open the image in Photoshop
2. Duplicate the Background Layer by dragging it onto “New Layer” icon ( Layer > Duplicate Layer)
3. Select the Color Replacement Tool and set your foreground to nice shade of Blue, I picked #3399CC ... again.
4. Paint over the Eyes ;)
5. And as the result you should see something similar to this
It looks good.. but still, it could be much better. So, let’s try the third way.
1. Open the Image in Photoshop
2. Now we have to extract “the eyes” and copy them onto a separate layer. There are many ways to do it, we’re going to use the Quick Mask Mode. Below the Foreground / Background colour indicator there is small icon, click it !
Now a weird thing happens. The colour indicators automatically swap to black and white, and if you try to paint, you’ll see it’s painting red! Don’t panic. That’s how we create a Quick Mask - we basically paint it. So paint over “the eyes” on the image.
3. Once you’ve finished painting, click again on Quick Mask icon - you’ll see that the Quick Mask has converted itself to a selection.
The problem is that selection has to be inversed so just go to Select > Inverse ( CTRL+SHIFT+I)
4. Now we create new layer from the selection go to Layer > New > Layer via Copy or hit CTRL+J
5. Now you have a new layer with “The Eyes” only
6. Go to Image > Adjustments > Curves (CTRL+M) and manipulate the curves to get something similar to this, then press OK
7. Go to Image > Adjustments > HUE/SATURATION (CTRL+U) and use settings below.
Make sure that you have ticked “Colorize”. Then press OK.
8. Now your image should look something like this
It’s almost perfect, just one more thing
9. Select Dodge Tool, set its opacity to 20%. Then click on the background layer, and paint over the white areas in the eyes. Remember: don’t go too far or else she’ll look like a Zombie, be subtle ;)
Side by side comparisons
Now You can compare 4 images and see which technique suits you most:
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