Enhancing Eyes 101
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Old 09-16-2007   #1
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Default Enhancing Eyes 101

I've gotten a few requests and a lot of interest in my post processing in the portrait area so I figured I would try and share a few tricks I've learned over the years.


This 1 is dedicated to enhancing eyes and is aimed at the beginner photoshop user, so a lot of stuff might be common knowledge for many


Ok, I'll start with a picture of me that needs some work. I wish a had a better looking candidate for you all to stare at, but my mug will have to do


I'm going to use Photoshop CS3 for this tutorial so hopefully if you don't use PS you can still get something out of it.


I also wanted to add the disclaimer that there are many any ways to do things in PS. This is just a few tricks that work well for me, but there are probably 10 different ways if not more to accomplish the same thing.





Now for the enhancing Eyes tutorial

First thing I do is open up my image and check it out for sharpness and blemish's I need to address.

In my case I clearly need sharpening on everything do to guessing on the focus when I set-up my camera for this self portrait. I must have been a few inch's off

I also need to fix a few blemish's under the eyes, lip, and forehead. But this is just going to be for the eyes so I'll start there.

I'm going to run the TLR Capture sharpening script first to get a nice base coat of sharpening done. Default settings will work fine, but don't hesitate to experiment!! You can get the scripts here if you want to check them out. If not, use your regular sharpening method, but don't overdo it!



The TLR script will create 3 layers for you that you individually adjust with the opacity slider. I usually crank up the dark layer and leave the others at default. Seems to work for most of the stuff I edit. Notice how soft my image is.


Before:





After:




Next I flatten the image and duplicate the layer. This is now a nice base to work with and fall back on if stuff goes south



Now for the eyes

First I like to grab the laso tool. Not just cause it looks and sounds cool, but because its fast and easy to use.



Spaciously make a selection around the eye like so:



Then hit CTRL + J to JUMP that selection to a new layer:



Then go to Filter>Sharpen>Smart Sharpen and apply more sharpening to the eyes:
I used the fallowing settings as my image was really soft. If your image was sharp to begin with you should not need as much as me Play with the settings to get a feel for what it’s doing. Don’t worry about the rest of the area that looks over sharpened; just concentrate on the eyeball when adjusting the sharpness.



Next we will add a layer mask. While holding down the ALT key press the layer mask Icon on the bottom of the layers palette. This will create a black layer mask next to the eye layer concealing the sharpening you just applied. Remember Black conceals, white reveals!!!




Next select the brush tool and size it up so it’s just smaller than the eyeball at almost maximum hardness 90%. Zoom way into the image so it’s easy to see like so:





Then make sure you have white selected in the color pallet and the black mask is selected on the eye layer. It should have rectangles around the mask indicating it’s selected.




Then paint in the eyes at 100 percent opacity. You can then lower the brush opacity to say 20% and soften the brush to paint some detail into the eye lashes or eyebrows if you wish.




When you’re done you can Shift + Alt Click the mask icon in the layers pallet and it will bring up a nice red overlay of what you have done like so:




Alt clicking the mask will give you this view which is also very helpful to see what you have painted. notice the gray vs white colors. Gray is where I had the brush set to 20% opacity, white is 100% opacity.



When you’re happy with the results you hit CTRL + E to merge the eye layer down.
You should have 2 layers, the original and the layer with the sharper eyeballs.

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Old 09-16-2007   #2
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Default Re: Enhancing Eyes 101

Next we want to fix those ugly bags under my eyes. There are many ways to do this, but my favorite is as fallows. Select the Patch tool from the tool palette. It’s under the healing brush tool. Then draw around the bag area like so:



Then once the area is selected click inside the selection and drag it to a nice smooth skin area on the face like so:




Notice how the skin changes as you drag it along Then when you find a good spot release the mouse. The eye will be remapped and look very smooth like this:




Now with the bag area STILL selected hit CTRL+SHIFT+F to bring up the fade dialog box. You can also go edit>fade if you prefer Fade it down to around 50% or so. Some eyes need less or more than others. An opacity of 44 looks good for this eye.




Now do the same thing for the other eye.

For a comparison here is a before and after visual recap:
Before:

After:



Next create a new blank layer so we can whiten the eyes a bit.



Now select the brush tool at a medium hardness and VERY low opacity of 3-5%.

Then paint in the white areas with the new layer selected. This works really well!! Once you’re done with that, you can lower the opacity of the new layer to fine tune it.

Here is the result:



Once you get that all set, you can merge the layer down CTRL+E and then create another new layer. This layer is to clone out the red veins in the eye. Select the clone stamp tool and make sure use all layers is selected. Set the opacity to about 50% or so and clone out the veins by ALT clicking in the white areas and then clicking/ painting over the veins.




Here is a before and after:






Then lower the opacity of that layer to about 50%. That will make it blend back in so it doesn’t look fake.




Now for the last step!! Make a new layer and change it’s blending mode to multiply then select the eyedropper tool. Select a dark area in the eye to get your desired color.





Then grab the brush tool and change it’s blending mode to multiply.


Now paint around the very edge of the eye to add some POP to it. Don’t worry about how dark it is, we will fix that is a second Try and do a nice even stroke around the eye. I had a hard time doing this step, because I'm using a mouse on a desk at work




Now once that is done, zoom out to 100% and adjust the opacity of the layer to around 25-40% so it looks good.



Now lets see a before and after to conclude this tutorial on eyes
Before:




After:



I hope you find this helpful and just let me know if you have any questions or suggestions I’ll gladly add more pix or try and explain things better if need be.

Best,
Jay
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Old 09-16-2007   #3
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Default Re: Enhancing Eyes 101

Many thanks, you make it look easy, even though it is tough.

thanks,
Danny
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Old 09-26-2007   #4
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Default Re: Enhancing Eyes 101

aw man, where'd the pics go?
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Old 09-26-2007   #5
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Default Re: Enhancing Eyes 101

I think wormified.com is just running a little slow.
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Old 09-26-2007   #6
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Default Re: Enhancing Eyes 101

Actually it's on its a$$ right now It should be up any time, but I'm not sure when unfortunately. If it's down much longer I'm going to just re-host the pics somewhere else for you all

Best,
Jay
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Old 09-26-2007   #7
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Default Re: Enhancing Eyes 101

If it becomes a long term issue, PM me Jay.
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Old 09-26-2007   #8
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Default Re: Enhancing Eyes 101

Cool...I'll check back later...
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Old 09-26-2007   #9
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Default Re: Enhancing Eyes 101

Thanks John

Thanks for the patience Josh, I'll send you a PM when they are back up

Best,
Jay
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Old 09-28-2007   #10
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Default Re: Enhancing Eyes 101

Good one Jay. A lot of your steps are very similar to my own, but you are using different tools to accomplish them. Always great to see how other people are doing it!


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