Retouch Eyes Professionally, Open Eyes

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How to Retouch Eyes Professionally

One of the most important elements in a portrait is the person's eyes. They are the element which draws our attention and which, if properly shot, can change entirely the picture. The following tutorial will teach you how to use the tools available in Adobe Photoshop to edit a person's eyes in a portrait. You will learn to add color intensity to them, some highlights and make them look sharper. The resulting image will have a more fashion picture aspect and will make your model look more glamorous.

Step 1

Start up Photoshop and open the picture you want to edit. Go to the File menu at the top of the main window and select "Open", from the list. Browse through the folders on your hard drive until you found the photo you want to edit. In order to learn these steps better, is it recommended to use for the first time a picture representing the person's face, so that any modifications you perform at the eyes level will be easily noticeable.

Step 2

Editing the person's eyes should be the final manipulation you perform on your image. Make sure you have finished doing all the other modifications (crop, contrast and brightness adjustment, tone correction and others) before following the steps presented in this tutorial.

                                   

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Step 3

You have opened the image. If you look at the Layers palette, you will see that you have one layer, which contains the actual image, the "Background" layer. You need now to create a new blank layer. Use the Ctrl+Shift+N key combination to open the "New Layer" dialog box.

Step 4

The new layer will hold the shadows, so that simply rename it "shadows". Click the "OK" button and Photoshop will add the "shadows" layer above the Background layer.

Step 5

You now need to select both eyes in the same time. For this, use the "Lasso" tool which you will find in the Tools palette (or you can select it by pressing the L key).

Step 6

Using the "Lasso" tool, draw a selection around one of the eyes. Hold down "Shift" to add to the initial selection and then select the other eye in the same manner (keep pressing the Shift key to instruct Photoshop not to throw away the first selection while selecting the second eye)

Step 7

Now you will add some shadows to the top of the eyes. Select the "shadow" layer in the Layers palette. Grab the "Brush tool" from the Tools palette (or you can use its keyboard shortcut by pressing B)

Step 8

Select a large enough, soft-edged brush. Its size can be around 40 or 50 pixels (it will vary from case to case, depending on your image's size). Use the selected brush to paint along the top edge of both eyes in order to add a shadow.

Step 9

Now that you have painted the shadows, you should change the blend mode of the "shadow" layer from Normal to Multiply. You should also lower the layer's opacity to around 40%.

Step 10

You can deselect both eyes now. Do this by pressing the Ctrl+D key combination to have them deselected.

Step 11

Now it is time to deal with the eye's iris. Use the "Elliptical Marquee Tool" (which you will find in the Tools palette) and drag a selection around each iris. Just like when you have selected the eyes, hold down the Shift key not to lose the first selection.

Step 12

You might not select only the iris when using the elliptical marquee tool, but also some parts above or below then. Switch back to selecting the Lasso tool and holding down the Alt key, drag around each area you did not want to select (by holding the "Alt" key, you will be using the "Subtract from selection" option). You will see that each time you release the mouse button, the respective part of the selection will disappear.

Step 13

At this point you will only have the irises selected. You need now to copy the iris in the both eyes to a new layer. But before this, you should soften the selection. Go to the "Select" menu found at the top of the screen and chose "Feather".

Step 14

In the "Feather" dialog box, enter a value of around 5 pixels and press "OK". Click next on the "Background layer" (select it from the Layers palette). Press Atrl+Alt+J on the keyboard to copy the selection onto a new layer above the "Background" layer. Rename the new layer "dodge".

Step 15

You will applying an Unsharp Mask filter to the "dodge" layer. Make sure you have the "dodge" layer selected and go to the "Filter" menu at the top of the Photoshop main window and select "Sharpen" and then "Unsharp Mask". Use an "Amount" value of 500%, a "Radius" value of 2 pixels and a "Threshold" value of 4 levels.

Step 16

Because after all these settings done, the "dodge" layer's sharpening is too strong, reduce it to 50%.

Step 17

You will now add a highlight in the lower right corner of each iris. Use the "Dodge" tool (select it from the Tools palette or press the O key). At the top of the screen you will see the "Options bar". Modify the "Range" value to "Highlights" and the "Exposure" value to 50%.

Step 18

Select a small soft-edged brush (its size should be around 10 pixels, again, depending on your picture's size). Paint a few strokes in the bottom right part of the iris. You will see that with each stroke you increase the amount of highlight applied to that area. Be careful not to exaggerate, especially is there was some highlight in the iris to start with.

Step 19

Select the "dodge" layer from the Layers palette. Hold the "Alt" key and click the "New Layer" icon which you will find at the bottom of the Layers palette window. Rename the new layer to "left highlight" and click "OK".

Step 20

Select the newly create "left highlight" layer (we have named it "left highlight" because we will use it to add a highlight to the left part of the iris) from the Layers palette. For the foreground color select white (press D and then X). Use a soft-edged brush again and paint a white highlight on the left side of each iris.

Step 21

Do not worry if the image does not look too natural at this point, as there is some more editing to be done. Select the "left highlight" layer from the Layers palette. Now go up to the blend option (you will find it in the top left of the Layers palette) and change the blend mode (change it from "Normal" to "Overlay").

Step 22

You will need one more layer above the "left highlight" one. Select the latter and use the following keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+Shift+N) to open the "New Layer" dialog. Rename the new layer "makeup" and click "OK" to have it created.

Step 23

Now use the "Eyedropper" tool which you will find in the Tools palette (or select it by clicking the "I" shortcut on the keyboard).

Step 24

Click on an area in the shadows around the eye which is darker than the person's skin. Be sure not to select a black shade, just a darker color. You will use this color to add some makeup.

Step 25

Paint around the eyes to add some makeup with the darker sampled color. Use the "Brush Tool" to draw around and above the eyes.

Step 26

Use the "Gaussian blur" filter to smooth the makeup. Select it from the Filter menu > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Select a "Radius" value of around 10 pixels and click "OK" .

Step 27

Select the "makeup" layer from the Layers palette . Go to the blend mode options (you will find it in the top left of the Layers palette) and change the mode from "Normal" to "Soft Light".

Step 28

It is possible that after applying the makeup, some rough spots may have resulted. Go to the Tools palette and select the "Eraser tool" (or select it by using its keyboard shortcut: E).

Step 29

Select the "makeup" layer from the Layers palette. Set the Eraser tool to a soft-edged brush and use it to erase any unwanted areas around the eyes.

Step 30

You have finished editing eyes in the portrait and you have to admit that at this point they draw much more attention to the person's face then before. All you have to do now is to save the final image with the desired name: go to the File menu on top on the main Photoshop window and select the "Save as" option.

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