Photoshop Tutorial – Change Eye Color
Posted on December 11, 2008 by Bo
When working with portrait photography, you may want to change or enhance the color of your subject’s eyes. This can be easily done inside Photoshop CS3 and CS4. In this example, I will be using CS4, but this can be done in just about any version of Photoshop.
This technique can also be used for elements other than eyes. You can effectively change or enhance the colors of any object or photo inside Photoshop. For our purposes here, we’ll stick with stick with the eyes. Just keep in mind that you can apply these steps to any object to change its color.
1. Add Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
First, open the image that needs the color change. In the Adjustments panel, click on the icon (indicated in the image to the right) to add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. If the Adjustments panel isn’t visible, you can open it by going to the Windows menu option and choosing Adjustments.
2. Make adjustments
Toward the bottom of the Hue/Saturation panel, make sure the Colorize box is checked. Now start dragging the top Hue slider until you get the desired color. You’ll immediately notice that everything in your image is having the color applied to it. Don’t worry about that, we’ll address that in the next step.
After you’ve found the color you want, adjust the Saturation slider to give the color more or less saturation. Leave the Lightness slider at 0…like, always.
Since the layer mask is white, it is exposing the effects of your hue/saturation adjustment layer to everything in your image We need to first switch the fill color of the layer mask to black. To do this, simply click on the layer mask thumbnail to make sure it’s selected and press Ctrl + I (Cmd + I on Mac) to invert the layer mask. This will hide the effects of the adjustment layer.
4. Paint in the color
Now grab the Brush Tool (hit B key), make sure you have a small, soft brush, set white as your foreground color, and paint in the iris of your subject’s eyes. As you paint you’ll begin to see the color adjustments you’ve made being applied to the eyes.
This is the point where you can change the color of any object in your image. Instead of painting in the eyes, simply paint over whichever object you want to change the color for.
Need to change the color of multiple objects? Simply create a new Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer for each new color you need. You have practically an unlimited number of adjustment layers that can be added to your image.
5. Fine Tuning
At this point you can drop the opacity of your adjustment layer to reduce the intensity of the color; conversely, to made the adjustments more dramatic you can increase the Saturation in the Adjustments panel.
It’s easy to let things get out of hand with these adjustments. It all depends on the level of realism you’re wanting to achieve with your image. With any image adjustment, it helps to get the image to where you think it looks good, then walk away from your computer for a few moments. When you come back you’ll have a fresh perspective on the image and the adjustments you’ve made.
Check out the image to the right to see a comparison of the original, the slight adjustments, and the extreme adjustments.