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Sooner Shadow

Photograph Color Enhancement-Change The Color Of Eyes?

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Honestly, I don't know whether or not there's a tutorial for this already, but I'm in a mini-tutorial writing mood anyway, so I just made a little demo. ;)

Here's the starting image I'll be using: (Carrie Underwood, of course. :P )

carrie_eyes_example_orig.jpg

With your original image open, create a new layer. I'm going to call this layer "Enhancement" from here in, but you can name it whatever you wish (or not name it, which is usually what I end up doing ;) ). Use the color wheel to select a vibrant color. It doesn't matter which color at the moment, as we will be adjusting it later, but we will need a color of some sort to adjust - black or white won't work as easily.

Using the Line/Curve tool ( :LineCurveTool: ), trace out the outline of the iris on the Enhancement layer, then use the Paintbrush ( :PaintBrushTool: ) to paint in the center of the outline, so the eyes are completely covered over with the color you chose at the start:

carrie_eyes_example_inp.jpg

I applied a slight blur to mine as the cut was fairly obvious, and the blur helped to smooth out the transition.

carrie_eyes_example_sol.jpg

At this point, double-click on the layer "Enhancement" in the Layers panel to bring up the Layer Properties dialog. Under Blending, click the drop-down that says "Normal" and select "Overlay". This will change the blending mode of the layer, overlaying the color on this layer over the top of the visible layers underneath it.

carrie_eyes_example_adj.jpg

Now, I already did some testing before I chose my color to find which one would cause the change I wanted, but odds are it won't look quite as good at first - the first color I chose looked terrible. To adjust it, make sure the "Enhancement" layer is selected, then open the Hue/Saturation adjustment (Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation... or [Ctrl]+[shift]+) and play with the sliders to get a color that works. The Hue slider changes the base color (green to blue to purple, et cetera), the Saturation changes the intensity of the color (how colorful the color is), and the Lightness changes the brightness of the color. Play around with the sliders and you can get just about any color - for example, here's an adjustment with a green outcome:

carrie_eyes_example_adj_g.jpg

When you're using blending modes, the brightness heavily alters how much impact the new color has in changing the old color. With Overlay, low values on the slider tend to change the final brightness a lot, and higher values give a more subtle effect. Similarly, a low value on the Saturation slider will reduce your "Enhancement" color nearer to gray, and grayscale values don't do too much by way of changing color. Each color will react differently, and the final color depends upon what color the eye was in the original photo, so this may require a good bit of tinkering on all three sliders.

Note that Overlay is not the only blending mode that will work. I find it often yields the most realistic results, but other modes can result in interesting effects as well. Check out the same green as above, but on Reflect instead of Overlay:

carrie_eyes_example_adj_g_r.jpg

It's up to you what type of effect you're going for, but in the end it's pretty simple - just a small fill of color over the iris and a change in blending mode. A lot of tinkering room, but nothing too complex.

I hope that helps a bit. If you have any questions, feel free to ask 'em.

Cheers, and happy adjusting. :)

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