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Head Games: retouching portraits > Changing Eye Color

Changing Eye Color

Well, Kevin Ames did it to me again. He calls me up, and we’re talking about how I have just about finished the update to this book, and he says, “You’re going to hate me again.” I let him know I hadn’t stopped hating him for all the extra work he made me do in the last version of the book, then he says, “No, you’re really gonna hate me.” Stupidly, I said, “Why?” and he said, “Have you tried the Color Replacement tool for changing eye color?” He’s really getting on my nerves.

Step One.
Open the photo that contains an eye color you want to change. In this case, the subject has green eyes and we want to change them to blue (hey, it’s not me—that’s what the client wants).


Step Two.
Go to the Toolbox and choose the Color Replacement tool (as shown here). (Note: It’s hidden behind the Healing Brush.) If you take a good look at the Toolbox icon for this tool (when it’s highlighted like the one shown here), it looks as if Adobe had this tool in mind for removing red eye (and it actually works quite well for that I might add, but we’re going to do a more respectable job here).

Step Three.
Now, you need to open a source photo, a photo that has the color eye you’d like. Take the Color Replacement tool and move it over the eye in your source photo. Hold the Option key (PC: Alt key) over the eye and click once to sample that eye color.

Step Four.
Now, switch back to the photo where you want to change the eye color, and begin painting over the eye. As you paint, the new color (from the blue eye you sampled earlier) replaces the green eye (as shown in the subject’s left eye here).

Step Five.
Here’s the final image, with the color changed on both eyes. If you’ve had any experience with using the Background Eraser tool (which erases regions based on color), you’ll feel right at home with this tool, which makes its changes based on color, and you can tweak how the tool “does its thing” using similar options in the Options bar (although the default settings work quite well for most situations).



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