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We're going to learn three quick ways to brighten a person's eyes in a portrait. The first thing that we're going to do, is we're going to remove any stray eyelashes or any veins that are in the eye that are distracting. And in order to do this, I'm going to work on the Background Layer, here. Of course we could always make a copy of the Background Layer if we wanted to. But I think I'll work directly on it using Cmd Plus, I'm going to zoom in. That's Ctrl Plus on Windows. And then, I'm going to use the spacebar to temporary access the hand tools so that I can look at the eye on the right hand side of our screen. Now, I want to remove this eyelash right here as well as this one. In order to do that, I will select the Patch tool. I have the patch set to Source.
So if I click and drag a marquee around the eyelash, and then drag over to the right to tell Photoshop to select from this area right here and patch that eyelash area, it will do that. I'll click to Go Ahead and Deselect. If we have other, small veins, we can select those by just dragging, the mark key around it, and then just moving the patch tool, to a clearer area of the eye, in order to replace that information. Of course, the nice thing is, is when I'm doing this, Photoshop is automatically blending all the tones and colors for me.
It's a really quick way to just remove anything in the eye that might be a little bit distracting. Remove this right here, and then maybe this one eyelash here that's moving down. Maybe one more, right there. Okay. Now, in order to brighten the eyes, I'll switch to the Lasso tool. So, I'll tap the l key. The hot spot is at the tip of that black arrow, but, we can also tap the caps lock key. When we enable that, we get the cross hairs. And now, I'm just going to make a loose selection right here around the whites of the eyes. If I want to add to the selection I need to hold down the Shift key. Shift key I get a little plus icon next to the cursor there, that tells me that I'm adding to my selection, and then I'll hold down the Spacebar and scoot over to the other eye...
Again, holding down the Shift key in order to add to my selection. And then one more time in that last area there. And of course, don't worry if you make a mistake, if you've added a little bit too much then just hold down the Option or the ALT key and you can come back in here and subtract that area. If you didn't add quite enough, you can hold down the Shift key and then add to that area. Alright, once I have both eyes selected, at the bottom of the Layers Panel I will add a huge saturation adjustment layer. This time I do want to remove all the color in the eye. So instead of selecting a color range like yellows, like we did for the teeth. I'm going to leave this set to master and then we'll decrease the saturation. Now, the hue saturation adjustment layer, we can see that it's underneath the softened skin layer.
I'm actually going to change the stacking order on my layers panel by clicking and dragging it up to the top. I can also see that there's a little bit of a hard edge to this selection, so using the properties panel, clicking on the mask. I'll increase the amount of feather so that we get a soft edge. I want to reuse this selection in order to brighten the whites of the eyes as well, so I'll hold down the command key on Mac or the control key on Windows and I'll click on the mask thumbnail of the hue saturation 2 adjustment layer. That loads that mask as a selection.
I can then select the curves adjustment layer and I'll just brighten the curve a little bit by clicking and dragging up. Obviously if you go too far it starts looking very odd so we'll just make a very slight change by dragging up the curve. We'll close the properties panel And then, I want to just dodge a little bit around the iris of the eye. And I want to burn a little bit right along the edge here. That's going to increase the contrast in this area and make the eye appear a little bit brighter which is going to make the person look a little bit more awake or a little bit more aware.
In order to do that, I'm going to add a new layer at the top of my layer stack. I'll hold down the option key when I click on the new layer icon, it'll be the alt key on windows. And I'm going to name this brighten eyes, and I need to change the blend mode. If I'm going to paint with black or white in this layer in order to add contrast. I want to change the blend mode. To overlay, then I want to fill it with an overlaying neutral color and click OK. Now also let my paint brush by tapping the b key, we get a smaller brush by using the left bracket key, and I can see that my (UNKNOWN) color is black.
So, with the decreased opacity of may be 40 to 50% I just want to click and drag right around the outside of the eye. Of course if you make a mistake just use Command or Control z. And I think this is a little bit heavy but that's okay. I'm going to decrease the opacity of the entire layer in a moment. Of course we don't have to do it in one stroke. You can do it in multiple strokes, just know that because you're painting at a lower opacity, if you paint over the same spot more than once it's going to build up the opacity in that area. Now obviously this is way too much but that's okay, we're going to adjust that in a minute.
So I'll tap the X key to exchange my foreground and background color... And I'm going to use the right bracket to get a larger brush. And I'm just going to paint in the lower area of the eye right here. Again I can tell that I'm adding way too much contrast but once I'm done with both eyes I can then go to the opacity of that layer and bring that way down to maybe 20 or 30 percent. Now, let's zoom out, I'll use command 0, and we can toggle on and off the visibility of the brighten eyes layer.
And you can see how it's just kind of adding a little bit of brightness to the eyes, making her look like she's a little bit more alert. We also want to toggle the visibility of the curves layer. I think I've brightened those whites of the eyes a bit too much. So I can either change the curve Or, I can simply decrease the opacity of the curve adjustment layer. Toggling on and off again. And we can also toggle the hue saturation adjustment layer, just to see that we've removed any color from the eye. And finally, if we hold down the option or the alt key, we can click on the eye icon next to the background, just to show a quick before. And after of our retouching.
So there you go, three quick techniques to just brighten the eyes in a portratit.
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