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In this movie, I'll show you how to increase the color intensity as well as the brightness of a person's irises. And along the way I'll show you a great trick for selecting eyes. And I'm going to start things off by, of course, making sure the retouch layer is selected. And then I'll switch over to the Sponge tool, which not only allows you to desaturate colors but you can increase your saturation as well. Go ahead and switch the mode from Desaturate to Saturate. And then I'll press the Escape key so the modes no longer active here on the PC, and I'll press the 5 key in order to increase the Flow value to 50%.
Now you want your cursor to be about the same size as the iris, and as usual with these toning tools, you want to make sure that the Hardness value is set to 0% and I'm confirming this by right -clicking inside the image window. And then I'm going to click three times; one, two, three on each of the two irises so one, two, three on this one as well. I'll switch over to the Dodge tool which I can get by pressing Shift+O by the way. And I'm going to increase the Exposure value to 20% by pressing the 2 key.
And I'll reduce the size of my cursor once again so it matches the size of the iris, and I'll click once inside each one of the irises just to brighten them up slightly. So you can go farther with the modification if you want to, but to me that looks bright enough. Now let's say you want to push the color intensity even farther. You probably don't want to click any more times with the Sponge tool, because each time you modify the eye with the Sponge tool you also end up affecting the portions of the eyelids and skin above and below the iris. You're better off making any further changes using an Adjustment layer constrained inside of a layer mask, which means that we need to select the eyes and here's how.
As opposed to using the Quick Selection tool, or the Magic Wand, or even the Lasso tool, your best tool for selecting eyes is the Elliptical Marquee, and let me show you how that works. Select the Elliptical Marquee tool from the toolbox and then I'll go ahead and draw an ellipse, and I'm using the Spacebar to move it around here--that matches the top eyelid. And I'm not terribly concerned about the eyelashes, I just want to match the top eyelid like so. Then I'll scoot the image down and I'll press both the Shift and Alt keys, these would be the Shift and Option keys on a Mac, so I can create an intersecting selection, and I'll draw another elliptical marquee.
So I've got my Shift and Alt keys down and I'm using the Spacebar at the same time in order to move that selection around, until I've traced the bottom eyelid like so. And you don't have to exactly trace the eyelid as long as it's accurate below the iris, and then you release and you end up selecting the eye. Now I'm going to click on the blur layer, the top layer in the stack, and then I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac, drop down to the Black/White icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, click on it and choose Hue/Saturation. And because I have the Alt or Option key down that brings up the New Layer dialog box, I'll just name this layer eyes and click OK.
And then I'm going to scoot the Hue value over just a little bit to 5 so that I'm enhancing the green inside of these hazel eyes. Those kinds of hue modifications are totally up to you. You can go full on green if you want to or you can more emphasize the brown of the eyes as well. I'm going to take the value to +5 and then I'll tab to the Saturation value and take it to +30 so that we're bringing out even more color inside that iris. All right now I'll hide the Properties panel. Next I need to select the other eye, because currently it's not affected.
So I'll go ahead and trace the top eyelid once again using the Elliptical Marquee, and then I'll press the Shift+Alt keys or the Shift+Option keys on a Mac and I'll trace that bottom eyelid like so. And again you want to get it accurate underneath the iris, elsewhere it's not that important, as long as you don't select into the eyelid that is. And once you get a loss in shape selection like this then make sure that your layer mask thumbnail is selected inside the Layers panel, confirm that your background color is white, as it is in my case, and press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on a Mac in order to fill that portion of the layer mask with white so that both eyes are white and everything else in the layer mask is black, and you end up achieving this final effect.
All right I'm going click inside the image to deselect it and I'm going to reset my view by pressing Ctrl+Zero or Command+Zero on a Mac and then zoom back in a little bit here. And just for the sake of comparison here, I'm going to Alt+Click or Option+Click on the eye in front of the background layer. That is our original portrait shot entirely unedited by the way. This is the raw image from the digital camera, and this is the final version of the image, thanks to the immense power of retouching here inside Photoshop.
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