The most advanced photo editing software offers special tools to quickly and easily remove red-eye from your photos. Often, though, these red-eye removal tools don’t work with the ‘beloved eye’: the glowing reflections of a white, green, red, or yellow eye that often appear in low-light photos of animals using a camera’s flash. . Because pets’ eyes aren’t always red, the automatic red-eye tools sometimes don’t work or don’t work at all.
This tutorial will show you how to fix an eye problem at home by simply painting over the problematic part of the eye in photo editing software; this shows the procedure in Photoshop Elements, but you can use any software that supports layers. Some basic knowledge of your program’s brush and layer features is helpful.
- Try Practice Image
- Set brush options
- Paint over the discolored pupil
- Temporarily hide the painted layer
- Paint a new shine in your eye
- End result for the dog
- Dealing with Shine Problems
- End result for a cat
Try Practice Image
Copy the drawing here to practice as you follow along.
Set brush options
Open an image. Then:
- Zoom in eye area of the pet.
Create a new, empty layer in your document.
- Click on your brush.
Set the brush to a medium soft edge and a size slightly larger than the pet’s problem area.
Set the paint color (foreground) to black.
You may need to use the elliptical brush shape when working with the cat’s eyes.
Paint over the discolored pupil
Click on each eye to paint in the reflections of the eyes. You may need to click the brush several times to cover the entire problem area. At this point, the eye will look strange because there is no glare from light reflection in it.
Temporarily hide the painted layer
Temporarily hide the layer where you painted over the eye in the last step. In Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, you can do this by clicking the eye icon next to the layer in the palette layers . Other software should have a similar method to temporarily hide a layer.
Paint a new shine in your eye
To make the eyes look natural, replace the reflected points of light that you painted over in the previous steps:
Set the brush to a very small (usually three to five pixels) stiff brush.
Set the paint color to white.
Create a new, empty layer above all other layers in your document.
With the painted layer hidden, you can see the original photo. Note where the glare appears in the original photo and click once with the brush directly above each eye glare in the original.
End result for the dog
Reveal the blank coat of paint and you should end up with a much better looking pet eye.
Dealing with Shine Problems
In some cases, the pet’s eye is so bad that you can’t find the original eye highlights. You have to guess where they should be based on the direction of the light and how other reflections appear in the photo. Remember that both eyes should be the same for both eyes.
If you feel it doesn’t look natural, just clean the layer and keep trying. If you can’t determine the location of the highlights, start in the middle of the students.
End result for a cat
This photo took a little more effort to get the right results, but the basic technique is the same and the results are a definite improvement.
This example required reshaping the brush and careful painting. The Eraser Tool cleaned up the black paint that had come out of the eye area on the cat’s fur. A light Gaussian blur on a coat of black paint blended the pupil with the iris.