Red-eye is a very common annoyance, and at some point all of us have been made to look like an extra from Terminator or a contender for a new Omen franchise. It is caused when your camera’s flash fires and light is reflected from the retina within the eye. It can be fairly tricky to remove and you may have seen plenty of gizmo’s claiming to be red-eye’s magic cure.
In the following tutorial, I will show you a few methods for the manually removing of red-eye, without depending on ‘hit-and-miss’ tools.
Method 1: Use selective color replace
- Make a selection around each cornea (lens) of the effected eyes using the Lasso or Polygonal Lasso tool.
- Call up the ‘Replace Color’ dialogue box: Image > Adjustments > Replace Color…
- Take your cursor over to the red part of the eye and click to select.
- Decrease/Increase ‘Fuzziness’ until preview shows all of affected area.
- Reduce ‘Saturation’ by between 50-75%
- Reduce ‘Lightness’ until the eye looks dark enough.
- Increase and decrease Fuzziness until the desire look is attained.
- Click ‘OK’ to complete, and de-select (CTRL ‘D’) to close selection.
Method 2: Channel Mixer
- Call up your Layers floating palette: Window > Layers.
- Ensuring that the relevant layer is high-lighted (should you have more than one), click on the Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and select ‘Channel Mixer’ from the pop-up menu.
- Drag the Red slider to 0
- Drag the Blue slider to 60%
- Drag the Green slider to 60%
- Click OK
- Now, reset the colour chip at the bottom of the tools palette by pressing ‘d’ on your keyboard. White should now be the foreground and black the background colour.
- Hold down CTRL and press Backspace. This will fill the layer mask with black, which will hide the effects of the set colour mix.
- Choose the Brush tool from the tools palette and select a decent, soft brush, big enough to cover the cornea of the affected eyes.
- Paint, with white over the affected area. The red should now disappear.
- Should you paint out too much of the original colour around the eyes, flip your colour chip so that black in the foreground colour ‘x’ and paint to bring back (or hide the colour mix) the original colour.
Done. There are many methods for removing red eye in Adobe Photoshop. I tend to opt for the latter of these two. Using the Channel Mixer, or indeed any Adjustment Layer, offers great flexibility.
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