Changing Eye/Skin Colour (PHSH Effect #15)

I know, I know, ‘you’re revisiting effects already? Does that mean you’re out of ideas?’ No, no it doesn’t. There’s no need to worry, I just thought I’d revisit this one, because I actually discovered an easier/more effective way to change someone’s eye colour, and this technique can be used to change the colour of more than just eyes! You can also do skin colour, hair, and pretty much whatever else you want!

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For this tutorial, we’ll be using the below black and white picture of an eye, but feel free to use any picture you like. Since you’re just starting, I’d recommending choosing a black and white picture to practice with, but note that this technique does work on pre-coloured pictures as well.

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Step 1:

Okay, by now you should know Step 0 is to always open a new work file, and to place your picture onto the document. After this, go over to the bottom of the Tools Panel on the left-hand side, and click on the button that’s under the Colour Swatches.

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Step 2:

Once you clicked that, go to your Paintbrush, and change the size/hardness of it, then begin to paint over the part of the picture you want to change the colour of. (In this case, it’s the iris) When you begin painting, it may turn red-ish/orange, don’t worry! This happens just to show you the part you’re painting. It won’t stay orange after you’re done this step.

For eyes, I like to try to get the size of the paint brush as close to the size of the iris as I can, so that I can paint with just one click, so the edges aren’t ‘bumpy’. Also, don’t worry about painting over the pupil for this step. We can clean up the paint later.

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Step 3:

Now that you’ve painted over the entire part you want to change, click the button under the Colour Swatches again, and you’ll notice the red goes away, and there should now be a slow-flashing dotted line around your image – this is showing that you’ve selected it.

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Step 4:

Go up to Select – Invert, this will now select the part you painted, instead of the part outside of that. (Don’t ask me why it defaults to selecting everything you didn’t paint, I have no idea)

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Okay, at this point, you can now change the colour by one of two ways:

Way #1:

Step 5:

With the iris still selected, go to the bottom of the Layers Panel, and go to where you’d make a colour a background, and select Solid Colour from the menu.

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Step 6:

After selecting the colour you want, at the top of the Layers Panel, there should be a box next to the Opacity drop-down that says Normal. Click on that to bring down a drop-down menu, and then select either Screen or Overlay from the menu. (Use whichever one makes the colour look the best)

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OR

Way #2:

Step 5:

Now that the part you want to change colours is selected, go to the top of your Layers Panel, and you should see a panel sitting on top with tabs in it, that are labelled Adjustments, Color, and Swatches. Click on the Adjustments tab, and then click on Hue/Saturation from the pictures listed. Hue/Saturation looks like a colour picker, and is beside the thing that looks like scales.

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Step 6:

After clicking Hue/Saturation, a panel should pop out, with different sliders on it. To change the iris colour, you can play with the Hue and Saturation sliders, until you find a colour you like. If you find that the colour is too subtle, (even with the Saturation on full), try checking the Colourize box at the bottom of the panel. This may help.

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(Back to both ways)

Step 7:

Once you have a colour you like, go to your Eraser tool, and erase the pupil, and if there is colour outside the edges/area you want to be coloured, erase that, too. If you used the Solid Colour method, you may get a dialogue box that comes up that says something about rasterizing the layer, or that it won’t be editable anymore, just click ‘okay’.

Once you have the edges/pupil all cleaned up, you’re done and ready to save!

I wouldn’t say this technique is easier than the other one, but this one is a lot more versatile, and as I said above, can be used on more than just eyes. It also makes it look more realistic, in my opinion. Once you’re happy with the pupil, why don’t you try to colourize the skin colour as well?

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Go ahead and play around with this effect, to see how it works best for your needs – the next tutorial will be coming Aug. 30th, so you’ll have plenty of time to master this one!

Next time, I’ll be showing you how to make a GIF! Oh, yes.

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Check out the rest of the photoshop tutorial series here!

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