Red Eye Correction

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  Adobe Photoshop Elements
  Adobe Photoshop
  Graphic Converter

 

Using cameras with a built-in flash directly over the lens will frequently create portraits with red eyes. To effectively correct the red eyes, you want to change the hue of the eyes without disturbing the tonal detail. With any type of editing involving using a brush, such as the methods described here, it is better to perform the edits before resizing the image. This will allow you more pixels to work with, creating a smoother effect.

Adobe Photoshop Elements

Photoshop Elements has a tool created just for red eye correction, called the Red Eye Brush.

  1. Zoom in close on one eye at a time.
  2. Select the Red Eye Brush from the tool bar (circled to the right).
  3. Choose a brush from the Brush Preset Picker, located on the left side of the options bar (palette across the top, pictured below). Set the size of the brush by adjusting the pop-up slider. A soft, round brush that is a little larger than the pupil of the eye but smaller than the red area of the eye is a good choice.

Red Eye Brush Tool

Options Bar for the Red Eye Brush tool.

Options Bar for the Red Eye Brush Tool

    1. Designate a target color representing the color you want to remove.
      1. In the options bar, set Sampling to First Click. When you paint in the document, the first color you click on will be the color that changes. Each time you click again, you will be resetting the target color, OR
      2. Alternately, you could set Sampling to Current Color, then click on the Current Color swatch in the options bar. The Color Picker opens up. Click anywhere in the document and you will select a color that will be removed. With this method, when you paint, you will be changing just that one selected color, OR
      3. Click on the Default Colors button to set the color to be removed to red and the replacement color to black.
    2. Designate a replacement color by clicking on the Replacement Color swatch. The Color Picker opens up. You can can select a replacement color in the Color Picker color field or you can sample a color by clicking in the document window.
    3. Use the Tolerance setting to designate how similar the color needs to be to be replaced. A higher number will allow a broader range of colors to be replaced. Low numbers will replace only colors very similar to the target color. The default of 30% is a good choice.
    4. Click and drag over the red area of the eyes. Pixels matching the target color will be replaced.

    Adobe Photoshop

    The Color Replacement tool, new in Photoshop CS, makes it easier to fix red-eye problems. Two other methods are discussed below, users of older versions of Photoshop will need to use one of these methods.

    1. Zoom in close on one eye at a time.
    2. Select the Color Replacement tool from the tool bar, hidden under the Healing Brush tool. Click and hold on the Healing Brush tool to access the Color Replacement tool.

      Color Replacement Tool
       
    3. With the Color Replacement tool selected, you do not need to select a brush shape or style. You just need to set the appropriate size and hardness of the brush. Click on the Brush Preset Picker to the left of the options bar. Adjust the first slider to set the brush diameter. Adjust the second slider to set the hardness. 100% hardness will give you a more abrupt edge to your brush. 0% hardness is a very soft brush, fading more on the edges of your paint strokes.
    4. In the options bar, set the Sampling option to target colors for replacing (in this case, red).
      1. Set to Once (best method), to apply color replacement only to areas containing the color that you target. The target color will be determined by where you click. Every time you click and drag again, you will be setting a new target color.
      2. Set Sampling to Continuous to replace colors wherever you paint, not limited to a target color.
      3. Set Sampling to Background Swatch to apply color replacement based on the current background color set in the tool bar.
    5. Also in the options bar, set the Mode to Color, Limits to Discontiguous, Tolerance to 30%, and check on Anti-aliased. All of these are default settings.
    6. Choose the color to replace the targeted color. Click on the Foreground Swatch in the tool bar. The Color Picker opens up. Choose a color by clicking in the color field, or click in the document window to sample a color. Choose black or a color that resembles the eye color of the person in your image.
    7. Click and drag over the red-eye area to replace the color.

    If you are using an earlier version of Photoshop, use one of the following methods.

    Paint with Color Blend Mode Method

    1. Zoom in close on one eye at a time.
    2. Select the Brush tool from the tool bar.
    3. In the options bar, choose a soft-edged brush that is a little larger than the pupil of the eye but smaller than the red area of the eye. Click on the Brush Preset Picker to select one of the soft, round brushes. The hardness setting should be set to 0% or thereabouts.
    4. Choose a replacement color by clicking on the Foreground swatch in the tool bar. The Color Picker opens up. Choose a color by clicking in the color field, or click in the document window to sample a color. Black is a good choice.
    5. In the options bar, set the Blend Mode to Color.
    6. With the Brush tool, paint or dab over the eyes.

      Options bar for the Brush tool

      Options Bar for the Brush Tool

    Desaturate Method

    1. Zoom in close on one eye at a time.
    2. Option: to more easily confine your adjustment to just the red portions of the eye, use the Elliptical Marquee tool to create a selection around the red area. By default the Elliptical Marquee tool will be hidden under the Rectangular Marquee tool. Click and hold on the Rectangular Marquee tool to access the Elliptical Marquee tool. Click and drag to make a selection. Click inside the selection and drag to reposition the selection.

      Ellliptical Marquee Tool
       
    3. Select the Sponge tool from the tool bar. By default it will be hidden under the Dodge tool. Click and hold on the Dodge tool to access the Sponge tool.

      Sponge Tool
       
    4. In the options bar, choose a soft-edged brush that is a little larger than the pupil of the eye but smaller than the red area of the eye. Click on the Brush Preset Picker to select one of the soft, round brushes. The hardness setting should be set to 0% or thereabouts.
    5. In the options bar, set the mode to Desaturate.

      Options Bar for Sponge Tool
       
    6. Paint to remove the red color, the painted area will be desaturated, changing to a black or gray color.

    Graphic Converter (Mac Only):

    1. Zoom in close on one eye at a time.
    2. Choose a selection tool from the tool bar. The Round Selection tool is a good choice. Make a selection around the red portions of the eye.
    3. Go to the Effects menu and choose Red Eye Settings.
    4. Click on the color swatch next to Red Eye Color. A color palette opens up. Click in the color circle to choose a hue. Adjust the slider on the right to set the brightness of the colors (how much black is used). Darker colors work best. Click OK.
    5. Go to the Effects menu and choose Red Eye. Just by selecting Red Eye from the Effects menu, your adjustment is applied.
    6. Drop the selection by pressing the Escape key.