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How to Change Eye Color in Photoshop

Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

Would you like to see how you'd look with eyes of a different color? In this tutorial I'll show you how to change eye color in Photoshop. With my method, you'll be able to make the eyes brighter, darker, and change their hue, no matter how bright or dark they currently are. You won't only learn how to recolor the eyes drastically, but also how to enhance eye color in Photoshop, if this is your preference!

But if you want to save time, a subscription to Envato Elements gives you access to thousands of Photoshop actions, including this eye coloring action:

Eyes Photoshop ActionEyes Photoshop ActionEyes Photoshop Action

What You'll Learn in This Tutorial on Changing Eye Color in Photoshop

  • How to edit eye color in Photoshop
  • How to enhance eye color in Photoshop
  • How to brighten eyes in Photoshop
  • How to make eyes pop in Photoshop
  • How to change eye color in a photo

What You'll Need

To learn how to edit eye color in Photoshop, first you need a photo. It should be a high-quality photo, high resolution and sharp. If your eyes are really dark, make sure you choose a photo where you can still see some detail of the iris. Here is the photo I used to present the effect:

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

How to Change Eye Color in Photoshop

Step 1

Open your photo. Press W, move to the upper bar, and click Select and Mask.

click select and maskclick select and maskclick select and mask

Step 2

Take the Brush Tool (B), adjust the brush size to the size of the iris, and paint over them.

select the irisesselect the irisesselect the irises

Step 3

Then hold the Alt key and paint over the areas that shouldn't be a part of the selection, like the eyelids and eyelashes. This selection doesn't have to be perfect—we'll get a chance to adjust it later.

clean up the selectionclean up the selectionclean up the selection

Step 4

Make the brush smaller and paint over the pupils while holding the Alt key. If you can't see the pupils, try to guess where they are.

select the pupilsselect the pupilsselect the pupils

Step 5

Set Output to Selection and click OK.

set the outputset the outputset the output

Step 6

Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. It will automatically use the selection as its mask. Name the layer Color.

add hue saturation adjustmentadd hue saturation adjustmentadd hue saturation adjustment

Step 7

Check Colorize and give the eyes a bright, intense color. Check if the color reaches too far or doesn't cover the whole iris. If this is the case, paint on the Layer Mask to fix it—paint with black to remove the effect, and with white to add it. Experiment with different colors—some are less forgiving than others.

color the eyes brightlycolor the eyes brightlycolor the eyes brightly
before cleaningbefore cleaningbefore cleaning
after cleaningafter cleaningafter cleaning
Make sure to test your selection on both bright and dark colors

Step 8

The eyes may lack detail now, especially if you're trying to brighten them. To fix this, double-click the layer and go to the Blend If section. Grab the lower dark marker and drag it to the right—this will remove the effect from the dark parts of the photo.

Hold the Alt key when dragging to split the marker and make the effect more gradual. The brighter the intended color, the farther you can move the marker. You can adjust this setting later as well.

change blend if settingschange blend if settingschange blend if settings
before and after blendingbefore and after blendingbefore and after blending
This trick will allow you to brighten the eyes significantly without losing the shading

Step 9

If you try to make the eyes darker, you'll notice that the shine over the iris gets darker too. To fix this, hold the Control key and click the Layer Mask to create a selection.

darkened shinedarkened shinedarkened shine
make a selectionmake a selectionmake a selection

Step 10

Press Q and paint with white over the pupils to remove them from the selection. Then press Q again.

deselect the pupilsdeselect the pupilsdeselect the pupils

Step 11

Go back to the Background layer and press Control-J to duplicate the selected part. Drag it to the top and name it Shine.

create shine layercreate shine layercreate shine layer

Step 12

Press Control-L. Drag the black marker to the right, until the eyes are black and shiny. Then click OK.

darken the eyesdarken the eyesdarken the eyes
darkened eyesdarkened eyesdarkened eyes

Step 13

Set the Blend Mode to Screen. Now the shine will stay white, regardless of the colors below!

change the blend modechange the blend modechange the blend mode

Step 14

Now that we've taken care of all the problems, you're free to change the eyes to any color you wish! You can also adjust the intensity of the effect by duplicating the layers or lowering their Opacity.

eye color exampleseye color exampleseye color examples

Good Job!

Now you know how to Photoshop your eyes a different color!

changing eye color in an image with photoshopchanging eye color in an image with photoshopchanging eye color in an image with photoshop

5 Cool Photoshop Actions

You might've noticed that this whole effect is based on a series of simple steps—such steps can be recorded as an action, and then played with a single click. Envato Elements offers thousands of such actions—you can just download them and let them save you hours of work!

Eyes Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN)

Eyes Photoshop ActionEyes Photoshop ActionEyes Photoshop Action

If you want to recolor the eyes in multiple photos, it's best to use an action that will automate this process. This set of actions will be perfect for this purpose! It doesn't only color the eyes, but it also makes them glow, turns them black, or gives them a vampire look.

Skin Retouching Actions (ATN)

Skin Retouching ActionsSkin Retouching ActionsSkin Retouching Actions

You don't have to be a professional to achieve professional retouching effects! This set contains 34 actions for airbrushing, matting, reducing redness, brightening the eyes, and more!

Double Light Photoshop Action (ABR, PAT, ATN)

Double Light Photoshop ActionDouble Light Photoshop ActionDouble Light Photoshop Action

A pretty photo can be made even prettier with this stunning double light effect. Just mask your subject and play the action to give a magical look to your photo!

Risograph Texture Photo Effect (PSD)

Risograph Texture Photo EffectRisograph Texture Photo EffectRisograph Texture Photo Effect

In the past it took hours to create a risograph, but today you can achieve this vintage effect just by downloading this PSD file and replacing the smart object with your photo. Great effects guaranteed!

Cut Out Text Overlay Effect (PSD)

Cut Out Text Overlay EffectCut Out Text Overlay EffectCut Out Text Overlay Effect

Mix your photo with text just by replacing the photo in this PSD file. You'll be surprised how good it looks!

More Photoshop Tutorials

If you liked learning about changing eye color in an image with Photoshop, you may also be interested in other Photoshop tutorials from our site:

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