If you are new to my blog, welcome!!! The CoffeeShop Blog is a one-woman-owned business (by me, Rita!) and I create all of the tutorials and freebies posted here. If you want to grab hundreds of my Photoshop/PSE actions (including exclusive sets not found here on my blog), Lightroom Presets, and professional digital designs (including all of my favorite holiday sets) in a single download AND help support my site please check out my CoffeeShop Download Pack. Thanks to you The CoffeeShop Blog is possible.
You must understand how to use layer masks to use this action, so please go read my Layer Mask tutorial and if you have PSE8 or below you might want to download my free layer mask action. You don't need to add your own layer masks to use this action (they are built in), but once you start using layer masks you won't want to stop.
Remember, this is the way I usually edit using this action, but you might find a way that you think works better!
1. Open your image and run CoffeeShop Eye Bright. You will have four layers but your image will be unchanged. I have so many people email me and ask why there is no change on their image after they run this action. This action needs user input to get stunning and realistic results.
The Eye Define layer mask is already selected. Black masks "mask" any change.
2. Zoom in the eyes.
3. Click "B" to select your brush, then "D" for default black foreground and white background, and then "X" to make your foreground color white. Your brush has to be white to edit all of these layers! Make your brush soft, make sure it is in normal mode, and put the opacity at 100% for this step.
4. I like to make it easy to see where I am editing, so I click Alt-Shift while clicking on my black layer mask in the Eye Define layer. Now my entire image is red, which allows me to see where I am painting in the image. You can also click on the backslash \ key to get the same effect.
5. Now I take my brush which I adjusted in Step 3 and paint over the iris in each eye. Wherever I paint on the image I remove the red, which means I am defining that part of the eye. If you go over the whites, just click "X" to make your brush black and repaint over the part you want to remove.
6. Then I usually bring the opacity down to 50% or so and paint over the eyelashes and eyebrows. Make sure you don't paint on the edges of the bottom of the eye just above the bottom eye lashes. This can make the eyes look really odd. And remember, as long as you are holding your mouse down when you paint, the opacity will continue to be 50% even if you repaint over an area.
7. Shift-Alt to remove the red mask and then click on the White Whites' black layer mask. Click Shift-Alt to turn on the red mask again. Then make sure your brush is white and set to around 50% and paint over the whites of the eye. Be careful to not paint on the black part of the iris or the skin around the eye. You can see below I painted over the bottom part of the iris, so I changed to a black brush and painted the iris out.
Shift-Alt to remove the red mask when you are done.
8. Click on the Bright Eyes layer. Use a white brush at 100% opacity to paint over the color parts of the eye. Make sure to avoid any areas that are black.
9. Now, this is probably the most important part of the eye editing process. We have all seen retouching gone wild in photography, where children or adults look like plastic space aliens... So be sure to zoom out and examine your eyes and make sure they look normal. In this case, I think we need to do some final adjustments.
10. I usually don't do anything to the Eye Define layer, but I always bring down the opacity of the Bright Eyes and White Whites layers. You can see my final setting below.
11. I still think the eyes are a bit overdone, but I could go back and play with the settings again. This simple little action can really enhance the eyes in your portraits.
If you want to do a complete retouching job with these Eye Bright and auto skin smoothing, etc., please go download my free CoffeeShop Perfect Portrait 3 action. I have so many other retouching actions, and you can find them all on this page (go down a bit) or download my most popular ones in one simple download and help support this blog here.
I also have a new action coming out that has Eye Bright and the auto skin smoothing from Perfect Portrait 3. Once I figure out a name I will post it here. I posted a sample before/after below, and that edit took maybe 2 minutes. This action is perfect to use on an already edited portrait that just needs some simple retouching.
Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.
For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.