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Photoshop Techniques for Removing Red-Eye

In this tutorial, we’ll show you a couple of quick methods for getting rid of the red-eye scourge, one of the more lamentable side-effects of compact cameras. The first technique makes use of a new tool in Photoshop CS, the Color Replacement Tool, and this is probably the easiest way to get rid of vampire eyes.

For those of you who are using an earlier version of Photoshop, we’ll show a couple of other methods. There are many ways to do accomplish the same objective in Photoshop, of course, so we’re not presenting an exhaustive survey of every red-eye technique there is. These are just a few to get you started.

Using the Color Replacement Tool to Remove Red-Eye
(Photoshop CS)

1. Duplicate the background layer and zoom in on the eye or area to be repaired. Don't be shy...zoom in real close so you can see what you're doing.

Although not mandatory, creating a duplicate layer will give you an easy way out in case problems arise during the retouching process.

2. Select the Color Replacement tool and choose a brush tip from the options bar that is smaller than the red area of the eye. In this example, we used a 20-pixel brush. The size brush you use will vary depending on the size of the image and the size of the subject's eyes in the image.

This 20-pixel brush is slightly smaller than the area we need to retouch, which gives us more control than using a bigger brush.

3. In the options bar make sure that the Mode is set to Color. For the Sampling option, choose Once to erase only areas containing the color that you target. For the Limits option, select Discontiguous to replace the sampled color wherever it occurs under the brush. Drag the Tolerance slider to a low value (around 30 percent) to replace only the few colors very similar to the pixels you click.

The Options bar for the Color Replacement Tool.

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Copyright 2003, 2004 by Katrin Eismann, Seán Duggan Tim Grey. All Rights Reserved