It's the perfect picture... except it's been ruined by those unsightly, glowing red eyes from camera flash. It's happened to us all; and fortunately, it's fairly easy to correct. Follow these simple steps to remove red eye from your photos using any version of Photoshop, including Photoshop LE and Photoshop Elements.
Recent versions of Photoshop (CS2 and later) have a dedicated one-click Red Eye Tool, but this method works in older versions and when you need more control over the correction. By all means, try the red eye tool first, but if you're not getting the results you want, try this method of red eye correction.
Time Required: 5 minutes
- Open the image.
- Go to Image > Duplicate and close the original.
- Open a duplicate window of the same image using one of these methods:
Windows > Arrange > New Window for <filename>
Window > Documents > New Window
In Photoshop 6 or earlier: View > New View
- Zoom one of the windows so that you can see the eyes as large as possible. Set the other window view to 100%.
- Arrange the two windows so you can see both the zoomed view and the 100% view at the same time.
- Create a new layer.
- Use the eyedropper to pick up a color from the iris of the eye. It should be a fairly gray tint with a hint of the eye color.
- Paint over the red part of the eye on the new layer, being careful not to paint over the eyelids.
- Go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian and give it about a 1 pixel blur to soften the edges.
- Set the layer blend mode to Saturation. This will take the red out without removing the highlights, but in many cases it leaves the eyes too gray and hollow looking.
- If that's the case, duplicate the saturation layer and change the blend mode to Hue. That should put some color back in while still preserving the highlights.
- If the color is too strong after adding a Hue layer, lower the opacity of the Hue layer.
- When you're happy with the results you can merge the extra layers down.
- If you need to darken the pupil area, use the burn tool. It should only take a couple of taps with the burn tool to darken the pupils.
- Before merging your layers, use the eraser tool to clean up any overspray from painting outsideof the iris.
- Watch an animated demonstration of how to remove redeye in Photoshop.
- Watch a video on how to remove red eye with Photoshop.
- This technique works in Photoshop 4 and up, including Photoshop LE and Photoshop Elements.