Inky Black Eyes Tutorial

Inky Black Eyes Tutorial 1

Learn how to turn a set of eyes completely black while retaining their shine in this easy Photoshop tutorial.

Inky Black Eyes Tutorial 2

The eyes need to have some shine or reflections on their surface to get the most out of this technique.

The stock photo I've used for this tutorial can be downloaded for free here.

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We'll start with the right eye.

To begin with, we need to make a selection of the eye, and the best technique for this is to use the Pen Tool.

With the Pen Tool selected click and drag in the direction of the edge of the eye, then release. Repeat the click, drag, release method until you meet up with the start of the path.

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You can use the Direct Selection Tool to adjust the points and curves.

When you're finished, use the Direct Selection Tool to right click on the path, and choose Make Selection, to transform your path in to a selection.

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Add a new layer, and call it right eye, then with the new layer selected go to Edit > Fill, and fill the selection with White.

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Next double click on the layer to bring up the Layer Styles dialog box.

Click on Color Overlay and choose a dark grey colour.

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Next select Inner Glow and set the Blend mode to Normal, and the Opacity to 100%. The glow should be black, the Choke at 7%, and the Size at 110 px.

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Now choose Outer Glow, and set the Blend Mode to Linear Light at 50% Opacity. The colour should be set to black, and the Size set to 16 px.

That's all the styles we'll need, so click OK.

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For the left eye you just need to repeat all the steps you used to create the right eye.

When you've done both eyes, hide their layers and return to the Background layer.

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In the Channels menu click on the Green channel, or the channel where the skin appears darkest, and the eye shimmers are brightest.

Copy the layer and select it.

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Go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast, and balance out the sliders so that the rest of the face is as dark as possible, but the eye glimmers remain white.

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Now take a black paintbrush and fill in the rest of the face so that the whole image is black, leaving only the eye shines visible.

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When you are finished, hold down the cmd or ctrl key and click on the black layer's thumbnail, doing this will turn the eye shimmers into a selection.

Now hide the layer, and click back on the RGB layer.

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Back in the Layers menu, select the Background layer and copy (cmd/ctrl+c) the selection, then add a new layer called eye shine, and paste the selection into the new layer.

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Double click on the eye shine layer, and choose Outer Glow in the Layer Styles dialog box. Set the Blend Mode to Normal, and the Opacity to 100%. The colour should be White, and the Size set to 1 px.

We're now finished with the eyes, so next we will add some adjustment layers to finish off the image.

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Adjustment layers can be added by clicking on the button at the bottom of the layers panel, then choosing the desired layer from the list.

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First add an Exposure adjustment layer above the background layer. Adjust the sliders, or use the colour pickers to determine the lightest and darkest points.

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Next add a Hue/Saturation layer, and take the Saturation down to -50.

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And finally add a Black & White adjustment layer above all the other layers, and choose the High Contrast Blue preset. Set the layer's blending mode to Overlay, and it's Opacity to 50%.

Inky Black Eyes Tutorial 1

Here's the final outcome.

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