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Photoshop Tutorial - removal of "red-eye"



Removal of "red-eye" in Photoshop using the Colour Replacement tool

"Red eye" in pictures of people or often "green eye" in animals is an all too familiar phenomenon where on-camera flash has been used.

removal of redeye

The effect is caused by light being reflected off of the retina at the back of the eye when the pupils are dilated (wide open) in low light levels. It is not usually a problem when light levels are normal as the pupils are not so dilated.

It is best to prevent red eye by using off-camera flash or bouncing the flash off of a ceiling by swiveling the flash head upwards, or using a diffuser such as a Stofen Omnibounce or Lumiquest Pocket Bouncer (pictured below). Both these manufacturers have websites.

Luiquest pocket bouncer

Adobe Photoshop gives you a simple way to fix red-eye using the Colour Replacement tool. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use the tool to fix red-eye in just a few steps.


1. Open your image.

Open the image that you want to repair. Zoom in using the magnifying glass tool so you can easily see the red eyes that need to be fixed. Then, select the Color Replacement tool (located in the toolbox with the Healing Brush and Patch tool).


2. Choose a brush.

Choose a brush tip from the options bar. The brush tip should be smaller than the red area of the eye to make correcting the red-eye easier. Use the square bracket keyboard keys to increase/decrease brush size.

3. Set options for the Color Replacement tool.

In the options bar, you can choose settings that help you fix red-eye. For Mode, make sure that Color is selected. For the Sampling option, choose Once to erase only areas containing the color that you target. For the Limits option, select Discontinuous 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.

4. Choose a color to replace the red.

Typically, black is a good choice, but you could try other colors to more closely resemble a person's eye color. To choose a color, click the foreground color swatch in the toolbox. In the color picker, choose a color that looks right, and then click OK.

5. Repair your image.

Click once on the color you want to replace in the image. Drag over the red with black to repair the image. If all the red isn't removed, try increasing the Tolerance level in the options bar to correct more shades of red.

Once you're happy with the correction, save your image - job done