Fixing Uneven Eyes

In this tutorial we’re going to cover how to fix someone’s eyes if there uneven, a little askew or simply not the same size. It’s a subtle change but as you work through the steps I guarantee you notice a big improvement in your own image. This is also a fast step in my retouching workflow and should take 2-3 minutes to complete, once you’ve done it once or twice.

Now before we begin I think it is important to note that if your subject has a droopy eyelid or one eye is just squinted a little more than the other, you could also probably use the Liquify tool and not this technique (I may cover that in a future tutorial). Okay, open up your photos of Quasimodo in Photoshop. I’m going to use a photo that I did for my Google+ profile page but it still could use some work.

Here’s a before and after (check out the eye on the left, it’s subtle but an improvement and that’s what we are going for):

[beforeafter]aboutcolinimage-3aboutcolinimage--6[/beforeafter]

Fixing Uneven Eyes

Step 1

Get the regular Lasso tool and circle the eye you want to change in size. I recommend increasing the smaller one because larger eyes are usually considered more attractive and unless your subject is a Disney character it probably won’t hurt their appearance. I like to think my eyes are perfectly symmetrical but in this photo the eye on the left (the left of the photo) is slightly smaller. This is obviously lens distortion because as I said my eyes are perfectly symmetrical. When circling the eye include all the eyelashes and avoid the eyebrows as much as possible. If you make a mistake press CTRL+D to deselect your selection and start again. Here’s my selection:

aboutcolinimage-2

Step 2

Press Ctrl+J to bring your selection on to a new layer. If you don’t see the ring around the eye hold Ctrl and click on the new layer you just created. This will bring up the marching ants again. Now go to the Select menu and choose Feather under Modify. Add a feather of 10. Now press Ctrl+T to enter free transform mode. Click the Link icon between the percentage boxes on the top tool bar to lock the aspect ratio. Now you can drag to increase the size of the eye or, as I prefer, type it in as a percentage. Here I went with 104%.

Step 3

Next click the eye icon the layer to toggle it on and off. If it looks good go to Step 4. If you can see some funny edges or blurring click on the new layer again and add a new layer mask (the box with the circle in it, next to ‘FX’ icon on the bottom right of the screen). Choose a fairly large brush, probably a bit big then the iris, set the hardness to 0% and paint around the edges using black as the foreground color. Toggle the change on and off, as we did before ,and repeat this step until your happy with the result. If you paint out too much, change your foreground color to white and paint over where you went to far.

TIP: If you select the layer and not just the mask you can also use the arrow keys to change the position of the eye if it’s not symmetrical.

Step 4

Your finished! Now you can use this same method to increase the size of both eyes to enhance someone’s beauty. If you’re sure you’ll never tweak this eye again you can also merge the new layer done and save a bit of file space.

And here’s the final image:
Self-Portrait

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