How to Use Photoshop to Open Closed Eyes

Estimated read time 8 min read

Photoshop eyes open

If you are a photographer or a graphic designer, you have probably come across situations where you need to work with photos of people whose eyes are closed. Whether it’s a group shot, a portrait, or a candid moment, closed eyes can sometimes ruin an otherwise perfect image. Luckily, with the help of Adobe Photoshop, you can easily make eyes open and bring life to your photos. In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to achieve this effect.

Step 1: Open the Image in Photoshop

First, open the image you want to work on in Adobe Photoshop. To do this, go to “File” in the menu bar and select “Open.” Then, navigate to the location of the image on your computer and click “Open.”

Step 2: Duplicate the Background Layer

Next, you need to duplicate the background layer to preserve the original image. This allows you to make changes without affecting the original layer. To duplicate the layer, go to the Layers panel on the right side of the screen, right-click on the background layer, and select “Duplicate Layer.” Rename the new layer if desired.

Step 3: Zoom In on the Eyes

Now, zoom in on the eyes of the subject so that you can work with more precision. To zoom in, go to the bottom left corner of the screen and click on the magnifying glass icon. Then, click on the eyes to bring them into focus. You can adjust the zoom level by clicking on the plus (+) or minus (-) icons.

Step 4: Select the Lasso Tool

To make the eyes open, we will need to carefully select them using the Lasso tool. The Lasso tool allows you to draw freehand selections around the eyes. To select the Lasso tool, click on the icon in the left sidebar or press the keyboard shortcut “L.”

Step 5: Trace the Shape of the Eyes

With the Lasso tool selected, trace the shape of the eyes by clicking and dragging around them. Be sure to include the entire eye area, including the eyelids. If your selection is not perfect, don’t worry – we will refine it in the next step.

Step 6: Refine the Eye Selection

Once you have traced the shape of the eyes, go to the menu bar and select “Select” > “Modify” > “Feather.” In the dialog box, enter a value between 1-5 pixels to soften the selection edges. This helps to blend the selected area with the rest of the image for a more natural look. Click “OK” to apply the feather effect.

Step 7: Adjust the Brightness and Color

To make the eyes open, we need to adjust the brightness and color to match the rest of the image. With the eye selection still active, go to the menu bar and select “Image” > “Adjustments” > “Brightness/Contrast” or “Hue/Saturation.” Experiment with the settings until you achieve the desired result. You can also use the “Levels” or “Curves” adjustments for more control.

By following these simple steps, you can easily make eyes open in Photoshop and enhance your images. Remember to save your work as a separate file to preserve the original image. With practice, you will become proficient in this technique and be able to create stunning photos that capture the beauty of your subjects.

Preparing the image

Before you begin working on the eyes in Photoshop, it’s important to prepare the image properly to ensure the best results. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Select the image

    Select the image

    Open the image you want to edit in Photoshop. You can do this by going to File > Open and selecting the image from your computer.

  2. Duplicate the layer

    To preserve the original image, it’s a good idea to duplicate the layer before making any changes. Right-click on the background layer in the Layers panel and select Duplicate Layer. This will create a new layer that you can work on, leaving the original untouched.

  3. Crop and straighten

    Crop and straighten

    If necessary, use the Crop tool to remove any unwanted areas around the eyes. Simply select the Crop tool from the toolbar on the left, drag it around the eyes to create a selection, and then press Enter to crop. Additionally, you can use the Straighten tool to straighten any tilted images.

  4. Adjust the exposure

    Adjust the exposure

    It’s important to have a well-exposed image for the eyes to look their best. Use the Exposure adjustments in the Image menu to adjust the brightness, contrast, and levels of the image. Experiment with the settings until you’re satisfied with the overall exposure.

  5. Remove distractions

    Remove distractions

    If there are any distractions around the eyes, such as blemishes or stray hairs, you can use the Healing Brush or Clone Stamp tool to remove them. These tools allow you to paint over the distractions and replace them with nearby pixels.

Once you have prepared the image, you’re ready to start making adjustments to the eyes using Photoshop’s various tools and techniques.

Selecting the eyes

Selecting the eyes

Before we can apply any editing techniques to open the eyes in Photoshop, we need to accurately select the area around the eyes. This will allow us to modify only the desired portion of the image and ensure a natural-looking result. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open the image you want to work on in Photoshop.
  2. Zoom in to get a closer view of the eyes.
  3. Select the “Lasso Tool” from the toolbar on the left side of the screen.
  4. Use the lasso tool to draw a rough outline around the eyes. Try to include all the details within the selection.
  5. Once you’ve completed the rough selection, right-click inside it and choose “Refine Edge”.
  6. In the “Refine Edge” window, use the available tools to refine the selection further. Adjust the sliders for “Radius”, “Smooth”, and “Feather” to achieve a more accurate selection of the eyes.
  7. Preview the refined selection by choosing “On Black” or “On White” from the “View” dropdown menu.
  8. When you’re satisfied with the selection, click “OK” to apply the changes.

Now that you have selected the eyes, you can proceed to apply various techniques to make them appear more open in Photoshop. Remember to save your progress regularly to avoid losing any work.

Adjusting the Eyes

Adjusting the Eyes

Adjusting the eyes in Photoshop can dramatically enhance a portrait by making the eyes appear brighter, more vibrant, and even more open. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Select the “Dodge” tool from the Photoshop toolbar.
  2. Adjust the brush size according to the size of the eyes by changing the brush size option in the top toolbar.
  3. Set the range to “Midtones” in the top toolbar.
  4. Zoom in on the eyes for closer inspection by using the “Zoom” tool from the toolbar or pressing “Ctrl” and “+” on your keyboard.
  5. Start by gently brushing over the whites of the eyes to lighten them. Be careful not to overdo it to maintain a natural look.
  6. Next, adjust the brightness and contrast of the eyes by selecting “Image” from the menu, then choosing “Adjustments” and “Brightness/Contrast”. Move the sliders until you achieve the desired result.
  7. To enhance the color of the eyes, select “Image”, then “Adjustments” and “Hue/Saturation”. Increase the saturation slider slightly to make the colors pop while still keeping them natural-looking.
  8. If there are any imperfections or redness in the eyes, use the “Spot Healing Brush” or the “Healing Brush” tool to retouch those areas.

Remember to zoom out periodically to see the overall effect and make any necessary adjustments. Play around with different settings and tools until you achieve the desired result. With practice, you can make eyes look more open and captivating in your portraits using Photoshop.

Final touches

After following the steps mentioned above, you have successfully learned how to make eyes open in Photoshop. However, to make the final result even more realistic, there are a few additional touches you can apply.

1. Adjust the brightness and contrast: Use the levels adjustment tool to fine-tune the brightness and contrast of the eyes. This will help them blend better with the rest of the image.

2. Add highlights: Create a new layer and use a soft brush with a light color to add highlights to the eyes. Focus on the areas that catch the light naturally, such as the center of the iris or the reflections on the cornea.

3. Enhance the colors: Use the color balance tool to enhance the colors of the eyes. Adjust the sliders to make them brighter, more saturated, or to create a specific tone. Be careful not to overdo it, as the goal is to make the eyes look natural.

4. Sharpen the details: Duplicate the eye layer and apply a sharpening filter to enhance the details. Use the Unsharp Mask filter or the Smart Sharpen filter to make the edges crisper and the iris more defined.

Remember, the key to achieving realistic results is to pay attention to detail and make subtle adjustments. By following these final touches, you can take your eye enhancement skills in Photoshop to the next level.


Is it possible to make eyes open in Photoshop?

Yes, it is possible to make eyes open in Photoshop using various techniques and tools.


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