nezbitten's blog

Photoshop fun making an eyeball - Updated!

posted by nezbitten, Jun 25, 2008 2:32 PM — 98 comments

Eyeball. Colour Pupil and Iris

Eye image 5
This is a texture that I found to be very effective for the Iris of an eye.

Start by creating a new file around 1000 pixels square.

Your colour palette should be set to Red foreground, white background or

You can use Red foreground, black background if you want flecks of red in your iris.

Filter/texture/stained glass/ cell size 10/ light intensity 4/ border 3
Filter/blur/radial blur zoom/distance 80

Eye image a1
Image/adjust/exposure (adjust for more contrast)

Eye image 1
New Layer. Draw circle on a new layer. Almost filling the canvas. Feather 1 pixel and fill with black.

Next from the drop down menu, Select, modify/contract/ set to 6.
Feather the selection by 5, delete. You should now be left with a dark ring.
On a new layer draw a new circle for the pupil, not too big and fill with black.

In the Layers pallet , select this layer and add outer glow. Choose a green that compliments the blue textured iris. Make it wide and diffused, just play with the settings until you are happy.

Eye image 2
On a new layer create the highlights by drawing a circle and filling with whit, but use the graduated fill set to colour to transparent. Shape the catch light how you like, but bear in mind you should be following the curvature of the ball of the eye.

On new layers add more catch lights or reflections as you so desire and vary the transparencies of the layers to get varying degree of reflections.

To finish , select with the magic wand the outside of the larger circle. Keep the selection active and create a new layer and fill the selection with white.
Eye image 3
A final burning in of the mid-tones around the edge of the eye should create a further illusion of a bulge in the eye.

Eye image 4
Updated!! Ok so what is different?

Eye image 5
I made the iris outer glow a bit brighter. Added another outer ring underneath the existing one with a thicker and heavily feathered dark green. Then on the "iris rays" layer, i used the smudge tool to create the dividing line between the green glow and the outer colours. I added a more convincing highlight!!

If you would like to download an action that automates most of this then you can get it here Feel free to modify it as you wish. this action contain the starting colours of Red and black to give more colour variation to the iris.

Image-restore for quality photo repair and wedding retouching.

Comments | RSS

1. posted by derdevil, Jan 7, 2010 12:05 PM

gooooooooooood tnx

2. posted by PSgenial, Jan 24, 2010 5:24 AM

awesome dood :)

3. posted by fvclibrary, Mar 13, 2013 4:36 AM

Nice looking eye, easy to follow tutorial, and more fun than just using a filter forge filter to create one. 9/10

4. posted by nisswa, Mar 12, 2010 9:38 PM

I love the eyeball. You can post on my blog anytime you want to. I'd like to post your whole tutorial if possible. Let me know if your interested,

5. posted by nezbitten, Sep 7, 2009 8:37 AM

The reflection is on a separate layer. It is a drawn image in white silhouette. Use warp to bend the image as though on a sphere and then set the layer opacity so you can see the eye detail through it.
If you have a particularly realistic reflection you may wish to sharpen it so it stands out.


6. posted by gatormn, Jan 30, 2010 4:22 PM

Really love your eye tute

7. posted by aszxc, Jan 27, 2010 4:19 AM

very beauty

8. posted by sunnybrigh, Mar 19, 2012 2:59 AM

it's funny

9. posted by nezbitten, Mar 9, 2012 4:12 AM

thanks nuhs for your constructive remark, making that bit clearer! I guess I wrongly assumed everyone knew how to draw a circle in photoshop!

10. posted by sercan12, Jun 9, 2010 1:05 AM

Thank you

11. posted by yo5bdm, Jun 25, 2008 4:01 PM

Great tutorial!

12. posted by baech, Jun 25, 2008 9:40 PM

great :) i just can't figure the reflection part... i suck at that^^

13. posted by wiggam, Jun 26, 2008 10:11 AM

Not bad...but it doesn't look realistic? Should of gone to filter, distort, spherize (Y)

14. posted by nezbitten, Jun 26, 2008 11:12 AM

I see where you are coming from. But I could have kept on adding highlights until it looked more "bulged" but if i did that there would be nothing to learn from. A tutorial is to encourage experimentation and develop your skill. I would be pleases if you wanted to post your own version.

15. posted by nezbitten, Jun 26, 2008 7:49 PM

It is quite nice but not my cup of tea. I was more interested in the colours and depth within the iris itself rather than the whole eye ball.

16. posted by solotoy, Jun 28, 2008 9:48 PM

veri good)

17. posted by Prazzie, Jul 3, 2008 1:13 PM

Thanks for this. I've been wanting to make custom eyes for my Sims, but have been too lazy and uninspired. This was exactly the inspiration that I needed!

18. posted by xfera, Jul 5, 2008 7:31 PM

thank your. really good job_!!
my respect_!!

19. posted by xfera, Jul 5, 2008 7:32 PM

thank your. really good job_!!
my respect_!!

20. posted by rymoz, Jul 6, 2008 7:41 PM

filter/texture is not active ..y is that can anyone tell me plz

21. posted by rymoz, Jul 6, 2008 7:42 PM

oh i got it...

22. posted by magdaro, Jul 9, 2008 11:31 PM


23. posted by nezbitten, Jul 11, 2008 11:03 AM

Thanks everyone for your comments. I will posting an update here soon, with an eye with more realism.

24. posted by nezbitten, Jul 12, 2008 12:10 AM

Ok its been updated. Enjoy. Sorry no extra additions to the action though.

25. posted by phyllishug, Jul 13, 2008 6:42 AM

wow...that's awesome!! TY!

26. posted by Ear_Candy, Jul 13, 2008 2:32 PM

Amazing post and eye-catching result (hhh).

Though I did not succeed in obtaining what I wanted...damn it...

Have to work on it several times again ;-)

27. posted by irmartdesi, Jul 14, 2008 3:54 PM


28. posted by hguncur, Jul 15, 2008 8:24 PM

yawf birader bunu bi de trke anlatsan ne gsel olurdu.

29. posted by jognas, Dec 16, 2010 6:02 PM

Verry good!

30. posted by ShiAnn7529, Jul 28, 2008 9:57 PM

Very Good, I'm new to Photoshop and Designing and it's amazing what can be created and so quickly too! Thanks,

31. posted by popljubo, Jul 31, 2008 1:05 AM

I like it! keep on rockin' ...

32. posted by manugalo, Aug 2, 2008 11:11 PM

is very good, show more about eyes

33. posted by chakri_007, Aug 11, 2008 8:18 AM

super, thank you good job!

34. posted by trucmai, Aug 17, 2008 6:45 PM

* Gud tut, thank for share ^^

35. posted by ZtraX, Aug 20, 2008 11:31 AM

Very nice, enjoyed it alot :)

36. posted by nora_ehab, Aug 25, 2008 3:31 PM

very beauty

37. posted by kshyam, Aug 27, 2008 8:25 AM

I use PS CS3 and i had a little trouble following the instructions. But Great tut though

38. posted by hpwalls, Sep 27, 2008 9:32 PM

Awesome, this is great!

39. posted by SCapture, Sep 28, 2008 6:04 AM

Amazing! Thank you!! (^_^)

40. posted by gurgica, Sep 29, 2008 2:56 PM

very nice

41. posted by mestany, Oct 12, 2008 8:46 PM

good work

42. posted by godandi, Oct 13, 2008 12:13 PM

I like! =)
I really had fun doing this... Keep up the good work =D

43. posted by rd_cahyono, Oct 18, 2008 10:25 AM

Give me a break! is that with PS only?

44. posted by rude20, Oct 20, 2008 4:17 AM

i dont understand people, you take the time to share your talents and they feel they have to evaluate your work, i think you did a great job! thank you...

45. posted by kadhim, Oct 22, 2008 11:56 AM

so beatiful

46. posted by sukkkigoh, Nov 6, 2008 12:02 PM


many many thanks Nez *bows* i feel very excited about this tut ~

really helpful~

47. posted by k-leb, Nov 12, 2008 3:36 PM

buen tuto...pero m gustaria q hubiera tutotriales en espaol...!!! gracias...!!!

48. posted by awadh, Nov 17, 2008 8:18 AM

Thank you very match

49. posted by nezbitten, Dec 6, 2008 1:31 PM

I am looking forward to seeing martynrice's version!

50. posted by xposures, Dec 8, 2008 4:29 AM

Splendid Work of Art...Gr8 JoB..NeZbiTTen

51. posted by Altan07, Dec 18, 2008 1:28 PM


52. posted by kairi_cr4, Jan 3, 2009 11:29 AM

so good work !

53. posted by tantsnusk2, Jan 9, 2009 10:01 PM

I must be retarded but how did u "burn" the midtones?

54. posted by jdizine2, Jan 15, 2009 7:54 AM

I got lost a few times. Then I had to quit after I got to the burn part cause I really don't know where it is. I wish it were the specifics like these at the beginning: Image/Adjust/Invert
I can follow those easy. But I will ask a friend to help with that burn part.

55. posted by mdnpascual, Jan 22, 2009 7:25 AM

nice tutorial, but i suggest you make your tutorial more redable for newbies, it seems hard for them staarting in this tutorial when they are still startign to learn

56. posted by Tebetq, Jan 27, 2009 6:24 PM

nice and pretty simple effect :)

57. posted by simo13, Feb 20, 2009 1:27 AM


very nice...your eye is so totally rocks

58. posted by cimcimem97, Feb 20, 2009 4:13 PM

very very nice

59. posted by moreisless, Feb 25, 2009 8:05 PM

thanks, this comes in handy! :)

60. posted by aaron_lex, Mar 4, 2009 4:14 PM

gracias por el tutorial, esta muy bueno

61. posted by Blakardiny, Mar 7, 2009 3:39 PM

good job!!! is very beauty

62. posted by mindysue30, Mar 7, 2009 8:12 PM

Fantastic Job. I really enjoyed learning how to make a eyeball. It was really fun!

63. posted by barunpatro, Mar 8, 2009 5:34 PM

i like it coz u explain WHY we need to do certain step instead of just asking us to do just follow it :)

64. posted by sindhubobb, Mar 19, 2009 6:31 AM

very nice.

65. posted by AlexGvG, Apr 8, 2009 7:12 PM

The eye black part... I mean the black circle must be rely black.
It does not reflect light.

So i suggest adding a layer with black circle in it.

66. posted by nezbitten, May 19, 2009 3:05 PM

Maybe if you download the "action" in my post it might help you Staler? Hope this helps.

67. posted by nezbitten, May 4, 2009 10:14 PM

Please add this and show us your results. Personally I think as the whole eyeball has a moist, gel like covering, it will reflect the light.

68. posted by ChidiLaw, May 7, 2009 3:33 PM

Very greta tutorial

69. posted by bass1971, May 9, 2009 10:11 AM

thank your. really good job_!!

70. posted by Staler, May 16, 2009 1:56 PM

Love the tut, but i get stuck on the "New Layer. Draw circle on a new layer. Almost filling the canvas. Feather 1 pixel and fill with black" part. and the step after it.

i got cs3 and i miss the option you describe.

the feather option isn`t there, and after drawing a circle,. i cant select refine edge.

gonna try some more :)

71. posted by cybertran, Sep 10, 2009 4:40 PM


72. posted by SirKdell, May 20, 2011 2:18 PM

Great tutorial,but the action link doesnt work anymore. Could you fix it?

73. posted by nkncba, Jun 7, 2009 12:44 AM

good !

74. posted by malliinfo, Jun 7, 2009 5:44 PM

it is good

75. posted by Staler, Jun 7, 2009 11:19 PM

nezbitten, thanks i dl it, but i still don`t understand why i can`t find or select those options.

ps, sorry for the late reaction, but i lost the site :(

76. posted by Iceberg-x, Mar 28, 2010 1:09 AM


77. posted by bohik, Jun 26, 2009 1:22 AM

Thanks for the lesson. My friend in photography will be a member soon. lutions-health-diet.html

78. posted by SSehrish, Jul 24, 2009 2:29 PM

ohhh my gudnesss. this is really very creative n awesom. i really lyk it.

79. posted by ychelys, Apr 20, 2010 6:01 PM

Thank you a lot!! :)

80. posted by Amaranthim, Aug 13, 2009 9:58 AM

Thank you for a great tut! I was able to follow it quite well with Gimp- minus a couple of things such as the feathering and drawing a circle, but managed a work around. The thing I cannot figure is the refelction... Could you expound please? Is it an imported image as layer? Thanks again!

81. posted by mk-thewolf, May 26, 2010 2:01 AM


82. posted by hal3, Jun 1, 2010 9:15 PM

amazing! :)

83. posted by escan, Aug 18, 2010 12:05 PM

Nice one!!

84. posted by Flitters, Aug 26, 2010 12:51 AM

Great tutorial! Thanks ever so much

85. posted by ehove_imt, Oct 11, 2010 7:30 AM

What version did you use for this?

86. posted by nezbitten, Oct 19, 2010 3:04 AM

Sorry ehaove_imt I do not undersatnd your question. If you are refering to what photoshop version it was I believe it was cs3

87. posted by dbmama, Oct 29, 2010 2:46 PM

this is really good, can i post this on my deviant art /art school students group? and please will you make a simple newbie version for my 8th graders? It would be so great of you!

88. posted by nezbitten, Nov 8, 2010 8:24 AM

Sorry but I am full on with Christmas restorations, So it wont be this year. Feel free to post to deviant art group if you wish it should be posted as it with all the links as well. thanks.

89. posted by bappy23, Feb 14, 2011 11:59 PM

nice ...

90. posted by nezbitten, Jul 18, 2011 6:25 AM

Fixed action download sorry guys!

91. posted by emmank, Jun 27, 2011 7:37 AM

i like this . . .

92. posted by novaarte, Sep 17, 2011 4:25 PM


93. posted by nuhs, Feb 10, 2012 3:18 PM

For the pupil part where you say "Draw circle and feather 1 px," the tutorial is not clear.

Do not use the Shape tool. Instead, use the Elliptical Marquee tool and draw a circle. Then in the upper menu, go to Select > Modify > Feather. Choose 1px.

Then you can use the Paint Bucket tool to fill with black.

94. posted by kamal-_-31, Oct 7, 2012 2:17 AM

very buti
im amator you can help me ??

95. posted by disenoweb9, Feb 22, 2013 8:04 AM

It was an easy and helpful tutorial :)

96. posted by Randomloki, Mar 26, 2013 10:33 PM

Well, you totally ruined my process of using 30 more steps for a poorer result. I hope you are happy with yourself.

Must go build ego.

Thanks! I have never really read a full tutorial, you were quick, clean and provided image results as you went.

I give this post a 8/10. Needs more ninjas, pirates, explosions, lasers and bare breasts.

But I say that of all posts that are awesome. Thank you.

97. posted by renderiska, Jun 21, 2013 5:33 AM

Very practical.

98. posted by inizjall, Nov 6, 2013 3:18 AM

Great piece

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