ugaldew's blog

Pocket Tricks : Remove and Avoid Red-Eye Effect

posted by ugaldew, May 29, 2006 3:31 AM — 20 comments

Hi SXCers and guests : In today's trick we will learn a Red-Eye fix technique I know there are many techniques for red eye but this one is really effective and convincing , because we will only get rid of the red channel so we will keep most tones of the iris and we will also learn some tips to avoid red-eye when shooting. Interested ? then Lets get started ! You will need Photoshop and don not worry if you are a PS newbie , it is very basic and it wont take you more than 1 minute !

This is the effect we want to achieve at the end of this practice

So Lets Get Started !!!

>> Step 1
Open Portrait and Select Iris Area

Open Your portrait and Zoom the iris

For the iris selection, you can use your favorite tool however I strongly recommend the polygonal lasso , first , because pupils and iris are rarely perfect circles and second because we will have to select more than the red pupil circle

So lets click in the polygonal lasso tool (in the tool bar) and select the area , this is a very rough selection nothing accurate , see the example below , try to select slightly beyond the red pupil edge cause sometimes reds remain in the iris and the trick will look badly executed

Tip: If you want to select both eyes , move to the other eye holding the space bar and dragging the image , then hold "Shift" and select the desired area

>> Step 2
Open apply image dialogue box and change RGB channel and Blend Mode

The red channel is the responsible of that ugly red color in our portrait so lets get rid of it

A) : Open the "Apply image dialogue box " (image / Apply Image )

B) Click the "Channel's slide menu" and select "Green"

C) Click the "Blending's slide menu" and select "Darken"

And we are done !!!

The portrait should look like this

TIPs to avoid Red Eye Effect :

- Shot in red-eye flahs mode ( pre-flash) : Most cameras have an red-eye flash mode , which is basically a pre-flash that causes the pupil to contract.

- Do not direct the flash to the eyes : In case you have an external flash give it some angle so it is not pointed straight to the face

- Soften the light : Put a piece of tissue paper infront of the flash or use diffusers

Do not shot in a completelly dark enviroment : if there is a neraby light, it will make pupils contract

- Ask your subject not to look straight at the camera.

I hope you can easily apply this useful trick , and that you have enjoyed as much as I did writing it . Feel free to ask if you have doubts or comments, in this blog's comments textbox or you can write an email to

Miguel Ugalde Ugaldew

Comments | RSS

1. posted by vampduck, Jun 4, 2006 9:33 AM

Good idea. I guess I've been selecting to close to the pupil. In PS7 after selecting the pupils, I use the Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation then select the Edit:Reds from the top pulldown in the dialogue box and pull the Saturation and Lightness sliders all the way to the negative.

2. posted by natealus, Aug 31, 2006 12:18 PM

This is AMAZING and quick... probably the best I have seen for photoshop!

3. posted by mattosense, May 30, 2006 12:59 AM


4. posted by fashionmod, May 30, 2006 1:11 AM

Thanks Ugalde, very useful.Nice exist people like you.

5. posted by tdenham, May 30, 2006 3:53 PM

Very useful and very well well done!

6. posted by Lucretious, May 30, 2006 11:51 PM

Very useful indeed! Thank you Miguel

7. posted by ugaldew, Jun 4, 2006 8:41 PM

5@ It may work in som cases , but I wouldnt recomend it

We have to remeber that the red eye problem is in the Red channel , and that is why we eliminate it , to work with the others . If you only desaturate the red channel , the problem will remain but desaturated , and it can end up in a big gray area tha wont look convincing

8. posted by cdw0107, Jun 26, 2006 6:53 AM

Thank you very much, this will help me alot.

9. posted by rosyl, Jul 21, 2006 3:30 AM

My sister is gonna be very happy, now that I've edited the pics of her and her fiance who always has red eyes in his pics...


10. posted by ciprynus, Jul 29, 2006 11:18 PM

GREAT man ! ! ! Just great!
I have tried many other ways...but none of them with the resuslts of this one! But some times you need to help it with some brush or clone stamp (when one eye is lighter than the other for example).

11. posted by Heliovega, Aug 1, 2006 2:08 PM

Gooooood Eye-Effect.


12. posted by maraba, Sep 3, 2006 8:34 AM

Thank you.

13. posted by Comicz, Sep 3, 2006 5:17 PM

Perfect! I use the same method

14. posted by xentory, Sep 13, 2006 11:51 AM

Great Work. It's working much better than the Photoshop Red-Eye-Reduction Pencil.

15. posted by psplayer06, Dec 27, 2006 5:53 AM

thanks a lot! very simple, very effective! :) this is a much better tut than some others i've seem, straight and to the point. Merci beaucoup!

16. posted by ahbay, Jan 12, 2007 1:13 AM

Thank you! This works really well!

17. posted by youdesign, Oct 12, 2007 7:50 PM

I you remercer all my filicitation

18. posted by escan, Aug 20, 2010 3:04 PM

Great tut thanks!!

19. posted by MathiasHar, Nov 24, 2012 7:57 PM

GREAT! Thank You.

20. posted by trainer2, May 31, 2013 9:15 AM

thanks a great tutorial

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