Don’t it make my brown eyes green…

Another issue in the discrepancy between my wonderful model, Derek, and my dreamy leading man, Gideon, is eye color. Gideon has beautiful emerald green eyes. They are described as being viridescent. A light beautiful clear green. *sigh* say the girls.

Derek, handsome as he is, has beautiful eyes, but they aren’t green, they are a wonderful light brown. *sigh* nonetheless I suppose, but not the same as the character sigh. There is alot written into colors and light in this novel, and while I was willing to rewrite haircolor for Francine because the original model didn’t work out, I was not willing to change the color of Gideon’s eyes.

Here comes photoshop again. This is a bit easier than the compositing I’ve done for other images. All that’s required for a color change is an independent level adjustment, in this case the red level. I know it sounds odd to those who aren’t familiar with color balance that I would make brown eyes green by messing with the level of red in the iris, but it all starts with the primary colors of light being red, green and blue, (not red, yellow and blue) and it only gets more confusing from there unless you’ve studied it. Someday I’ll sit down and explain it all, even if just to remind myself that I remember it. It’s all about additive and subtractive primaries.

Easy peasy explanation:

1:select the entire iris including the pupil, then modify, contract and feather. I won’t tell you how much because I don’t know your pixel depth so I can’t, but looking at the iris you should contract only about as much as the exterior ring is wide, then feather about that same amount again.

2: L to bring up levels (or if you are a PC…why are you a PC?)

3: select the red layer, play a bit in highlights, midtones and shadow to get a feel for the color shift. The main color change will be done in the midtones.

4: deselect the iris, then blow up the eyeball full screen and do history brush 2-3 pixels wide (again, depending on your pixel depth) and bring the eyelashes that cross the iris back to the original color.

At any rate. Here is an out, because I can’t share too much of the final images of course, but his eyes stand out pretty well here:

©2010 Jenn LeBlanc

©2010 Jenn LeBlanc

I suppose I could have fixed that tan line too, but it has naught to do with this post so there you go. Green eyes. They aren’t perfect, but you get the idea.

here is a close-up comparison:

©2010 Jenn LeBlanc

©2010 Jenn LeBlanc

One important thing to remember about a color shift is to not overdo it. Especially in the eyes. If the eyes look the least bit fake your viewers won’t trust it. Green eyes have browns, yellows and blues in them. If you get rid of all the different tones you get rid of the realistic feel. Kind of like dying your hair. If it is all one flat color it looks wrong. People might not pick up on the difference at first, but something just won’t sit right.

Now the nature of the novel makes the necessity of going a bit over the top with the images, so you can see some of the other differences between the two, bringing the eyes out, highlighting them and making them pop.

Thank you Derek for all of your hard work, you are my hero. And seriously, no offense, your eyes are beautiful but they aren’t Gideon’s.

Post Script…one more thing of note, when you are doing a color change of something like eyes you should select both eyes at the same time. If you don’t, you might just forget something…

©2010 Jenn LeBlanc

It's all in the eyes.

3 Responses to “Don’t it make my brown eyes green…”
  1. Magaret says:

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  2. Ria Williams says:

    God bless him well with his natural color. But this is totally convincing. I approve! Keep up the good work.


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