Editing Eyes Using Gimp – Gimp For Photographers
The eye. The window to the soul. The eye is one of the prettiest features of our face, and the first thing that many look at when they look at us. They’re simply a beautiful feature of us humans, unique in shape, size, and color. It’s no wonder that some of the most beloved portraits stress on the eye so much. Of course, not all of us have access to the tools used to help bring a person’s eyes out, so many have begun to edit the eyes using gimp. As a result, I’m beginning to see this happen:
Yeah. This alien-eyed look is popping up in more and more “professional” photos each day. It’s like a freaking epidemic! You see, in most online photo editing lessons, when people say “how do I make my eyes look cool like the other photographers?” everyone defaults to the dodge/burn tool, used in the example above. They default to this tool because it is the fastest way to make your eyes “pop out,” but it really doesn’t create the most realistic results. Why? Because the method that they are using is not amenable to tweaking. almost everything is done on a single layer, and making adjustments later does nothing but further destroy the data on your image. My first recommendation to anyone touching up photos? Put the dodge/burn tool down, and never touch it again. Even if you get good at using it, and truly master the art of editing eyes using this tool, it will never be the most robust way of doing this.
Do it Right Using Gimp
In the above example, you’ll notice that the enhancements are much…much more subtle. Here’s the thing, they are subtle because I was able to adjust my image until I got the eyes to look exactly like I wanted them to look by simply adjusting the opacity slider on a few layers. Here’s the really cool thing though…I can make changes to these eyes far beyond what the dodge/burn tool can do, and I can do it in minutes. If I wanted to make the eyes brighter, it’s a simple adjustment. If I change my mind and want to make them darker again, it’s the same simple adjustment! Below are 4 more variations of the eyes of the same image shown above. It took me literally…literally 1 minute to make the tweaks on all 4 of these photos, and that includes the time spent exporting each file!
Gimp Video Tutorial
In this gimp for photographers lesson, I’m going to teach you how to edit eyes using Gimp. We will rely on layer modes, layer masks, layers, and the IWarp filter to do this in a very robust manner. Here’s the general process that we’re going to do:
Duplicate our background layer
use IWarp to transform the shape of our eye
use a collection of layer modes to modify the color and brightness of the eye.
Wacom Tablet (Check out my comprehensive list of Wacom Tablets here.)
Gimp 2.8 (This is the version I am running in this tutorial)
Stock Photo Used in this Tutorial
Gimp Sun Ray Tutorial Mentioned in the video.