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Tips & Tricks

How To Black Out Eyes In Photoshop | A Phlearn Halloween Special

By Kishore Sawh on October 15th 2014

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Casting aside the typical gallery look to the studio, Phlearn has morphed into something of a Devil’s cauldron. Leave it to Aaron Nace and the team at Phlearn to kick off the Halloween photography stuff, and do so with flare. When we think about Halloween, there’s usually this contrast between children, and big kids (us) dressing up in fun, funny, and even sexy attire, and then there’s the side that’s a bit more sinister, and isn’t that really what it’s all about, a little bit of a scare?

Changing someone’s eye color from normal to blacked-out is certainly one way to turn anyone into a much more sinister character, but it’s got to be done properly, and in the spirit of Halloween, that’s just what Aaron Nace will teach you how to do in Phlearn’s latest video tutorial.

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Creating the black-out eyes effect is substantially more than just painting black within the parameters of the eye itself, so as always, to make it look real, it’s the small details that come together to make something look great, and believable. It is also, however, not a difficult thing to do.

That said, Aaron points out at the start, and through my quick run-through of the steps I see how true his words are, that the importance of the catchlights cannot be overstressed. If your image is lacking catchlights in the eyes, or the are very subdued, the end result is less a creepy, glassy and dark eye, and more just a cut-out of someone’s eye – which is creepy for the wrong reasons. So you’ll want to either take an image with the catchlights in mind, or add them in, or simply use a levels adjustment and masking technique to really exaggerate any existing reflections.

[REWIND: A Career’s Worth Of Wisdom On Retouch, In A Minute | Russell James]

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Thoughts

Most of what you’ll be doing, in fact, is making adjustments with levels and curves, and masking out certain areas, so the technique itself isn’t difficult at all. I will say though that dealing with the small area, curves of the eye, and the hair, that using a tablet is really beneficial when using this technique. I always stress how important the use of a Wacom tablet is in getting the most from Photoshop and Lightroom, and this is just another good example.

If you’d like more info on Wacom tablets spanning the price gamut, you can find out more in our reviews of here, and here. And if you’re a fan of the Phlearn tutorials, or an avid follower, really do yourself a favor and give a tablet a try. You’ll be happy you did.

Source: Phlearn

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About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Basit Zargar

    Love the article !

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  2. Jeff Lopez

    I wish Phlearn would do videos every day!

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  3. Derek Grant

    superb effect, gonna be great for Halloween, thanks !

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  4. Dre Rolle

    Another cool tip from aaron.

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  5. Zeb Yap-Chung

    simple yet effective, good work

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