Adobe Photoshop is a powerful and versatile tool that allows users to manipulate images in a multitude of ways. One interesting and unique use of Photoshop is the ability to close a subject’s eyes in a photograph. This skill can come in handy when you want to create a serene or contemplative atmosphere in a portrait, or simply want to fix an image where the subject’s eyes are partially closed or blinking.
In this guide, we will walk you through a step-by-step process on how to close eyes in Photoshop, using a combination of tools and techniques that will help you achieve a natural and realistic result.
1. Preparing the Image
Before you begin, it’s important to make sure that you are working with a high-quality image. The higher the resolution, the more details you’ll be able to preserve when editing. Also, make sure that the subject’s face is well-lit and clearly visible.
Step 1: Open the image in Photoshop by selecting “File” > “Open” and choosing the desired file.
Step 2: Create a duplicate layer of the image. This will allow you to work on the image without affecting the original. To do this, go to the “Layers” panel, right-click on the background layer, and select “Duplicate Layer.” Rename the new layer “Closed Eyes.”
2. Using the Liquify Tool
The Liquify tool is a powerful feature in Photoshop that allows you to push, pull, and reshape pixels to achieve the desired effect. In this case, we will use it to close the subject’s eyes.
Step 1: Select the “Closed Eyes” layer and go to “Filter” > “Liquify.” This will open the Liquify window.
Step 2: In the Liquify window, select the “Forward Warp Tool” (shortcut key: W). This tool allows you to push and pull pixels in the direction you drag your cursor.
Step 3: Adjust the brush size and pressure as needed. For closing eyes, it’s best to start with a smaller brush size to ensure precision. You can adjust the brush size by pressing the “[” and “]” keys on your keyboard, or using the slider in the Liquify window.
Step 4: Begin closing the subject’s eyes by gently pushing the upper eyelid downwards towards the lower eyelid. Make sure to follow the natural curvature of the eye, and maintain the shape of the eyelid. Do the same for the lower eyelid, pushing it upwards towards the upper eyelid. Repeat this process for both eyes until they appear closed.
Step 5: Once satisfied with the result, click “OK” to apply the changes and exit the Liquify window.
3. Applying the Clone Stamp Tool
The Clone Stamp Tool allows you to copy pixels from one area of the image and apply them to another area. This is useful for covering any inconsistencies in the eyelids after using the Liquify tool.
Step 1: Select the “Clone Stamp Tool” (shortcut key: S) from the toolbar.
Step 2: Choose a soft-edged brush and set the opacity to around 50% for a more subtle effect.
Step 3: Hold down the “Alt” key (or “Option” key on Mac) and click on an area of the image with similar skin texture to the eyelids. This will set the source point for cloning.
Step 4: Release the “Alt”
/ “Option” key and gently brush over the eyelids to blend the skin texture and cover any inconsistencies. Be mindful of the brush size and adjust it accordingly to avoid overpainting other areas of the face.
Step 5: Repeat the process for both eyes, and periodically change the source point to avoid creating repetitive patterns.
4. Utilizing the Healing Brush Tool
The Healing Brush Tool is another useful feature in Photoshop that helps blend and smooth out any remaining imperfections in the closed eyes.
Step 1: Select the “Healing Brush Tool” (shortcut key: J) from the toolbar.
Step 2: Choose a soft-edged brush and set the size slightly larger than the area you want to fix.
Step 3: Hold down the “Alt” key (or “Option” key on Mac) and click on an area of the image with similar skin texture to the eyelids to set the source point.
Step 4: Release the “Alt” / “Option” key and gently brush over the eyelids to blend the skin texture and smooth out any remaining inconsistencies.
Step 5: Repeat the process for both eyes, and change the source point as needed to ensure a natural and realistic result.
5. Fine-Tuning the Image
Now that the eyes are closed, it’s time to make any necessary adjustments to ensure a natural and realistic appearance.
Step 1: Zoom in and carefully examine the closed eyes for any imperfections, such as harsh edges or misaligned pixels.
Step 2: If needed, use the “Smudge Tool” (shortcut key: R) to blend any harsh edges or smooth out the skin texture. Be sure to use a small brush size and low strength for a subtle effect.
Step 3: To add depth and dimension to the closed eyes, create a new layer above the “Closed Eyes” layer, and set the blending mode to “Multiply.” Using a soft-edged brush with low opacity, gently paint shadows along the eyelid crease and outer corners of the eyes. This will help create a more natural and convincing appearance.
Step 4: If the subject’s eyelashes are visible, you may need to adjust their position using the “Liquify Tool” as described in Section 2.
Closing a subject’s eyes in Photoshop can be a challenging task, but by using a combination of the Liquify, Clone Stamp, and Healing Brush tools, along with careful attention to detail, you can achieve a natural and realistic result. This skill can be applied to a variety of scenarios, from creating unique portraits to fixing images where the subject’s eyes are partially closed or blinking.
Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempt isn’t perfect. With time and experience, you’ll become more proficient in this technique and be able to close eyes in Photoshop like a pro.