The Eyes Have It (and the Teeth, Too)

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the tools in Pixelmator to alter the eye color of the subject of a photo and to improve the appearance of a picture by brightening the smile.

If you’d like to use the same images I used, they can be downloaded free from Stock.xchng. Get the picture of the girl for the eye color example here, the picture of the woman (by Hector Landaeta) for the teeth brightening example here. Of course, you are free to choose images of your own.

Part 1: Eye Color







Essentially, there are three steps involved in altering eye color: Select - Desaturate - Colorize.

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Selecting the irises is the most important part this project. I’m going to start by zooming in on the girl’s right eye. Using a pair of guides will make selection easier. Drag out a vertical guide from the vertical ruler to the left edge of the iris. Drag a horizontal guide down from the top to the bottom edge of the iris.

Choose the Rectangular Marquee Tool, use the ellipse type and normal mode in the Tool Options pallet. Use the intersection of the two guides as your starting point to draw a selection that includes the full iris as well as some of the eyelid, too.
See this step in a video

Now, with the Move Tool, move the guides to the edges of the pupil. Starting from the intersection of the guides, select the pupil. Change the selection mode of the Rectangular Marquee Tool (ellipse type) to subtract from the current selection Starting from the intersection of the guides, select the pupil.

Next, the part of the selection that includes the eyelid overlaying the iris needs to be taken away. Choose the Lasso Tool (polygon type) in subtract from the current selection mode. Draw a selection that includes that area of the eyelid.
See how to do this in a video

A similar procedure needs to performed on the girl’s left eye. Important: Before making the selection of the iris with the Rectangular Marquee Tool(ellipse type), set the tool mode to add to the current selection.

Feather the selection a little, maybe about 5%, to soften the edges, Edit > Refine Selection… .

The more effort and care you put into the selection process, the better will be your result.

The rest is simple. Remove the current color from the eyes, Image > Desaturate.

Use the Colorize pallet to add the coloring of your choice to the irises, Image > Colorize…, drag the color wheel to get the hue you want and use the sliders to adjust the Saturation and Lightness. In the example, I rotated the color wheel to 105° and adjusted the saturation to 15 and lightness to 5.

This same technique can be used to alter the color of anything in an image. You could change the color of the girl’s lipstick or hair or even the color of a car.

Part 2: Brightening Teeth

In the second part of this project, you will see how to quickly brighten a dull smile.

Zoom in on the teeth. With the Lasso Tool (polygon type), draw a selection that includes all the teeth you want to brighten. Feather the selection a little, maybe about 10%, to soften the selection, Edit > Refine Selection… .

From the Image menu, select the Hue and Saturation dialog. Decrease the Saturation (drag the slider left) and increase the Lightness (drag the slider right) until you achieve the desired level of brightness. I adjusted the saturation to -25 and the lightness to 15 in the example.

This same method can be employed to brighten any part of any image, not just teeth.

- Tom Boito