What Is This Tutorial About?
This is a tutorial on changing the color of your eyes with the image editing software known as GIMP. You'll learn how to use the free select tool to make a selection and how to use the Hue and Saturation tool to change the color of your selection. You'll also use the smudge tool to soften hard eges, layers and layer modes.Combining these tools and techniques will allow you to get the desired color that you want for your eye. This is a fairly simple tutorial and should be able to be completed by beginners.
What Is Gimp And Where Can I Get It?
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an image editing program.GIMP is released under the GPLv3 license as free and open-sourced software. For more information on GPLv3 license see here: http://goo.gl/JtfPQ . You can do many things with GIMP, including: cropping, editing, free-form drawing, digital painting, resizing, converting image formats and many more tasks. If you know what Adobe Photoshop is, think of GIMP as a kind of free version of that program.
Since GIMP is released under the GPLv3 license it is free to download, use, study, share (copy), and modify the software. You can download GIMP from Gimp.org here: http://www.gimp.org/downloads/ .
Choosing Your Image
Let's start off by choosing the image that you want to edit. Photos where the eye is the main focus work great but this doesn't mean they have to be focused specifically on the eye. You may want to draw attention to the eyes in a photo where the eyes are not the main focus. Also, the higher resolution the photo is, the better. If you want to follow along with the photo that I used you can download it here: http://goo.gl/15KKUx
Using The Free Selection Tool
Once you have your image ready and GIMP open go to File>Open As Layers. Find your saved photo and open it. You should see your Toolbox on the right side of the screen. If not, press CTRL+B. On the left side you should see the Layers Box, with your image shown as a layer inside the box. If it is not there press CTRL+L. First, let's select the Free Selection tool. It looks like a little lasso and is located in your Toolbox (see the picture to the right). Next, go to View>Zoom and zoom in. You want the eye ball to be taking up most of your screen, making it easier to be precise with the Free Select tool. Now , the Free Select tool works by click on the image to create different anchor points, these points are connected together by a straight line as you move on, allowing you to make a selection. Make your selection around the Iris (the colered part of your eye) as shown in the photo below. Connect your last and first anchor to complete the selection.
Using The Hue And Saturation Tool To Change Colors
After your selection is complete go to Color>Hue-Saturation. A box like the one in the photo to the right will appear. By default the Master box will be selected changing the Hue/Saturation/Lightness of your whole selection. You can also click on the individual circles next to the color boxes to change the settings on a specific color (I highly recommend this, you can get some awesome results, especially if you have multiple colors in your eyes). Now this is where a little creativity comes in handy. I suggest you play around with all the colors and all the different settings. Doing this will get you used to using Hue/Saturation/Lightness to change colors and the more you mess around the more you discover. So, play around with it for a while until you create something you like. As you can see, I came up with some very nice results with the image below.
We're almost done, yay! After you get the colors you like press okay in the Hue/Saturation box to save your changes and close the box. Then you can press CTRL+SIFT+A to remove your selection around the eye. I noticed a few hard eges around the rim of the Iris on my eyeball so I'm going to use the Smudge tool to clean them up. Select the Smudge Tool from the Toolbox (shown in the photo to the right). Select the small fuzzy-edged circle brush. I zoomed in to around 200% and set the Opacity to 75%. I also used a size 45 brush. You can leave the rest of the setting alone (the photo below shows you the different parts of the Tool Options box). Now simply click along where there are alone hard lines. Mine were around the edge of the Iris so I clicked (not click and drag) along the edges, slowly smoothing it out. The next step is optional but it can make your end results look a little better.
Multiplying A New Layer(Optional)
This step is optional but I suggest you try it. If you mess up you can just press CTRL+Z until you get back to where you want. First we're going to right click our layer in the Layer Box to the right, it should have the same name as the photo you used. After you right click the layer a drop down box will appear, select Duplicate Layer. A new layer will appear above the first one, an exact duplicate of our first image. Now left click the top layer and it will highlight that layer. Change the mode to Multiply and set the Opacity to around, 45%. ( see the photo to find Mode and Opacity for layer). You may have to adjust your Opacity a little bit if it's to dark or to light, just play around with the Opacity until it's the darkness or lightness you need. Once you have your Opacity figured out you're done. To save your project (when you click this file it will open GIMP with all your layers so you can edit your project) go to File>Save As. To save your just your photo go to File>Export. You can change the file type you save it as by clicking the +Select File Type By Extension and choosing what you want. Now click export and BOOM! We're completely finished! Congratulations and thank you for reading my Tutorial. Be sure to check out my other GIMP tutorials below.
My Other Tutorials
Here are some other GIMP tutorials that I have made. Feel free to check them out. If you have any questions or any suggestions on a tutorial you want me to create, please leave a comment and I will try my best to help you.
Text to Path
Mario Forum Signature
Adding Life To A Plain Photo
© 2013 Zach Kaer
Wes on May 26, 2017:
I had a little trouble with the selection tool but after some practice I got it down. This is truly the best way to edit eye color. It doesn't look fake or silly. Thanks for the tut.
freeandluvenit from Wichita Falls, Texas on September 13, 2013:
I love photoshop...do you think GIMP is better to use? Or id it all in personal preference?