Are you looking for ways to add some creepiness to your photos? Want to make a somewhat scary portrait frightening? Just in time for Halloween, Aaron Nace shows us a great and easy way to turn eyes a realistic and terrifying black in Photoshop:
The only way this effect will work is if the eyes look realistic in the end. Sure, they’ll be an unnatural black, but they can still be unnaturally real! The best way to do this is to make sure the eyes in the original image have catch lights in them and keep them there. These are the reflections that show up from softboxes and other light sources.
Steps to Black Out Eyes
1. Start by painting the entire inside of the eye black.
2. You’ll need to darken around the eyes too. Since the whites of the eyes cause a lighter highlight around the lids, you need to darken that to be consistent with black eyes. Create a curves adjustment layer and drag the curve down.
3. Invert the layer, then paint around the edges of the eye with a white soft edge brush to create a more realistic transition between the black eyes and the eyelids.
4. Add depth to the eye with the channels tab. Usually the blue channel will have the greatest difference between the highlights in the eye and the other tones, which is what you want, but test the other channels to be sure. Duplicate the channel.
5. Create a levels adjustment layer and increase the highlights while dropping the shadows down. This will give the image a really contrasty look which will add the freaky and scary element you’re going for. Then, take only the highlights and turn them into a selection.
6. Create a new layer on top of everything and use the brush tool to paint white over the eyes to reveal the highlights in them. This will bring out the shine that should be there, giving the eyes life.
7. Paint over any details, like hair and eyelashes, that would be over the eye. You would have painted over these things when you painted black and you want to bring back all elements that make the photo realistic now. Create a new layer to do this and use a super small brush to draw the hair back in and add highlights. And that’s it! Your freaky black, realistic eyes are done.
These simple steps will completely alter your photos to give them a truly creepy look that will make your viewers cringe! Happy Halloween, everyone, and Happy Photoshopping!
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