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by Wendi Elizabeth Martha Scarth


Remove Flash Eye
Adobe Photoshop


 Remove Yellow, Blue Or Green Eye - Using The Sponge And Burn Tools
Suitable for Adobe Photoshop CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6 & CC
Skill Level - Intermediate Plus

Jeoffrey with his liquid eyes
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This tutorial demonstrates how to remove green, blue and yellow (flash) eye from animals utilising the Sponge and Burn Tools. To work along exactly, you can download the cat image Here.  Unzip the file and open the image onto Photoshop’s workspace.

Understand The Workspace And Palettes

Removing Human and Animal Red Eye with The Red Eye Tool

Removing Human and Animal Red Eye with the Colour Replacement and Burn Tools

General Flash Eye Notes
Red, green, yellow or blue eye, occurs when a photograph is taken with a flash. Light from the camera’s flash is reflected onto the retina at the back of the eye, and in humans, (and sometimes dogs) results in red eye, caused by the blood vessels. Animals; including, dogs and cats, have special reflective layers (tapetum lucidum), over their retinas - similar to mirrors, and this aids their nocturnal vision. This results in the strange green/yellow/blue eyes often displayed in photographs of indoor pets, (taken with flash). As animals age, their eyes become cloudy; exacerbating the spooky appearance caused by flash.

Undo and Navigation Steps
Two ways of undoing steps are from the top menu, Edit then Step Backwards. Alternatively, click a previous snapshot in the History Palette.

Navigate (zoom in and pan) your image using the Navigator Palette,

or the Zoom Tool.

Activate The Hand Tool by tapping the Spacebar, keeping the Spacebar pressed, pan your image in the usual way.

Open your Start Image onto Photoshop’s workspace.

Extend your Start Image’s workspace by left-clicking and dragging out one of its corners.

Tip: Snap Your Image To The Top Menu’s Horizontal Bar
Another way of centralising an image is to snap it to the top (horizontal) menu-bar by dragging your image towards it: as soon as you see a blue horizontal bar, your image should automatically snap to it.

Now, zoom into the eyes (View then Zoom in), or activate the Zoom Tool .

Then from the left-side Tools Toolbar, activate the Polygonal Lasso Tool

And set the following Add to selection and Feather 2 px attributes into its Options Bar.

Now, carefully apply a Selection Marquee around both irises - as illustrated below. 

(My step-by-step on-line Polygonal Lasso Tool tutorial can be viewed
Here - Chapter 3).

After you have isolated both irises with a Selection Marquee, you are ready for the next step.

If you prefer, you can create a New Layer from the Selection Marquees by pressing Ctrl and then tapping your J Key: - Layer then New then Layer Via Copy. Then apply the Sponge Tool to the New Layer.

From the top menu, choose Adjustments then choose Desaturate. This removes the pupils’ colour, subsequently converting them to greyscale.

Alternatively, from the left-side Toolbar, activate the Sponge Tool.

And set the following Desaturate settings into its Options Bar.

Then paint inside the Selection Marquees, to remove the pupils’ colour.

Sponge Tool Note
Depending on whether you choose Desaturate or Saturate, the Sponge Tool, when repeatedly applied, either removes colour - turning it to greyscale, or enhances (deepens) the colour’s saturation.

        Satuarate Mode

Desaturate Mode

To darken the pupils further, ensure the Selection Marquees remain active, and then from the Toolbar, activate the Burn Tool.

If you are working with my Start Image, then set the following attributes into the Burn Tool’s Options Bar. (If not, for personal results, experiment with the Burn Tool’s settings).

Burn Tool Notes
Depending upon the pupils’ colour - you may need to experiment with the Range and Exposure settings. 

You can quickly resize the Burn Tool by tapping your Keyboard’s Square Bracket Keys (with caps OFF).

Now, ensure the Brush Size is larger than the pupil: and then hover your cursor over the
left eye, and repeatedly left-click until the pupil is darkened to a hue you like.


Repeat the last Chapter (Chapter 5), this time darkening the right pupil: then tap Ctrl then D to remove the Selection Marquee. (Select then Deselect).

Then soften any harsh lines between pupil and iris using the Blur Tool, setting the Strength to around 15%.


your work is complete and is ready to save.

Wendi E M Scarth.
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