Fixing Red Eyes in Digital Photos
If you’ve ever used a digital camera with a flash, you’ve probably seen the red eye effect in your photos at least once. In fact, the problem is so common that many people will invest in photo editing software for the sole purpose of correcting this type of flaw. In this tutorial, we’re going to focus on how Paint Shop Pro can remove red eyes and other similar problems from the subjects in your photos. (You also might want to take a look at these tips that will help prevent red eye problems in digital photographs so you won’t have to fix them later with the assistance of a photo editing application.)
The red eye tool in Paint Shop Pro can be used for more than just fixing “red” eyes. Depending on your subject (those who love to take pictures of their pets and other animals will know what I mean), sometimes the problem is really green, blue, or other colored eyes. This is all related to the same problem though – for more on the science behind this aggravating effect, check out Rhonda Callow’s explanation of what causes red eye.
For this demonstration, I’m going to use the photo shown below of my cat Pete. In this example, the flaw is really “green eyes” instead of “red eyes” but these problems are caused by the same thing and can be fixed using the same tool in Paint Shop Pro. (Click any image in this article for a larger view.)
The “quick version” of the Red Eye tool in Paint Shop Pro can be accessed from the left tool panel as shown in the screenshot below.
In this tutorial, however, we’re going to look at the more advanced version that offers several more options.
To access this version, choose Red Eye Removal from the Adjust menu on Paint Shop Pro’s main toolbar.
This will open up another window in the application where you can modify the settings for the Red Eye Removal tool.
The first thing that you want to do in this window is click and hold down the button to the right of Pan. As you’re holding down the button, move the selection box over the eye area. (Note that you will need to select each eye separately before editing.) Release the button when you’re down and you should now see the eye area in the Before and After windows of the Preview area.
Next, you want to choose your selection Method. You can choose either an Auto method for human or animal, or you can opt for one of the other methods that allow for a more freehand selection of the flawed area. In this case, we’ll choose Auto Animal Eye.
Continue on to the next page for the remainder of this tutorial on using the Red Eye Removal tool in Paint Shop Pro.
Correcting Red Eye Flaws (continued)
Now, click anywhere in the eye area of the Before view and adjust the dimensions of the circular tool so that it completely covers the area of the eye with red eye (or in the case, greenish yellow eye) effect. This might take a little patience at first when you’re just getting used to the tools, but stick with it – it gets easier with practice. If you do make mistakes and want to start from scratch, just click the Delete Eye button to begin again.
One thing important to note here – if you need to rotate the selection area, you can hover the mouse area over the small line in the center of the tool until you see a symbol that looks like two arrows moving counterclockwise. When you see that, click and hold the mouse button down while you rotate the selection area.
Here’s what our Before and After areas look like after selecting the first area.
Before making any other adjustments, go ahead and select the second eye also. Since both eyes in the subject will usually need the same corrections, this can save some steps later on. So, use the Pan button again to pull the second eye into your Preview area and repeat all of the steps we just performed for the first eye.
With both eyes selected, we can start making modifications to the other settings in this window. Adjust the values for each of these options while keeping your own eye on the After image in the Preview area.
When you’re done and happy with what you see in the Preview area, click OK to exit the window and apply the changes to your digital photo. In the screenshot below, I only applied the changes to one eye to demonstrate what a dramatic difference this tool can make.
How did this tool differ from the quick version that is located on the left side toolbar? Well, that tool is just a special case with predefined settings of the advanced Red Eye Removal tool. It’s designed to fix the most common type of red eye flaws found in photos of humans. Basically, it’s very similar to other red eye removers that you’ll find in basic photo editors. Many times, it will work just fine (and be a lot quicker), but for those times when it doesn’t, you can always turn to the more advanced version and pick your own settings.
Additional Resources: For more tips and tricks, be sure to check out the other items in Bright Hub’s collection of Paint Shop Pro tutorials here on the Digital Photography Channel.