Vodkaman

Photoshop Eye

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I saw a recent video of someone making 3D lure eyes on a 2D eye by dripping epoxy in the image. The system seemed to work well, so I set out to see what could be created on Photoshop and printed out onto acetate sheet, for the above process. I, and I suspect most of the Photoshop users here on TU, mostly use the tool for editing pictures and resizing, so this is a new adventure for me. Unfortunately, I cannot finish the project because I only have black ink in my printer, but it may give you guys a few ideas.

This thread is not about my artistic abilities, but about Photoshop and what is possible with a small investment of time experimenting. I was going to write a tutorial geared to Photoshop novices like myself, but quickly realized what a huge project it was. I am prepared to do it, but only if there is sufficient demand. If one or two are interested, I can direct you to the methodology with emails and PM’s.

TUeyepatternfinal.jpg

eyepage02a.jpg

Dave

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Dave,

Those are great looking eyes. I'm certainly interested in the process if nothing but to have a go. I have tried eye making a few times with varying success so would be good to be involved in another method. Like you said though it's certainly time consuming so happy to help if you want.

Angus

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Great job on the eyes! I would have never thought to use Photoshop to make them. I saw that epoxy eye making video. Great stuff! The list of neat things I want to try just keeps getting longer and longer!

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Great job on the eyes! I would have never thought to use Photoshop to make them. I saw that epoxy eye making video. Great stuff! The list of neat things I want to try just keeps getting longer and longer!

You know you're getting older when.....the bucket on your bucket list is a 55 gallon drum! :lol:

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Here is the ‘how too’ draw eyes with Photoshop. I am assuming no knowledge of Photoshop.

For the experienced Photoshop users, I have written a ‘quick recipe’ at the end, so you don’t need to read through the basic explanation.

First an over view of Photoshop and the functions that you will be using:

Floating menus – we will be using two of the floating menus, ‘tools’ and ‘layers’, plus the ‘options’ bar at the top. If they are not visible, they can be switched on under the ‘windows’ menu. To the right of the options bar is a tab for brushes, this gets used a lot.

Layers (shft+Ctrl+N) – Top tool bar. Layers are a bit like clear coating between fiddly high risk paint operations. You are going to be mixing and smudging a bunch of colors and patterns. Keeping each one an a separate layer will make life so much easier. Additional advantages are that you can hide layers and you can change the order of the layers, so if one layer gets obscured, you can bring it to the front for visibility.

To change layers simply click the layer you want to work with. To hide (or show) a layer, click the eye symbol. To delete a layer, select it and click the trash can at the bottom of the layer box.

Brush (B) – floating ‘tools’ box. Used for applying the paint color currently on the ‘palate’ (‘tools’ box). Once selected, you can change brush sizes (‘options’ tool bar), by selecting presets or moving the slider (my preference). Use the short cut (B) for speed and efficiency.

Color palate - ‘tools’ box, two color squares towards the bottom of the tool box. This displays the current colors in play, the top square shows the foreground (brush) color, the other the background color. To change color, click the top box, the ‘color picker’ box appears.

Smudge ® - ‘tools’ box. Used for smudging and blending the paint already laid down. This is your main paint brush, not the actual brush tool. Use the short cut ® for speed and efficiency.

Mode, opacity, flow – I haven’t played much with these, but you can experiment with them when painting. The ‘dissolve’ function (mode drop down menu) in combination with ‘flow’ is quite useful, for lighter paint applications.

Short cuts – These are provided to make your life easier and well worth learning the few that you use. You want to be able to quickly jump from ‘brush’ (B) to ‘smudge’ ® to ‘erase’ (E) to ‘pan’ (H) to ‘zoom’ (Z) and ‘zoom out’ (alt+Z). Towards the end of the process, you will need the ‘move’ tool (V) and ‘paste’ tool (ctrl V). Most important short cut is ctrl+Z, this reverses the last operation. Unfortunately it only works one level deep, but it is also a good comparison tool, as repeat selections toggles back and forth. Very useful when editing pics to see if a change is an improvement or not.

Before we start – a word about detail. We will be working on an eye ball 200mm diameter and doing micro surgery. It is very easy to get carried away with fancy detail and spend hours making a master piece. But remember the final size of the eye, 10mm diameter or so. Even at 400 pixels, most of the detail is wasted. At the end of the day, the final result is down to what your printer is capable of.

How to draw an eye using Photoshop

1. skeleton view – I drew a few simple curves as a skeleton picture of the eye, consisting of an outer ring, pupil profile and a light flash shape. The diameter of the eye at this stage was 200mm, so I had plenty of pixels to mess about with. Scaling down is dealt with at the end. I drew the skeleton pattern on CAD and transferred the image across to a jpeg image for Photoshop, but lots of other ways of doing this part, you could even draw it by hand with a thick sharpie and take a photograph.

pic01skeleton.jpg

2. paint pupil – this is the fiddliest part of the whole process. Painting using a mouse is a bit like a four year old trying to stay within the lines. After this operation I strongly suggest you save the part and make a copy, so that you can use this ‘master’ again.

The first thing to do is to create a new layer (shft+ctrl+N) and name it ‘pupil’.

You can see in the layer box that the layer ‘pupil’ is active. Anything that you draw now, goes on this layer. The original ‘skeleton’ is on the standard default layer called ‘background’.

Click the color palate and select black from the ‘color picker’ box, click ‘OK’.

Select the ‘brush’ tool (B). The cursor will display a circle representing the brush size. Click the ‘brushes’ tab to change size.

Zoom in (Z) to a comfortable scale, hit ‘B’ again and start filling the pupil. If you make a mistake, try ctrl+Z to reverse or ‘E’ to erase (select a brush for the erase tool). Use the pan tool (H) to slide the image along, ‘B’ again to switch to the brush tool. Now you will begin to see the advantage of the short cuts.

Don’t do too much without lifting your mouse finger, or you will lose the lot when you ctrl+Z. A bit like typing for two hours without saving. Another fix, if you go over the line, is to select the smudge tool ® (select a brush size for it) and push the stray paint back into position, hit ‘B’ and continue painting.

If you find yourself being too fussy, remember the final size of the eye, slight errors here will not be visible on the final eye. If the floating menu boxes get in the way, they can be toggled on and off by hitting the ‘tab’ key on your keyboard.

Once done, ‘save as’ “pupil”. This picture can be used again for the next project, as can the skeleton. It is best to use the ‘save as’ function again now, saving as “eye”, so you don’t accidentally overwrite the pupil. Because you have used layers, the file is saved as a PSD. You will also notice that the file sizes get BIG, this will be fixed at the end of the process.

pic02pupil.jpg

Iris – I decided to have an inner rim of dark yellow (gold-ish), outer rim of blue, a few splashes of red through the centre and a general color background of light yellow.

Background – create a new layer (shft+ctrl+N), name it “yellow iris”. This layer is now active. Click the palate and select a suitable color from the color picker box. Zoom in (Z), select the brush tool (B), choose a suitable brush size and start painting the iris.

A trick here is that you can overlap the centre pupil with abandon. This is fixed by selecting ‘layer’ from the top tool bar, select ‘arrange’ towards the bottom of the drop down menu, select ‘send backward’. Notice the short cuts, ‘ctrl+[‘ and ‘ctrl+]’ for manipulating the layers forward and backward, these will be useful later, get used to using them now.

Paint to the outer line, this will add color to any holes you leave later, so the swirls can be free flowing without worrying about edges.

pic03irisyellow.jpg

Inner gold rim - create a new layer (shft+ctrl+N), name it “inner gold rim”. This layer is now active. Click the palate and select a suitable color from the color picker box. Zoom in (Z), select the brush tool (B), choose a suitable brush size and start painting the rim.

Use a large brush size, paint the rim half in the pupil. The overlap should be hidden, if not, use the ctrl+[ and ctrl+] short cuts to manipulate the layers.

pic04innergoldrim.jpg

Select the ‘smudge’ tool ®, pick a brush size to suit. Do some experimenting here, so one sweep, assess, then ctrl+Z to reverse. With ‘smudge’ tool selected, the options bar (top) shows smudge options, one being ‘strength’. I found 50% worked for me, but try different numbers to see the effect.

Simply drag and swirl the gold to get the effect that you want. If it is too strong, select the erase tool (E), select a smaller brush for it and erase a few holes in the swirls. Hit ‘R’ and continue swirling. If the swirls get too far into the iris, simply push them back. This is a really creative and fun tool.

pic05finishedinnerrim.jpg

Outer blue rim – Create a new layer (shft+ctrl+N) and name it “outer blue rim”. same method as inner rim, but I found the blue to be a bit heavy going on. So I played with brush sizes and introduced some dissolve. This is found on the ‘options’ bar when brush is selected. Click on the ‘mode’ drop down menu and select dissolve. Next adjust the ‘flow’ number. I used 50%, but experiment. Don’t worry about the line, throw it on.

pic06outerbluerim.jpg

Now push it around with the ‘smudge tool ®. Try different brush sizes and flow rates. Do not worry about the outer circle boundary, just concentrate on the swirls. Once done, select the ‘erase’ tool (E) and a suitable brush size. Now roughly skirt around the outside, erasing the swirls outside the eye. Don’t worry about the edge. Now select the smudge tool with a bigger brush and ‘push’ the excess back over the line, leaving a nice crisp outline.

pic07finishedouterrim.jpg

Red veins – New layer called “red veins”. Select color from palate. Same method as above. I used a smaller brush and removed the dissolve and used normal. Painted a few dashes and swirled them about.

pic08finishedredveins.jpg

The eye is essentially finished now, but you can go into each layer and adjust each effect individually, until you are happy. To get an idea of what the final eye will look like, zoom out until the eye appears normal size. Once happy, SAVE THE PSD.

Eye JPEG – to convert the PSD file to a JPEG, first we have to ‘flatten’ the layers. To do this, select ‘layer’ from the top tool bar and select ‘flatten image’ from the drop down menu (near the bottom). Now select ‘file’ and ‘save as’ “eye normal”, click in the ‘format’ window and select JPEG, now press save. Note – you cannot work the eye any more, as all the layers are gone. If you see more changes, go back to the PSD file.

Re-size eye JPEG – First you need to crop the file close to the eye. Select the ‘crop’ tool from the floating tool box or short cut ‘C’. drag a box around the eye. The box can be adjusted until you get it right, just to the edge of the eye or a tad bigger. Outside the cropped area will appear dimmed. Right click inside the crop and select ‘crop’.

Next, select ‘image’ from the top tool bar and ‘image size’ from the drop down menu (half way down). The ‘image size’ box appears. Change the ‘document size’ width and height to 1cm (or what ever size you require) and change the resolution to 400 pixels per inch. The value of width and height are tied, so one figure might wander to 0.99, do not worry about this. Do not unlink them, or you will lose the circle shape.

Save the file now.

Copy to clipboard – click ‘select’ from top tool bar and click ‘all’ from drop down menu. The whole picture is now selected, indicated by the shimmering line around the outside. Now click ‘edit’ from the top tool bar. Click ‘copy’, the picture is now on the tool bar. Now click ‘select’ and ‘deselect’ to switch off the selection.

Print sheet creation – click ‘file’ from top menu bar and ‘new’ from drop down menu. The ‘new’ box appears. Change the title to “eye line”. Select ‘A4’ from ‘preset sizes. Set the resolution to 400 pixels per inch, click transparent and click ‘OK’. A new sheet appears.

Pasting the first line of eyes – with the cursor in the new drawing, ‘paste’ the first copy of the eye, short cut ‘ctrl+V’. the eye appears in the middle of the page. Now select the ‘move’ tool from the floating tools box, short cut ‘V’. click and drag the eye to the top left, not to the very edge. Ctrl+V again, to paste the next eye and drag it into position next to the first. Repeat until you have a line.

pic09eyeline.jpg

Notice a layer has been created called ‘layer 1’. Every time you paste, a new layer is created. This allows all the eyes to be moved independently. Zoom in (Z). select ‘layer 1’, click ‘V’ and manouvre the eye to a good position. Select ‘layer 2’ and line up with first eye. Repeat with each layer to get a nice line of eyes. Use the pan tool (H) to move around.

To paste a whole page of eyes would take hours, so we are going to copy the line and paste whole lines. Click ‘layer’ and ‘flatten image’. Now select the crop tool © and crop the line of eyes. Select ‘file’ and save (JPEG).

We now have to repeat the paste process. Click ‘select’ and ‘all’ to select the line of eyes. Click ‘file’ and ‘copy’ to move the selection to the clip board. As above, create a ‘new’ sheet, name it “eye print sheet”, set A4, set 400 pixels per inch, set transparent.

Paste the lines (ctrl V) and move into position (V). Once happy, flatten the layers again. If you try to print before flattening, you will likely lock up your computer (ask me how I know), due to the massive amount of data in the PSD. Once flattened, the file can be saved as a JPEG. As a quality 12 JPEG, the file is still close to 7Mb, so save it as a quality 2, which will bring the file size down to under 1Mb and will not detract from the print quality.

Even though the sheet was set at A4, when printing, I still got the ‘over size’ message, so I did one more crop to reduce the page size, so it will print without problem. Save the file.

pic10eyeprintsheet.jpg

Printing – my computer did not enjoy printing out a page of 400 pixels per inch, it took a few minutes to process, but it did it. If this is a problem, try 200 pixels per inch instead. I just wish I had some color ink to view the result on acetate sheet, the black and white result looks good.

Hope this was not too complicated, it is a lot simpler to do than explain. Once you know the short cut keys and a little practice, start to finish is about 30 to 40 minutes. Comments welcome, especially advice from more experienced users, that may know of better ways to achieve this goal.

Dave

Quick recipe

Create skeleton picture of eye circle, pupil shape, light flash and any other detail you want. Save and keep for future use.

Save as “pupil”. Create layer “pupil”. Select palate – black. Select brush and size. Fill in pupil. Save and keep for future use.

Duplicate file. Create layer “iris yellow”. Set palate and paint iris. Bring pupil layer to top.

Create layer “inner rim gold. Set palate and brush a rim. Use smudge to swirl the rim.

Create layer “outer rim blue”. Set palate and brush an outer rim, set dissolve and flow. Paint rim. Use smudge to swirl. Tidy the edges to circle boundary.

Create layer “blood vein red”. Set palate, normal and flow 100%, Brush red dashes on iris. Use smudge to swirl.

Save PSD as “eye” for future editing etc.

Flatten layers. Crop to edge of eye. Resize to final eye dimensions. Set 400 pixels per inch. Save as “single eye” for future use. Select all, edit copy and close.

Open new file “eye line”, format A4, 400 pixels per inch, transparent. Paste eye and position. Repeat to make a line. Flatten image. Crop the line. Save file. Select all, copy, close.

Open new file “eye page”, format A4, 400 pixels per inch, transparent. Paste and position all the lines. Flatten image. Crop inside A4. Save as quality 1.

Print full size onto clear acetate sheet.

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Dave, your on fire, havent even read it and looks impressive work.

Apprieciate it

Thankyou Angus.

Probably the best way to use the instruction would be to print it off, without the pics and follow the steps.

Note - my copy of Photoshop is quite old, so one or two things may be a little different now.

Addendum - when you are using any function that requires a brush size change, you can 'right click' to have immediate access to the brush palate. Within any function or other program for that matter, it is always worth trying a 'right click', they always like to hide cool stuff away in the contextual menu.

Once you get the hang of the functions covered above, their is a lot of cool stuff you can do:

devil.jpg

No reason why you cannot take a pic of a real fish eye and edit it to suit.

Dave

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Dave, that was super information! I have an older version of photoshop also so this should work well for me. Will be giving this a try. Thanks John

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Dave, that was super information! I have an older version of photoshop also so this should work well for me. Will be giving this a try. Thanks John

Thanks John.

I wish I had waited before posting, as I am finding better ways to do the same thing all the time.

Paint bucket tool (G) fills to a closed shape, so one click fills the pupil area.

Duplicate the skeleton layer and fill the iris with one click.

Duplicate the skeleton layer again and create an outer mask. No need to paint to lines any more, DUH! Working time is now down to about 5 - 7 minutes.

Dave

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Cool stuff Dave. I have Paint Shop Pro which is similar to Photoshop. Will have to give this a whirl.

thanks for the info and ideas,

Ben

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does the acetate sheet leech at all when applying to your lures ie when you are putting on a clear coat?

regards

and they look great

rob

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does the acetate sheet leech at all when applying to your lures ie when you are putting on a clear coat?

I have no idea, I just did the Photoshop. I am not anticipating any problems. The acetate sheet that I have is coated on one side, so the ink attaches well. It is expensive, but I already had it for another project.

The next job will be to find hole punches or metal tube to make them. It will probably be New year before I can continue. I had not planned to take this project any further, but probably will now, as they turned out better than I expected.

Dave

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I have no idea, I just did the Photoshop. I am not anticipating any problems. The acetate sheet that I have is coated on one side, so the ink attaches well. It is expensive, but I already had it for another project.

The next job will be to find hole punches or metal tube to make them. It will probably be New year before I can continue. I had not planned to take this project any further, but probably will now, as they turned out better than I expected.

Dave

Thanks Dave, this process has a lot of promice, I have been making my own for a while from epoxy, but this seems much simpler and realistic.. Can I suggest not to bother putting in the white 'glint' in the pupil, you will automatically get this when you 'dome' the eye and would be much more natural (it follows you).

Thanks again for all that work, I also have 'photoshop' in here somewhere.

Pete

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