PI5 Removing Red Eye From Photos

People often email me about unattractive red eyes in their photos, which seem to be a fact of life in flash photography. I have yet to take a close up indoors with my digital camera that doesn't have some red eye, like this one of my son at a birthday party.

before and after

PI5 makes it easy to eliminate red eye with the Camera Lens, Remove Red Eye command. You can use this picture to practice on, or use one of your own. Be aware that you will likely have to edit the attribute settings if you apply this technique to your own images.

Start by opening up the image you want to edit in the work space. Choose Effect, Camera Lens, Remove Red Eye.

Effect, Camera Lens, Remove Red Eye

You'll get a dialog box that looks like this: 

Remove Red Eye dialog box

Note that there is a circle in the image, which represents one eye. Since two eyes are showing in this picture, select the two eyes icon in the "Select area for filtering" section.

select two eyes icon

Now you'll have two circles in the left window. Drag the circles over to the centers of the eyes. Click on the Zoom in plus (+) sign a couple of times so that you can see what you're doing. 

center circles over eyes

You'll notice that when you position the circles over the eyes, the right preview window shows a decrease in the red immediately, based on the default values for "Eye color to remove" and other attributes. However, the effect results in almost no highlight and flat, black eyes with no sparkle. It's not quite right. 

In addition, the "red" in the middle of the eyes isn't really red, it's a pink color. To remedy this, right click in the "Eye color to remove" color box and select Eyedropper. When the Eyedropper box opens, click in the center of the "red eye" to select that color for replacement, in this case a pink color.

select color to be replaced

Now let's edit the rest of the attributes to get the best result. Since the eye size is way too big for this image, change the size to 5. Drag the smaller circles so that they are centered over the red eyes. The eyes will still look red, so increase the Red tolerance to 65 to increase the range of color pixels affected. When you edit the Red tolerance, some red will spill out beyond the area you want to fix. To compensate, edit the Effect level down to 30, making it somewhat less powerful. The settings are shown below.

edit eye size and other attributes

Click the Preview button to see the changes you've made applied to the image. If you're satisfied with the results, click OK. If not, click Continue and keep editing. 

Here's the results of the editing done with Remove Red Eye. Note that there is still a lighter spot in the center of each eye, but that this "sparkle" is necessary for a natural look.

red eye removed

This image sure looks a lot better than it did when I started out. Although there aren't any hard and fast rules for using this Camera Lens command, with a little experimentation you can improve almost any image with a red eye problem.

Don't forget that the Remove Red Eye Retouch tool also helps to remove red eye from photos. However, its parameters are not as customizable as this one.

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