How To 

How To Use Photoshop’s “Refine Edge” Tool To Correct “White Eyes” In Animals

Older versions of Photoshop offered simple dialog box tool called “Refine Edge” that appeared in the option bar whenever you were making a selection. This tool was eventually replaced by the “Select And Mask” workspace but there’s a little-known way to still access this quick and easy way to adjust the boundaries of a selection. We’re going to use it to correct the “white eye” effect that commonly occurs when you capture animals with flash photography.

1. Select the “white eye” area of the image.
In this example, the “white eye” is more green than anything, so we’ll use a selection tool (the magic wand in this case) to select the green areas in the pupil.

2. Open the “Refine Edge” dialog box.
This is where the trick comes in. By holding shift while hitting “Select > Select And Mask…”, you’ll open up a separate “Refine Edge” dialog box instead of the usual “Select And Mask” workspace. The “Refine Edge” tool was here with all along, just hidden in this arcane command.

3. Adjust the “Refine Edge” parameters.
Just like “Select And Mask”, we can choose a view mode that best suits our purposes - for this example we’re trying to isolate the eye while still comparing it to the original image, so an “Overlay” is our best bet. We want the selection to cover just over the edge of where the non-“white eye” begins, so we’ll adjust the “Shift Edge” parameter accordingly. We don’t want to crowd the selection with too much new pixel information, so we’ll keep the “Smooth”, “Feather” and “Contrast” adjustments to a minimum. After setting the Output to “New Layer”, we’re good to hit “OK”.

4. Open the “Hue/Saturation” tool on the new layer.
We now have a new layer that isolates the “white eye” effect. With it selected, we’ll now adjust the color and brightness values of the area by hitting “Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation…”

5. Adjust the “Hue/Saturation” parameters.
The goal here is to adjust this isolated area so that it matches the surrounding parts of the eye. We don’t want to occlude the details in the pupil entirely, so we’ll keep the “Lightness” value a few steps away from “-100”. We’ll also adjust the “Hue” to an oranger tint and decrease the “Saturation” so that this color isn’t so intense. Once we’re done, we’ll hit “OK”.