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Opening Eyes with Fireworks

Presented on 22 February 2006

A common problem with photos, especially group pictures, is a person who closed his/her eyes at the moment that the photograph was taken. Murphy's Law states that the group photo in which everyone was smiling, in good light and clearly visible will have one person with his/her eyes closed. Fortunately, Fireworks makes this problem easy to correct.

Depending on what you have to work with, there are three or four steps:

  1. Take a lot of photos!

    You need to take several photos, in order to have material to work with to fix the problem. You need at least one good picture of the person in question -- maybe in a photo in which something else wasn't right -- to fix the eyes. The eyes-open photo and the eyes-closed photo should have the same light levels, with the light coming from the same direction, at the same distance from the camera, and at the same magnification. If you have an eyes-closed picture that was taken in the shade, and an eyes-open picture taken in full sun, it will be much more difficult to make the change.

    Take several photos of each arrangement of people, location, etc. If people change positions, take several more shots before they move again. With a digital camera, there is no excuse for not taking an adequate number of shots.

  2. Copy a "good" eye from another photo.

    Open a photo with an open eye or eyes in Fireworks.

    Use the Oval Marquee Tool (click and hold for a moment on the Marquee Tool , then choose the Oval Marquee Tool) to draw an oval around an open eye. If you don't like the position of the oval, you can move it around with the Pointer Tool .

    From the menu at the top of the screen, select Edit > Copy.

    Hint: It may be easier to position the Oval Marquee if you zoom in on the eye with the Zoom Tool .

  3. Paste the eye onto the photo with the closed eye, and move it into position.

    From the menu at the top of the screen, select Edit > Paste.

    Position the eye with the Pointer Tool (you can use your keyboard's arrow keys for fine movements).

    If there is a noticeable "edge" around the new eye, go to Step 4 to learn how to blend the edges of the two images.

  4. If necessary, "smudge" the edges of the oval to blend-in the new eye.

    This example shows a slight line around the new eye, especially on the upper-right part of the oval.

    In order to blend the eye and the rest of the face, you have to be able to work on both the new eye and the image it sits on at the same. In the Layers Panel on the right side of the screen, click one of the layers, then hold down the [Shift] and select the other layer. See the example below and to the right.

    From the menu at the top of the screen, select Modify > Flatten Selection.

    Use the Smudge Tool (click and hold for a moment on the Blur Tool , then choose the Smudge Tool) to very gently soften the edges of the new eye. You may need to change the size of the tool in the Properties. I find that a Size of about 10 and an Edge of 50 work well.

    Hint: Use the Zoom Tool to enlarge the image while working on the edges of the new eye


That's it! Now do the other eye!