Creating a realistic eye texture to finished iris

Skill Level: Regular / Views: 1800 / System Requirements: Photoshop 6 and up (not been tested on earlier versions)

A step by step tutorial on how to create a realsitic eye texture plus a downloadable action.

nezbitten on 5:04AM Mon, 14 July 2008

Step by step eye texture with action

Eyeball. Colour Pupil and Iris

Eye image 5

I normally only post on photo repair and restoration but today I thought this may be of use.

This is a texture that I found to be very effective for the Iris of an eye.

Start by creating a new fil
e around 1000 pixels square. Your colour palette should be set to Red foreground, white background or You can use Red foreground, black background if you want flecks of red in your iris. Filter/render/clouds Filter/texture/stained glass/ cell size 10/ light intensity 4/ border 3 Filter/blur/radial blur zoom/distance 80

Eye image a1

Image/Adjust/Invert Image/adjust/exposure (adjust for more contrast)

Eye image 1

New Layer.
Draw circle on a new layer. Almost filling the canvas. Feather 1 pixel and fill with black. Next from the drop down menu, Select, modify/contract/ set to 6. Feather the selection by 5, delete. You should now be left with a dark ring. On a new layer draw a new circle for the pupil, not too big and fill with black.

In the Layers pallet
, select this layer and add outer glow. Choose a green that compliments the blue textured iris. Make it wide and diffused, just play with the setting until you are happy.

Eye image 2

On a new layer create the highlights
by drawing a circle and filling with whit, but use the graduated fill set to colour to transparent. Shape the catch light how you like, but bear in mind you should be following the curvature of the “ball” of the eye.

Eye image 3

On new layers add more catch lights
or reflections as you so desire and vary the transparencies of the layers to get varying degree of reflections. To finish, select with the magic wand the outside of the larger circle. Keep the selection active and create a new layer and fill the selection with white. A final burning in of the mid-tones around the edge of the eye should create a further illusion of a bulge in the eye.

Eye image 4


I made the iris outer glow a bit brighter. Added another outer ring underneath the existing one with a thicker and heavily feathered dark green. Then on the "iris rays" layer, i used the smudge tool to create the dividing line between the green glow and the outer colours. I added a more convincing highlight!!

Eye image 5

If you would like to download an action that automates most of this then you can get it here.

Tutorial Comments

nezbitten  4:56AM Sat, 16 March 2013

Action borken can now be found here

biplob_av05  12:03AM Fri, 21 May 2010

great work

nezbitten  3:55AM Wed, 09 December 2009

Oh dear. No one has reposted any results, all willing to use the info but not willing to share back, shame on you all!

SassyPumpkins  11:28AM Sat, 29 November 2008

While I'm new to PS I am going to give this a go as I've always been fascinated with eyes and this looks fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing it!!

nezbitten  7:29AM Fri, 05 September 2008

Thanks everyone, if anyone feels that my Iris is not real enough then perhaps we can all downlaod my action and mush it about until we come up with something that suits everyone? Isn't that what the web is about all clubbing together and looking out for each other. Re-post the results here and we can all take a look!

oldcoots  3:53PM Sun, 31 August 2008

Thanks for the tutorial, I'm sure it's going to be very useful.

seedydeedee  6:23PM Fri, 29 August 2008

That looks fantastic - must go try it now! :D

jeanne_50  6:04AM Fri, 29 August 2008

I definately am going to try it! It's well written and seems to me even I can do it. :) Thank you very much. Love, Jeanne

PhilC  5:24AM Fri, 29 August 2008

Very useful, thanks.

InfoCentral  1:00AM Fri, 29 August 2008

I wish I knew PS more so I could do this tutorial...

SissyB  9:41AM Thu, 28 August 2008

Very cool tutorial! ^_^ Thanks a lot!

ForbiddenWhispers  3:18AM Thu, 28 August 2008

I wouldn't say this wasn't a realistic texture in my opinion. It's very vector in style, and would work well for a vendor wanting to do anime style eyes... but for realism not so much. thanks for sharing :)

deni67  3:13AM Thu, 28 August 2008

I'll be trying it, thank you!

Tugpsx  12:53PM Mon, 25 August 2008

Sweet, definately will add some realism to my renderings

sher1  7:09PM Sat, 23 August 2008

This is a good tut not as detailed as I would like. You did a good job. This is more for someone who is a little more experienced with ps and where to find everything. Your eye is beautiful though.

nezbitten  6:15AM Thu, 21 August 2008

hurrah! pleas do, it is very simple and I think offers a quick Iris texture without too much mucking about.

pennykay  3:00PM Tue, 19 August 2008

Looks very informative, I will try it! Thanks!!

nezbitten  2:15PM Mon, 18 August 2008

well no one else had commented!

nezbitten  2:14PM Mon, 18 August 2008

Wonderfully simple thanks!

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