fixing the eye

fixing the eye

Earlier today I read a Yahoo/AP news item reporting the successful use of stem cells to regrow human corneas after they’ve been destroyed by chemical burns. Pretty cool stuff, very science fiction.

Later I came across an old photo recently posted online by a friend. As you can see in the top image, the one eye is pretty well gone because of various indignities the print suffered over time. This is my attempt to fix it.

I first removed a few of the larger flaws, and heavily processed the image for noise and speckles (probably too much!).

Then I copied the left eye’s iris, reversed it left-to-right, moved it to the right eye, and finagled the size and shape to fit the space. I pushed the white in the right eye’s up a bit in intensity and down a bit in contrast, to make it match the left. I also bumped the color saturation up and color intensity down to help the two irides* match.

Next I selected a circle around each pupil and filled it with black, to recover some of the shape they lost because of the noise processing. And finally I restored some of the key lights, also lost by noise processing.

The results are OK for a novice, I guess, and in the full photo context it’s not too bad. But, the pupil shapes and sizes aren’t quite correct, and I lost a bit of the white sclera at the bottom of each eye. I also lost some of the lighter shading around the pupils. The pupils themselves should probably not be true black, instead maybe a bit lighter. The key lights are off as well; I tried to match the right eye to the left using the original photo but I didn’t like the result. So I faked them both.

*The official plural of iris. Go figure.

June 23, 2010. Photo “borrowed” from Flickr, edited with Photoshop Elements 6.


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