Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Photo Editing with Gimp - Red Eye Reduction

I don't have as many issues with red-eye as I once did.

But I have a ton of old pictures that would be so darned cute if not for those blazing red eyes.  My little sweeties end up looking like little devils! 

Here's a perfect example:

My sweet husband LOVES to do face painting, only in the non-traditional way.

So, many moons ago, he did it up right.  Eli, our youngest (who, to be fair, does get picked on sometimes), looked like he'd just weathered a pretty good fight--probably at the hands of Brandon, his slightly older brother, who had a fantastic bandit's mask and the fists to prove it.

This would have been a totally scrapworthy picture... except that Eli looks like Linda Blair has taken him over.  What to do?

Gimp to the rescue!  And it's simple!  Did I already mention that?  Did I also already reiterate that it's FREE?  MOST excellent!

I open Gimp and drag that lovely picture right out of the folder I had it stored in and onto my Gimp workspace, like this:

Then I select the Red Eye Removal tool, by using the Menu options Filters, Enhance, and Red Eye Removal..., like this:

When I select the Red Eye Removal tool, a dialog opens that shows me what my photo will look like after I apply the fix, like this:

A couple of things to note here.

First, the Red Eye Removal tool fixes the color red.  Not just eyes.  In this picture, there's a ton of fake blood going on (because moderation is not a word that my sweet hubster uses very often), out of the poor kid's eyes, and nose, and out from under (and over) his bandages.  I don't want to change the color of that stuff because, you know, blood is supposed to be red.  But you can see in the Red Eye Removal dialog preview that all of the blood would be brown if I clicked the OK button.

Second, there is a threshold slide that you can move.  In some cases, the Red Eye removal tool may not be picking up the eyes and manipulating the threshold can give it a boost.  In this case, the red of the blood and the red in his eyes are pretty close, so that won't really help me.

Finally, there's our little friend, Wilber.  And just to the right is his tip for us.  "Manually selecting the eyes may improve the results."

Ahhhh.... Light Bulb!  (Are you a fan of Despicable Me?  LOVE that flick in this household!)

So I click the Cancel button to close the Red Eye Removal dialog and return to the main Gimp workspace, where I can manually select the eyes, just like Wilber told me to.

To do that, I click on the Ellipse Select tool in the Toolbox, like this:

And then back over in my picture, I click and drag so that the ellipse outlines one of Eli's eyes, like this:

Then I again select the Red Eye Removal tool, by using the Menu options Filters, Enhance, and Red Eye Removal..., like this:

This time, when the Red Eye Removal dialog comes up, I see just the area I selected, like this:

Yay!  No blood involved this time, just his cute little eyeball (I know, I'm so cheesy... but I really DO think even his eyeballs are cute!), and it's a lovely shade of brown (which is good since his eyes are, in fact, brown).

So much better than the whole Linda Blair thing.

I click the OK button and move on to selecting the other eye.  Since I had already clicked on the Ellipse Select tool in the toolbox, it should still be selected (but if it's not, go click on it again in the Toolbox), and I should be able to just click and drag a new ellipse around his other eye, like this:

Again, I select the Red Eye Removal tool, by using the Menu options Filters, Enhance, and Red Eye Removal, and the Red Eye Removal dialog opens.  This time I see his other eye there, like this:

Just lovely!  Note that I tried really hard here to only get his eye and not the blood just to the right.  I could have made a smaller ellipse, selecting just the iris area, if I had been really concerned about it.

I click OK and see my cute kiddo, in all of his gory glory--red where it should be, brown where it should be.

All would be good except that the right eye (his left, but right as I'm looking at the pic) is still selected.  In order to deselect, I use the menu options Select and None, like this:

And the heavens open and the angels sing...

Scrapworthy, indeed.

Now I'm ready to export this back into digital picture file.  To do that, I select the menu options File and Export, like this:

In the Export dialog, in the text box to the right of "Name:" I enter the name of my file.  I call mine Face_Painting_2006.jpg (you can name yours whatever you'd like--Superhero_2007.jpg or Camping_2008.jpg or High_School_Graduation_Blackmail_Photo_2004.jpg or whatever).   

Make sure to add the extension .jpg to the end so it saves as a digital picture file.

Then I select the folder where I want to store it (to the right of "Save in folder:") and click the Export button.

And I'm ready to print that puppy or scrap it or frame it or keep it in my stash for the High School Graduation Blackmail scrapbook I have going...

Is that easy or WHAT?!?!

Did I already mention it's also... FREE?   :)

Let me know how it goes for you.  I'm dying to hear about your adventures with Gimp!  And I am also, of course, totally available if you're stuck or need help or need a good font recommendation or need directions to Wiggins or need a good recipe that can be made with zucchini...

1 Comment:

Lynda Anderson said...

Nice! I love this photo of your cute kiddo and sincerely appreciate the lack of Linda Blair effects on my little nephew!!

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