Here is a “How To” tutorial on how¬†to make eyes sparkle in Photoshop. This is the first tutorial I have ever made, and it’s amazing how hard it is to slow down and explain something you have done a thousand times. In the video, I use blend modes, layer masks and sharpen. There are other techniques I use to make eyes pop, but these are the most common.

In case you work better with text, here is the recipe:
Blend Modes:
1. Press Control J to create a new layer.
2. Change the blend mode to Overlay.
3. Control J to create another layer.
4. Change the blend mode to Screen.
5. Select the two blend mode layers and drag them to the group icon at the bottom of the layers window.
6. Click on the group layer, press Alt and the layer mask button at the bottom of the layers window to create a layer mask which should be black, hiding the whole image.
7. Select the brush tool, make sure it is set for white, and paint the eyes out of the black layer so they are the other image to show through. Your brush should be at 100% opacity.

For dodge and burn:
1. Control J to create a new layer.
2. Press Shift F5 to bring up the fill dialog box, select 50% gray.
3. Change the layer’s blend mode to “Soft Light.”
4. Select the “Burn” tool and darken the dark areas of the eyes.
5. Select the “Dodge” tool and lighten the lighter areas of the eyes.

For the sharpen tool:
1. Press Alt Control Shift E to combine all layers.
2. Select the sharpen tool and move over the iris.