How To Change Eye Color In GIMP {Solved}

large feature change eye color

I don’t know about you, but I’d like to change my eye color… in real life. Since that’s not possible, I’ll have to settle for changing my eye color with GIMP. That’s precisely what you’re going to learn how to do in today’s GIMP tutorial.

Either follow the step-by-step instructions below or watch the video tutorial above.

If you’re ready… let’s do it!

Prefer to watch the video tutorial?  If so, click here.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Open Your Image

open image

If you’d like to practice what you learn with the same photo I’m using, you can download it from here. Or use a picture of yourself or any other of your choosing.

Step 2: Duplicate Layer

duplicate layer

Pro Tip:

For the photo I’m using, I took an extra step that included reducing the saturation of everything except the eyes. To do this, duplicate the original picture layer and reduce the saturation to your liking.

Then, add a white Layer Mask and paint back the eyes with a black paintbrush. After that, right-click on the image and choose “New From Visible” to merge all visible layers into a new layer… named “Step1.”

The first step to changing eye colors in GIMP is duplicating the original image layer. Rename the duplicate to “Step 1.”

Step 3: Convert to B&W

convert to black and white

Next, we need to remove all the color from the layer to add the color of our choice in the next step. In the menu, go to, Colors > Hue/Saturation and lower the Saturation to -100.

Pro Tip:

Converting a color image to B&W with the Saturation tool is quick and easy. However, it doesn’t always provide the best results. I like experimenting with the Components: Channel Mixer or Extract Component options for a more artistic B&W rendition.

Step 4: Add a Layer Mask

add black layer mask

To add a new color to the eyes only we need to add a Layer Mask to target them. Click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layer Panel and choose the black option.

Doing this will remove the black and white adjustment, and you’re left with the original colors!

Step 5: Colorize the Eyes

Now the fun begins! The first step is to bring back the black & white into the eyes. With the Paint Bucket tool, and the Foreground color set to black… paint over the eyes until all the color is removed.

Next, make sure you have the photo preview selected and not the Layer Mask. Click on the thumbnail to the left of the black mask to de-select the mask.

To change the eye color, go to the menu and click on… Colors > Colorize. Boom, you have a new color instantly! Although, this color is probably not what you had in mind.

To get the color you’d like, adjust the Hue slider until you find the color you prefer.

Step 6: Create Natural Eye Colors

So far, you’ve accomplished your goal of learning how to change the color of the eyes. However, at this point, the eyes look a little too sci-fi. Wouldn’t you agree?

Let’s fix that by either adjusting the Opacity or Saturation of the layer. Before doing so, make sure to duplicate the layer. This way, you can go back to the original layer if you’re unhappy with the results.

Pro Tip:

For this type of project, changing the Blend Mode provides the most realistic eye color change, in my opinion. With this photo, I discovered that the “Darken
Only” mode gave the most natural-looking color change. Try it!


Step 7: Optional - Two Different Eye Colors

Wouldn’t it be cool to have two different eye colors? I think it would. Here’s how…

Whats Next?

small featured change color of hair

Discover the secret to changing hair colors!

Next up, learning how to change the color of hair

I’d love to see your new eye color editing skills… join our private Facebook group to share your edit. Oh, and check out my Youtube channel for more awesome tutorials.

Here are two more {advanced} editing tutorials you’ll love…

The first will show you how to remove anything from a photo. This next one will show you how to remove a background and retain fine hair detail at the same time.

Like this article? If so, please share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.