In this tutorial you will be shown how to create a Deus EX inspired high-tech eyeball by using retouching techniques and creating a futuristic iris using Shape layers and Layer Styles.
Preview of Final Results
Deus-Ex Inspired Photo Manipulation Photoshop Tutorial
We would first need to crop the photograph a little bit so the composition is evened out better. Use the Crop Tool (C) and crop about half an inch from the bottom.
Before we start on the high-tech part of the eyeball, we first need to retouch the small veins on the eyeball itself as it’s a futuristic prosthetic eye. Grab the Spot Healing Brush (J) and simply go over the areas you want to retouch until you think you are completely done. After the color correction steps, there might be some dark spots left but we can fix that later.
You can fix any spots on the eyeball or skin that may annoy you but for this tutorial, I’d like to focus on the eyeball.
Create a copy of the photograph layer and rename it ‘Texture’. We will use this layer later so the hard edged shape layers will blend in better with the photograph. Set the Blending Mode to Soft Light and the Opacity at 50%.
To achieve that futuristic blue and green tint, we will need to add a Curves Adjustment Layer with the settings shown below. Select the Red channel and add the anchor points as shown. Do the same for the Default RGB Channel.
To create a more cinematic look, we will need to sharpen the photograph. Before we use the Sharpen Filter, the photograph layer must be converted to a Smart Object Layer so the effect won’t be permanent and easy to edit whenever we want. Right-click on the photograph layer and select ‘Convert to Smart Object’. Do the same with the ‘Texture’ layer we had created earlier.
With the Background layer selected, go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. Set the Amount to 500 and the Radius to 3.8. This might seem a bit extreme but it will work perfectly for what we are trying to achieve.
Repeat this exact step for the ‘Texture’ layer.
Create a new folder and name it ‘Eyeball’ and place it below the ‘Texture’. Remember, whenever you are working on the eyeball, you need to be in the Eyeball folder.
Let’s get started with the high-tech part of the eyeball. If you check the Deus EX reference art, you can see there’s a large ring on the outside of the iris. Grab the Ellipse Tool (U) and simply draw a large circle evenly by clicking once on the middle of the pupil, hold the Alt button at the same time and drag it to how large you want it to be.
The Opacity of the Shape layer in the image below has been lowered to show you the position where it needs to be.
Select the shape by using the Path Selection Tool (A) and press Ctrl + C to copy the shape. By pressing Ctrl + V to paste the shape layer, Photoshop will automatically select the newly pasted layer. Press Ctrl + T and hold ALT to resize the shape, make it just a few millimeters smaller.
With the copied shape selected, click on the Subtract icon (-) shown below to subtract this smaller shape from the larger circle.
Set the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light.
To add a realistic embossed effect, we need to add a Layer Style. Double-click on the Shape layer and the Layer Style menu pops up. Check the Bevel and Emboss and click on that section and apply the settings shown below.
By default, the Layer Styles can’t be painted away on a Layer Mask. In order to do so, go back into the Layer Styles menu and click on Blending Options and check the ‘Layer Mask Hides Effects’ box.
Add a Layer Mask to the Shape Layer and paint away the parts on the top and bottom of the eye.
Create a black circle Shape layer around the iris with the same technique we have used in step 7 and set the Blending Mode to Soft Light. You can also add additional details to this area as shown in the reference art. We will deal with the masking later on.
Create a new black circle Shape layer around the iris only this time, it should not be subtracted and place this layer underneath the Shape layer we have created in step 10. Set the Blending Mode to Soft Light.
We need to retouch the eye a little bit so that the iris on the photograph doesn’t bleed outside of the Shape layers we have created earlier. Copy the Background layer once and place it directly on top of the Background layer, right-click and select Rasterize Layer.
Create a selection around the iris and right-click on that selection and select Layer via Cut.
We only need the eyeball itself so you can cut that out and delete the rest. Grab the Clone Stamp Tool (S) and clone over the iris bleeds.
I want the iris to look like it’s a lens so we need to apply a new Layer Style. Double-click on the unsubtracted Shape layer and apply a Stroke effect with the following settings.
The gradient should be set to a default white-to-black gradient. It’s a subtle effect but will add to the realism later on.
Create another Shape layer with the same techniques used in step 7 and design something similar as shown below.
This is where we are going add the cool glow effect to the iris but first create two copies and put them below the layer we’re working on but disable the Layer Visibility for now. Double-click on the right to make the Layer Style menu appear and check Outer Glow with the following settings applied.
Select one of the copied layers and enable the Layer Visibility again. Right-click and convert this Shape layer to a Smart Object and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set it to 40 pixels.
Repeat this exact same step for the other copied Shape layer only this time, set the Gaussian Blur at 10 pixels.
The eye could use some glare so grab a big soft round brush, create a new layer and click just once. You may adjust the Opacity to whatever you want.
Create a copy of that glare layer and press Ctrl + T to resize, rotate it and place as shown below.
If you have followed this tutorial properly, you should know that this is the time to mask the area of the newly create high-tech eye. Select your Eyeball folder, add a Layer Mask and simply remove the area on top of the eyeball.
We’re almost finished but we still need to apply some more color correction. Create a Solid Color layer, set the color to #7D7D7D and set the Blending Mode to Overlay. Place this layer on top of all layers and convert this to a Smart Object. Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and apply these settings.
This composition could use some vignetting and we can do so on this layer. Go to Filter > Lens Correction and apply these settings and click OK.
As a final touch, this image could use something else to make it stand out a bit more. Download the Bokeh Packby Araleva and pick any file you like. Place the file on top of all the layers and set the Blending Mode to Lighten.
The bokeh image needs some correction as some color is showing through that we really don’t want. Create a Levels Adjustment layer, place it on top of the bokeh image and right-click on that layer and create a Clipping Mask.