Glowing eyes tutorial (GIMP)

This is my tutorial for how to make anyone's eyes glow like those of the Goa'uld and Tok'ra can. Pick a picture of someone you would like to have glowing eyes - it is easier if the photo is pretty large and of good quality. You can always scale it down afterwards. It is also easier if you can see a lot of the white in the eyes - otherwise you will have to edit a lot afterwards, since the glow won't come out right automatically.

I was greatly inspired by this page:

I don't have photoshop, so I am using GIMP - a free program that can do mostly the same as photoshop, especially if you install various add-ons. You will need one of those to follow this tutorial, namely "outerglow", which is part of a layer effects script that can be found here. The python version of the script has more options than the scheme version, and is the one I use here. Download and install that before you continue.

Note that I made this tutorial for the GIMP version 2.6 for Linux. There will be (small) differences between that version and the ones for Windows, etc. It will probably also needs adjustments for later versions.

In this tutorial I am going to use this picture. You can download it and use it if you want to, or just use one of your own pictures.

Start out by making a "new layer" (in the "Layers" window, right-click on the background and choose "New layer"). Make sure it is "transparent". Name it "eyes" or something. Make one more new layer (also transparent) and call it "pupils".

Select the layer "eyes" by clicking it in the "Layers" window. Go to the "Toolbox" window and select the loop/"Free select tool". Zoom in to 400% or 800%, to make sure you can mark out the white in the eyes as precisely as possible. When you have done so, this is how it should look.

Now click the "paths dialog" tab in the layers window and click "Path to selection" at the bottom. Now click "Bucket fill tool" in the "Toolbox" window and then click the foreground colour patch. Chose a pale yellow colour - I am often using either ffffbe, b7b293, or f6f6db. Depending on how much the eye is glowing (if the symbiote has just started to flash his/her eyes or if it's after a little while), set the opacity. I am going with approximately 50%. Make sure Fill type is set to "FG fill" and Affected Area is set to "Fill whole selection". Fill the selected area with the colour. De-select. Now do the same for the other eye. De-select. It should now look like this.

We are now going to make the glow in the pupils. Click the "pupils" layer in the "Layers" window, to select it. Click the "Ellipse select tool" in the "Toolbox". Drag a circle over the pupil in the left eye - about the same size and in the same place. Then click the "Bucket fill tool" in the "Toolbox" window. Fill the pupil-circle with the same colour you used for the white in the eyes. Now do the same for the other eye. Make sure the pupils are placed correctly, or it will look funny. You should now have this.

Now we are going to do the "glow" effect. There should be a menu-point called "Script-Fu". Click that and pick "Layer Effects" then "Outer glow" (or "Layers -> Outer glow" depending on how it is installed). Leave the colour at the pale yellow it is. Set

Now click "OK". You should have this.

Note that the newer version of the "Outer glow" script gives a somewhat fainter glow. You can adjust for this by duplicating the layer afterwards, and fiddle with opacity until you are happy. Remember to merge the "outer glow" layers.

Now click the "eyes" layer in the "Layers" window, to select it. Repeat the above to make a glow around the white of the eye. You may want to lower the value for "Size". If you think there is too much glow, then you can delete some of it, using the "Eraser tool" on low opacity. Remember that we do want some, to blend with the area around the eye.

You are now ready to merge the various layers. It is important to do it in the right order. First, merge down the glow-layer for eyes and for pupils to the Background layer. You may need to move them first, as they have to be positioned just above the layer they are to be merged with. Move them down with the small green "down" arrow, then right-click the layer and pick "Merge Down" Do that for both of the two layers created by the "Outerglow" effect. Then merge down the "eyes" and the "pupils" layers. You should now have this.

Now it is time to blur the edges, using the "Blur/ Sharpen tool" in the "Toolbox". Chose it, and make sure Convolve Type is set to "Blur". You may wish to fiddle with the Opacity, especially for the iris-area of the eye. For the rest, 100% opacity usually works fine. The result should look something like this.

Good luck! - and have fun giving lots of people sexy, glowy eyes :)