Graphic design is not just about creating logos and images. It also comes with unique features to add special effects like glowing eyes. If you wish to try your hand at this special feature, follow this step-by-step instruction on how to make eyes glow in Photoshop.

Key takeaways

  • While picking the colour for your eyes, keep the “Opacity” at 100% and the “Mode” at normal.
  • Merge the layers after filling the eyes by pressing Ctrl + E.
  • Use the “inner glow” and “outer glow” settings to get the effect of glowing eyes.

Step-by-step instructions on how to make eyes glow in Photoshop

an image in photoshop

Step 1: Open a picture

To begin, you’ll require a picture or an image of a person. Here the graphic designer used the downloaded image of a lady. To get your photo, scroll to the Menu toolbar on your screen, click on Files, and click Open. You’ll go to your primary desktop, where you can pick a picture or image and move it to Photoshop.

zoomed-in image in photoshop

Step 2: Zoom-in and trace

To accurately work on your image, you’ll need a closer look and view of your image. For that, zoom in on the image, particularly around the region of the eyes. After zooming in, scroll to the left side of the screen and select the Polygonal lasso tool to trace the eye’s shape.

Zoomed-in image with one eye traced

Step 3: Create a new layer

After tracing out the shape of the eye as seen in the image above, create a new layer. To create a new layer, click on the icon right beside the Delete icon.

Selecting "fill"

Step 4: Selecting fill

While still using the Polygonal lasso tool, right-click on the screen, and a drop-down box appears with various options. Scroll down the menu and select Fill.

The dialogue box of Colour picker

Step 5: Filling

Once you click on Fill, a dialogue box pops up on the screen. Click on the colour you wish to fill with. Here the chosen colour is white.

The dialogue box of "fill"

Step 6: Filling settings

After picking the colour, fix the Opacity and the Mode to 100% and at a normal level respectively. Once you fix all that, click Ok to complete the process.

Zoomed-in image with one eye filled with white colour

Step 7: Filled eye region

The above image shows the result of the filling done with the Polygonal lasso tool, thereby leaving the eye space white.

Layer 2 of the image in photoshop

Step 8: Creating another layer

After completing the filling for the first eye, proceed to fill the second eye. To begin, create another layer on the Layer board, and then proceed with the next step.

Zoomed-in image with both eyes filled with white colour

Step 9: Select and fill

Just as in the previous steps, proceed to select the second eye surrounding and fill it. Select the Polygonal lasso tool to trace the eye’s shape, right-click on the screen, and a drop-down box appears with various options. Scroll down the menu and select Fill.  A dialogue box pops up on the screen; click the color you wish to fill with .i.e., white as in the previous step. Then fix the Opacity as 100% and leave the Mode at a normal level.

An image in photoshop with eyes filled with white colour

Step 10: Filling completed and highlighting

As seen in the image above, the filling of the two-eye surroundings is complete. Now proceed to merge the two layers to proceed with your work. To do that, highlight the two layers and press Ctrl + E.

An image with eyes filled with white colour

Step 11: Merged Layers

After highlighting and pressing Ctrl + E, the two Layers of 1 and 2 are now one single layer as seen above.

Selecting the option of "inner glow" from the "layer style" option from "layers"

Step 12: Layer setting

For the next step, click on Layer 2, the Layer where the two filled eyes surrounding the area, and proceed to the Menu toolbar and click on Layer. A drop-down menu appears, scroll down and click on Layer style, and on the new drop-down menu, you see, select Inner glow.

Dialogue box for colour picker - inner glow colour

Step 13: Inner glow setting

After clicking on Inner glow in the drop-down menu, a dialogue box appears for you to choose the colour for the inner glow. Here the chosen colour is blue.

Dialogue box for layer style

Step 14: Inner glow settings adjustment

Once you select your desired color, adjust other settings of Blending mode, Opacity, and so on on the main dialogue box. The Blending mode is at normal; Opacity at 75%; Noise at 0; Color is blue; for the Technique, the range is softer; Choke is at 7%, Size is at 27 pixels, and for the Quality, the Range is at 84%, and the Jitter is at 45%. These units are changeable; you can fix the values based on your discretion and need.

Dialogue box for layer style

Step 15: Complete inner glow setting

Once you fill the necessary details and values in the inner glow setting, the next step is to apply changes in the outer glow effect.

Changing the outer glow settings

Step 16: Outer glow effects

Just as you adjusted the previous step’s inner glow effects, proceed to change the outer glow effects on the dialogue box. Work on the settings as seen in the above illustration of Opacity 75%, Noise 0, Color is blue, Technique – Softer, Spread – 0, Choke 7%, Size – 5 pixels, Range 50%, and Jitter 0%. Remember that you can always change your values.

Dialogue box of layer style

Step 17: Complete the settings

Confirm all your values and adjustments, if satisfied with them, proceed to the right side of the dialogue box and click Ok

An image with glowing eyes

Step 18: Glowing eyes

Once you complete everything, your final result shows like this, beautiful glowing eyes on the screen.


How to make all layers visible in Photoshop

How to remove all white in Photoshop


For newbies and professionals alike, Photoshop always has something unique to make your work extraordinary. With the eyes glowing feature, you can turn an ordinary picture/image into a unique and beautiful masterpiece as long as you follow these steps rightly.