Follow this simple tutorial to learn how you can creatively apply Topaz Glow to create sparkling fantasy eyes. After fantasy eyes are generated, we’ll complete the image with finishing methods for smoothing skin, brightening eyes and enhancing color.

Introduction - The Importance of Using Layer Masks

For this tutorial, the fantasy eye effect will be applied selectively, meaning it is only applied to specific parts of the image. There is currently not a masking feature within Glow, so it is crucial that you use a program like Photoshop in conjunction with Glow in order to conduct layer masking so that the effect is only applied to certain areas of the photo.

If new to layer masks, you’ll want to refer back to this article during the tutorial:

The Importance of Using Layer Masks with Plugins

Step 1: Glow Part I

How to create fantasy eyes

  1. Download the the eyeball image used in this demo so that you can follow along, or use your own image. 462958_98639103
  2. Start by opening your image in Photoshop (or other compatible host editor that supports layers, like Photoshop Elements or PaintShop Pro).
  3. Duplicate the background layer (ctrl/cmd + J) and then name the layer Topaz Glow.      Create Fantasy Eyes with Topaz Glow
  4. Open Topaz Glow from Photoshop’s Filter menu. (See here for instructions on how to setup Glow as a plugin in Photoshop if needed.)
  5. Upon opening Glow you will see a list of effects to work with – browse through the list and choose one. The Liquid Designs and Afterglow collections contain a variety of unique effects that’ll help you achieve fantasy eyes. Presets like Liquify I, Air Brush I and Into the Light I are good starting points.Create Fantasy Eyes with Topaz Glow
  6. For this example I chose the Radiate preset (Afterglow collection) and customized it accordingly. To customize an effect, simply press the P key or click on this icon Parameters to access the parameters. Create Fantasy Eyes with Topaz Glow


Additional Tips:

  • To make the eyeball sharper, increase the Effect Sharpness and Electrify sliders.
  • The Smudge and Sharpness sliders under Finishing Touches will help sharpen and smooth the fibrous lines within the eyeball.
  • Don’t forget about the Strength and Blend Mode options in the bottom left corner which will allow you to reduce the intensity of the effect as well as blend it in with the original image.

When finished, press OK to return back to Photoshop.

Step 2: Layer Masking

Back in Photoshop, use layer masking to mask out the Glow effect from everywhere but the eyeball. See this article for detailed instructions on how to use layer masks with plugins.

Note that once you have the layer mask (Layer -> Reveal All), press ctrl/cmd + I to invert it. Then with your brush selected (B), press X to toggle from black to white. Brush in the effect with the white brush to the eyeball only.

To add back in realism, make sure that the pupil (black area of eyeball) is still the original. Toggle back to the black brush by pressing the X key and you can then brush out the Glow effect from the center of the eye.

How to Create Sparkling Fantasy Eyes

Step 3: Glow Part II

Now that we have our fantasy eye, let’s enhance the color of the eyeball to make it appear more vibrant. With Glow’s HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance) panel you can alter the hue, lightness and saturation of individual colors with a few clicks to further intensify your fantasy eyes.

  1. Click on the layer titled Topaz Glow to select it, which will deselect the layer mask.
  2. Open the image in Topaz Glow and press P to access the parameters.
  3. Press the reset icon Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 3.19.40 PM in the top right corner to reset the custom sliders back to starting point.
  4. Within the parameters, navigate to the Color panel. Depending on the colors within the eye, increase that specific color’s saturation. If working with brown eyes, you’ll probably just want to increase the overall saturation. How to Create Sparkling Fantasy Eyes
  5. You may also decide to alter specific hues within the eye. In this example I changed the green and yellow hues a bit to further intensify the fantasy eye look. Experiment around until you reach something you like. It’s OK to go a little crazy here…just remember that you can always reduce the opacity of the colors by decreasing the Strength slider in the bottom left corner.  How to Create Sparkling Fantasy Eyes
  6. To compare the results side-by-side, select one of the split-screen options in the top menu. Create Fantasy Eyes with Topaz Glow
  7. When finished altering the color, press OK to return the image back to your host editor.

How to Create Sparkling Fantasy Eyes

Step 4: Additional Touches

Here are a few final tips for polishing up your fantasy eye along with the surrounding skin.

Topaz Clean – Skin Smoothing

  1. Duplicate the background layer (not the Topaz Glow layer). Name the new layer Topaz Clean.
  2. Drag the Topaz Clean layer above the Topaz Glow layer. Your layers panel should look like this: Create Fantasy Eyes with Topaz Glow
  3. Next, select the layer mask within the Topaz Glow layer. Press the option/alt key and drag the layer mask to the Topaz Clean Layer.
  4. Press ctrl/cmd + I to invert the layer mask selection. Your layers panel should now look like this: Create Fantasy Eyes with Topaz Glow
  5. Click on the Topaz Clean layer to deselect the layer mask.
  6. Open Topaz Clean from the Filter menu.
  7. In the left panel, navigate to the Skin Collection and choose an according skin smoothing preset. Note: if the effect appears too strong, you can user layer masking to reduce the strength back in Photoshop.
  8. You may decide to work with the parameters on the right side to customize the effect to your taste, however for this demo I simply applied the Skin Smoothing Strong preset.
  9. Press OK to return back to Photoshop.
  10. Conduct layer masking to reduce the strength of the effect as desired.


 Topaz Clarity – Redness Reduction

  1. Save your image as a .jpeg or .tiff file to your desktop. Name it something like ‘Fantasy Eyes’.
  2. Open the image in Photoshop and duplicate the layer (cmd/ctrl + J).
  3. From your Filter list, select Topaz Clarity.
  4. In the left side of the screen, select the Portrait collection.
  5. Choose an effect such as ‘Desaturated Drama I’ or ‘Skin Smooth and Brighten’.
  6. Navigate to the left hand parameters and select the HUE / SAT / LUM module.
  7. Select ‘Sat’ and decrease the overall and red saturation sliders.   How to Create Sparkling Fantasy Eyes
  8. Expand the MASKS module beneath the HSL module. Use this tool to mask out the de-saturation effect from the eyeball. (Note: there are two masking modules within Clarity – one pertains to dynamics and the other to the HSL panel. Be sure you are working within the correct masking module). How to Create Sparkling Fantasy Eyes
  9. In the top menu, select the split-screen icon  Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 11.25.01 AM to view the original and edited image. How to Create Sparkling Fantasy Eyes
  10. Press OK when finished to return back to Photoshop.


Photoshop – Create Marble Eyes

Let’s brighten the eyes a bit.

  1. Select the dodge tool from your tools panel. Create Fantasy Eyes with Topaz Glow
  2. From the top menu, next to Range, make sure that Midtones is selected and reduce the exposure down to around 30% or so. Create Fantasy Eyes with Topaz Glow
  3. Reduce the size of your brush so that it is no larger than the size of the pupil and make 2-3 quick brush strokes around the eye.
  4. Do the same with the Highlights range, but only conduct 1-2 very short brush strokes to brighten the highlights within the eyeball (you may want to reduce the exposure and brush size).

Before Dodging:

How to Create Sparkling Fantasy Eyes

After Dodging:

Create Fantasy Eyes with Topaz Glow


Topaz ReStyle – Change the Overall Color

If you find that you want to change the color of the eye and the Hue slider isn’t cutting it, use Topaz ReStyle to apply a color filter to your image. You can then use ReStyle’s advanced masking technology with its Edge Aware brush to mask out the effect from everything but the eyeball.

For example, I applied a blue tinted preset to this image to change the yellow-green eye color to blue-green (using a color blending mode in ReStyle and reduced opacity):

Fantasy EyesI then took the image into Glow one more time to further intensify the fibrous lines within the eye. See here for a useful tutorial on how to use the search features within ReStyle to help speed up the process in finding a preset (there are over 500 in ReStyle!).


Topaz Detail – Final Output Sharpening

Sharpen the eyeball using Topaz Detail’s advanced sharpening technology. See here for a detailed description on how to selectively sharpen an eyeball using Topaz Detail’s effect mask.

Now that we’ve created our final fantasy eye look, here’s what has been created:


Create Fantasy Eyes with Topaz Glow


Create Fantasy Eyes with Topaz Glow

Of course, the effect can be less intense than the example above by using different blending modes and reduced opacities. If you followed this tutorial, we’d love to see your results so please share them with us on Facebook and Twitter or by emailing the image to!

Here’s some user submitted images we’ve received thus far:


Share this
Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on LinkedIn0Share on Reddit0Share on Tumblr0Email this to someonePrint this page