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  • In: photoshop
  • Comments Off on Changing Eye Color in Photoshop Elements

This is very easy, but I have a terrible memory, so here are my notes on how to do it:

  • Select the colored parts of the eyes and save them as “eyes” in the selection menu
  • Copy and paste them into a new layer
  • Desaturate the eyes
  • Make a new layer, load the “eyes” selection, and paintbucket it the color you want to use
  • Choose overlay, soft light, or color for the layer option
  • Merge the layers
  • Make a new layer and set it to overlay
  • Take a hard-edged brush in black and plunk the dark circle of the eye back into place
  • In: photoshop
  • Comments Off on White Skin for Vampires in Photoshop Elements

I didn’t find any tutorials on the net that made vampire skin I was happy with. All the skin looked gray, but I wanted white. So I found my own way, and made this tutorial.

This is a Photoshop Elements tutorial, so if you’re using some other version your buttons, procedures, etc., will be a little different from what you see here. I presume you know a little about Photoshop already.

I’m using a photo of Eva Longoria because she’s medium complexion and not already vampirish white to begin with.




  • Select skin and scalp, then copy and paste into new layer
  • Load skin selection again > Adjustment layer > Photo Filter > Color > black > 90%
  • Load skin selection again in new layer > paint bucket it white > set layer to Soft Light
  • Merge all that and use a mask to blend in with original picture



1. Get your photo, open it, and duplicate the background layer. Name it Eva. Correct any skin imperfections in this layer using the clone tool.

2. Outline all skin and save it as a selection. I use the polygonal lasso. You don’t have to outline it all at once. Outline a part, go to Select > Save Selection and save it in parts. Call it skin and each time you outline a little bit more, go back to Select > Save Selection and save it under the name skin with “Add to Selection” checked. IMPORTANT: Select about a half-inch of hair at the scalp line along with the skin. Otherwise, when you’re done, the scalp will look human-colored instead of vampire-colored.



TIP: While outlining, it’s better to go a little outside the line of the skin than a little inside of it.

3. Go to Select > Load Selection > skin and have a look at it. If you missed any of her skin, go back to step two.


4. Copy and Paste the selection (skin) from the Eva layer into a new layer and call it Photo Filter 1. Load the skin selection again so that the outline is visible and flickering, and be sure you’re got Photo Filter 1 selected.

5. In the Layers Palette there’s a circle that’s half-black and half-white. It’s the “Adjustment Layer” button. Click it and go to “Photo Filter.” Choose “Color” and make the color black. Slide the slider to the right. I went to about 90%. If you go all the way, she’ll turn gray, so don’t go all the way. You may not need to go as far to the right for a lighter-skinned person.


5. Merge the new layer that appears and Photo Filter 1 layer by selecting both, right-clicking, and choosing “Merge Layers.”

6. Make a new layer, load the skin selection, and paint-bucket the selection white. Name it White Layer. Set it to “Soft Light” in the drop-down menu.


7. Merge this layer with Photo Filter 1 Layer. You should now have White Layer, Eva and Background.

8. Load your skin selection, choose the Eva layer, and copy and paste from it. You should now have White Layer, Layer 1, Eva and Background.


9. Now you need a mask layer, which is not so easy to get in Photoshop Elements. So follow closely:

  • Click on Layer 1.
  • Choose the black/white circle (adjustment layer button) and choose “Brightness/Contrast.” Just use whatever settings it defaults to.
  • Make sure the layers are in this order: White Layer, Brightness/Contrast, Layer 1, Eva and Background.


  • Click White Layer to select it, then go to the top of the screen, Layer > Group with Previous.


  • You now have a layer mask, called Brightness/Contrast. I don’t know why Elements makes it so hard to get this. 😦

10. This step will quickly explain how to use a mask. If you already know how to do so, go on to step 11.

  • Using a mask allows you to “erase” and “put back” stuff over and over again until you get it right, without worrying about losing anything permanently.
  • Click your Brightness/Contrast layer to select it. Make sure you are working in this layer.
  • Set your colors (usually on the lower left of your screen) to black and white, with black on top and white underneath.
  • Choose the paintbrush tool and a nice big brush at 100%.
  • Paint all over the picture. The white covering we had on her skin will disappear and she will emerge.
  • Go to the colors and click the little arrow that swaps them. Now if you paint on her, the white covering will reappear.

11. Zoom in, select the Brightness/Contrast mask layer, take a paintbrush at 80-100% and unpaint anything you don’t want whited out. I unpainted her eyes, and lips.


12.Then (still working in the Brightness/Contrast mask layer) use a paintbrush at about 50% to blend the white covering into the hairline. For wisps of hair, I use a tiny brush at about 20%. Either that or I just ignore them.

Hair right at the hairline, or that is thin and blowing across the face, for example, should still look a little white when you’re done. It mimics the white skin peeking through the hair. (Beginners: Remember that if you mess up, all you have to do is swap the black and white in the color chooser to reverse the brush and replace anything you accidentally removed.)



This is also the time to look at the rest of the picture and any white covering you don’t want. Just use the mask to get rid of it.

13. Select White Layer, Brightness/Contrast, and Layer 1 and merge them.

14. Select then new layer which should be called White Layer, choose the blur brush in a small, soft size at about 30%. UNCHECK “All Layers” at the top of the screen and then run the brush along all the hard white edges of Eva’s skin where it meets the original picture. Do this a few times. Don’t worry about being perfect; you’re just smoothing the line.

15. Merge White Layer with Eva. Compare to Background. All done!



Chase died

Posted on: April 21, 2008

Yesterday at around noon the doctor came out to the house to help Chase along. It was a beautiful day, and he died in his bed, out on the back patio, with the breeze blowing. I think for once Tom and I timed it just right; he was in pain but it wasn’t agony. It would have become agony had we waited even a few hours more. I am including a few pictures of him.

We’ve lost 6 greyhounds in 6 years. You’d think it would get easier. It does not. Sometimes I wonder why we do this to ourselves; nobody is forcing us to adopt the old ones. But the thing is, there are not many people who do adopt the old ones. And they die in a group doggie foster home which is not a horrible thing but is not the right thing either; they should get to die in their forever home with their forever people. Those bastards who adopt an animal and then dump him or her in a foster home when they start to age, or when they move, or when children are born…I don’t even know what to say about those “people.” That is what happened to Deoji, Stetson, Penny, Bessie, Ripple, and Chase. Each was just thrown away like garbage. They weren’t garbage. Each was a beautiful little doggie soul who deserved better. Those “people” who threw them out…I hate those people with all my heart but I am so grateful to them, too…because were it not for their heartlessness, I wouldn’t have had the great honor and privelege to care for these beautiful, beautiful little animals.

I miss you so much, Dudeface. Already. Your spot under the tree is beautiful, and you’re right next to Bessie. Don’t look back for us; just keep going.

In 1999, I adoped an old greyhound named Deoji (D-O-G). He was a great old guy. All my friends knew him, all the people at various vets’ offices would remember him, total strangers would stop me and say, “Is that Deoji! Hi, Deoji!” I don’t know why; I guess he just had the kind of face (or farts) that people remembered. Here is a picture of him at one of Lacy’s parties.

Deoji died in February of 2003. He was a good guy, and–silly as it sounds– knowing him, and all the other hounds I’ve had since, has brought me closer to God. I’m not going to go into all that, though.

So, since Deoji’s death, I’ve moved from Oklahoma to Georgia, Georgia to a short stay in Louisiana, Louisiana to New Mexico.

We selected our new vet here in NM because of the clinic’s credentials. When we got there, instead of seeing the old man vet, we saw his new partner, a Dr. Rebekah Ford. This girl looks (to me) like she is about 15 years old. She had just finished her DVM at Oklahoma State which is a crazy coincidence because we were all there at the same time and could have been her English profs, blah blah, there’s a PetCo in Stillwater now, blah blah, you wouldn’t recognize the place. Dr. Ford may look 15 but she is very competent and caring. And we go to the vet about once every two weeks (when you have elderly pets, that’s just how it is) so I have come to trust her completely with my pets’ care.

A few days after Bessie died, Tom took Chase to the vet to have a little procedure done–all right, if you must know, Chase needed his anal glands squeezed. He has chronically impacted anal glands, and you can only squeeze them empty by inserting your fingers into his you-know, and Tom and I are not down with that. But Chase likes it; he’s uncomfortable when his glands get full.

Here is a picture of Chase. I would like to point out that the inside of the house has been painted since then. Orange walls with red couch, ick!

So anyway, the nurse had her arms around Chase, and he was chattering his teeth and dancing a little, and she commented on it. Dr. Ford (it is so weird to call a 15 year old looking girl “Doctor”) said, “Oh, yes, greyhounds do that! When I was an undergrad, I worked at a vet clinic where a greyhound would come in all the time. We boarded him, and stuff. He always danced and chattered his teeth.” Tom said, “Where’d you work?” and she said “All Pets.” And Tom said, “With Dr. Coleman?” and she said, “Yes…the dog’s name was Deoji.”

And Tom said, “Deoji was OUR dog!” which was followed by much being shocked and reminicing, etc. Dr. Ford knew our Deoji, who’s been dead going on five years, by name. She remembered him–and it WAS him that she remembered, not some other Dee-oj. And here we had wound up in her vet clinic, some 450 miles away, as some of her very first clients ever.

When Tom came home and told me that, I was shocked to tears. It has felt so pointless, us being here in this town that we both hate. But this vet thing…it’s far too much to be meaningless coincidence. It’s a sign from God that us winding up here wasn’t a mistake; we’re supposed to be here right now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m moving as soon as I can, and I still hate it here, but now I feel like there’s some sort of reason for us winding up here.

So, once again Deoji came to my emotional rescue. I can’t believe that sweet and stinky old dog is still looking out for me.

We said goodbye to Bessie Friday night. It was horribly difficult, but we knew that she had cancer, and I knew that once she started showing pain, it would be time to do it. Animals are so stoical, you know, and by the time they show any pain you know it must be excruciating. So, Friday morning she cried for the first time, and Friday night we said goodbye.

We buried her out in the backyard Friday night and it was a long, sad sleepless night. Saturday was a long, sad, sleepless day. Then, last night, at 2 a.m., Chase (our other greyhound) woke up and told us some stuff.

See, Bess could only go 4 hours before she needed to pee. And I am pregnant and can only go about 4 hours before I have to eat. So our routine had been to pee/eat at 10 pm, then again at 2, then at 6. But Chase never got up for that stuff. He’d just groan and roll over and try to shade his eyes from the lamp.

Last night, though, he got up at 2. I heard his collar jingling quietly. And so I got up, too, to eat something. And he was acting so strange…I know Bess was there. Chase couldn’t see her, but he could feel her or smell her or something. He carefully walked all around the yard, bedroom, and den as if he were stalking something, and when I talked to him, I could tell that I was clearly bothering him. It was as if he was saying, “Shut up, ma! I’m concentrating!”

Thought I’d include a picture of my baby Bessie Pinkie Dog, in healthier days. Here she is with Penny, a greyhound girl that we lost about a year and a half ago. Bessie’s the white one and Penny’s the black one. See Bess’s pink tummy? At night, when she’d relax and go to sleep, her tummy, chest, and legs would turn bright pink.

I miss her so much. But I know she’s safe now, and it must have been amazing to wake up with four good legs and a mouthful of teeth. I’ll think of you all the time, Bess. Never forget your momma loves you.

Ripple is dying. Keep her in your thoughts. Tomorrow morning, the vet will come out to the house and help her along.

My poor, sweet doggy. She loved Penny very much. It just knocked the wind out of her sails, and she hasn’t recovered.

The doctor came this morning to help Penny die. I will miss her big girly barks, the way she’d dance for me, her pretty smile, and everything else about her. I’m heartbroken–we got ten more days with her, and it still wasn’t enough. Forever is the only thing that’s long enough. Here are some pics of my girl.

It’s hard to believe in God, you know? It’s hard to know without doubt that she’s okay now. I catch glimpses of it, but it’s so scary not to be able to know. I miss her.