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Tutorial: Changing Eye Color in After Effects

Mikey Borup

In this After Effects video tutorial you’ll discover how to swap the eye color of your on-screen talent!

Adobe After Effects

In this example I needed to match the eye color of two actors (each was playing the same character, one as an old version and the other as a younger version). Using a combination of relatively simple After Effects techniques you can give your talent a quick eye color change:

  • Use ‘Track Motion’ to track the movements of the eyes in the shot. In this case, both the camera and subject’s head were moving, making it beneficial to use two trackers (one for each eye).
  • Adjust the tracking range to best suit the motion in my footage. The bigger the trackers bounding boxes, the longer it takes to process the track. Pretty straightforward.
  • Add a null object to each track.
  • Use a shape layer and modify the color to match your desired color (apply a blend mode like Soft Light).
  • Mask and feather this shape layer to mimic the shape of the eyeball.
  • NOW, parent the color solid layer to the null layer.

Add to your characters persona with an eye color tweak. Tint red to look frightening or evil or a blue/white tint can look martian or futuristic. Experiment with this visual effect in your AE projects to get your own unique looks.

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