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 Photoshop Tutorials -- Brighter, Whiter Smiles

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PostSubject: Photoshop Tutorials -- Brighter, Whiter Smiles   Tue Sep 30, 2008 2:48 pm

Brighter, Whiter Smiles with Photoshop



Everyone wants a brighter, whiter smile... at least that's what my
television tells me every 15 minutes. This Photoshop CS2 lesson will
demonstrate how you can brighten and whiten the smile in any of your
digital portraits. Along the way you'll discover how to use the Magic Wand and the Lasso selection tools and you'll learn about the Hue/Saturation adjustment dialog.







Brighter, Whiter Smiles




NOTE: This Photoshop lesson was created using Adobe Photoshop CS2, but the same results can be achieved in just about any version of Adobe Photoshop.




Making the Selection:



As with many of my Photoshop photo-editing tutorials, you'll start by
making a selection so that the selected area can be corrected without
disturbing any other areas of the photograph. In this case the Magic
Wand tool (see figure 24.1) will be used. The reason is that the Magic
Wand tool is great for selecting oddly shaped areas, such as someone's
teeth.










figure 24.1







The Magic Wand tool:

The Magic Wand tool is a bit tricky to
understand, but well worth learning about. Once you've selected the
Magic Wand tool from the Toolbar take a look at the options (see figure
24.2) which can be found just below the menu choices in the main
Photoshop window.





figure 24.2



In figure 24.1 you can see that I've set the
selection type to "Add to Selection" and the Tolerance to 20 (the
default value is 32). By default Anti-alias and Contiguous (pixels must
be touching one another and not separated by any space) are on and
Sample All Layers is off.


The "Add to Selection" setting means that I can click
different ares of the image and the tool will keep adding to my
selection rather than creating a new selection each time...


The Tolerance setting defines how pixels are selected when you
click with the tool on your image. When you click in your image the
underlying pixel is selected, the tool then checks pixels around the
perimeter (i.e. neighboring pixels are checked to see whether or not
they fit within the tolerance you've set). If any pixels falls within
the tolerance (0 means no other pixels will be selected and 255 means
all pixels will be selected) that pixel is added to the selection and
the tool keeps checking neighboring pixels.



Figure 24.3 shows the same area being selected with the Magic Wand tool using varying Tolerance settings.




figure 24.3



You can see from figure 24.3 that increasing
the Tolerance value increases the number of pixels the tool selects.
Ideally, you'd like to set the tolerance such that all of the pixels
you need are selected... ideally Smile What I do is choose a setting (the
default setting of 32 is a good place to start) and click in the area
that I want selected. If too many pixels are selected, I choose Edit,
Undo (CTRL-Z, of course, for you keyboard shortcut users out there),
lower the Tolerance value and click again. I won't do that if too few
pixels are selected, though, which is why I set the tool to "Add to
Selection" mode. If too few pixels are selected I can simply click
again in the area that I want selected and have extra pixels added to
those already selected.


In fact, after deciding on a Tolerance setting of 20 and
placing a few clicks on the teeth I want selected, I have the selection
you can see in figure 24.4.




figure 24.4




The Lasso tool:

You can see from figure 24.4 that the selection is pretty good. It does
need a couple of small adjustments, though. I found the problem by
zooming-in with the Zoom tool.


The trouble is that some edges have too little of the teeth
selected and some edges have too much of the gums selected... I wonder
if Dentists go through this Smile


Correcting those slight misses from the Magic Wand can be
accomplished fairly easily with another Photoshop selection tool... the
Lasso. The Lasso tool is easy to operate... though it is easier if you
have a graphic tablet and pen, but a good job can be had with the
mouse, too.


To operate the Lasso tool, set the selection type to either
"Add to Selection" or "Subtract from Selection", (leave the other
settings at their defaults, for now) depending on whether you need to
add or remove areas from your selection and simply click-and-drag
around the areas that you want added to or subtracted from your
selection.



In figure 24.5 the Lasso tool is being used to subtract some of the pink gums area that was selected by the Magic Wand tool.




figure 24.5





Brightening the Smile:




Once you're satisfied with the selection you've created, save
it by choosing Select, Save Selection... In the Save Selection dialog
box choose the document that you're working on and give the New channel
a name. I named the channel "Teeth" for obvious reasons.


With the selection still active choose Select, Feather and
enter 1 in the dialog box. Doing so will smooth out the transition
between the original photo and the edits to the smile that are about to
be made.


I prefer to keep my edits as re-editable as possible and to
that end this correction will be accomplished with the use of an
adjustment layer. Better still, because a selection is active, a mask
will be automatically generated and the correction will be limited to
that selected area.


To make the adjustment to the smile, choose Layer, New
Adjustment Layer, Hue/Saturation... and click OK in the dialog box that
pops up.


To correct the smile in your digital photographs adjust the
Saturation to the left (i set it to -67 for this image) and adjust the
Lightness to the right (I set the value to 20). Decreasing the
saturation removes the color and doing so removes the yellowish stains
that many adults have from tea, coffee, etc. Increasing the lightness
obviously brightens the smile.



Figure 24.6 shows my final result and the settings I used.




figure 24.6



TIP: It's best to zoom-out
and take a look at your image in its entirety to see how the correction
fits in. The idea is to brighten and whiten the smile of your portrait
subject while keeping the photo as original-looking as possible.



As always, make sure that you save a copy of your image as a .psd file
so that you can come back to it later if necessary and make any
subsequent changes or re-edits.
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