Basic Photo Editing: How to whiten teeth with Adobe Photoshop

Add A Hue/Saturation Layer

In the Layers, palette, look for the "create new fill or adjustment later" icon, then select hue/saturation from the pop-up list. Photoshop will create a new layer which has two parts. The first part is the hue/saturation controls and the second part is a mask. We'll be using both of them. First, we'll focus on the hue saturation conrols. If you don't have Photoshop CS4, you double click on the adjustment layer to get the hue/saturation palette. With Photoshop CS4, you can go to the adjustments palette.

Adjusting Hue/Saturation

Move the lightness slider over to the right until the number reads about +10.

Adjust Only the Yellows

Because most of the yellow color in teeth affect only the yellow channel, you'll need to switch the channel the adjustment layers is affecting from the Master channel, which affects the entire image, to just the yellow.

Adjust the Saturation and Lightness

Next, move the saturation in the yellows almost all the way to the left. Move the lightness slightly to the right. You may notice that these changes are affecting the entire image, we'll fix this by creating a mask to localize the changes.

Creating an Inverse Mask

Click on the mask sublayer on the Hue/Saturation layer you created, then hit Command-I (Control-I on a PC). The mask will convert from a white mask to a black mast. Normally when you create a mask, the mas is white, which means that everything on that layer shows up. When you inverse the mask, the layer affects nothing.

Paint the teeth

Now click on the brush tool, then click on the default white foreground, black background tool. To show the effect of whitening the teeth, you'll need to paing with white in the adjustment layer mask.

Choose a soft brush

In order to paint the teeth, you'll need a very soft brush that is a little smaller than a single tooth. Right click (or control click on a one button mouse), then change the hardness to 0 and make the diameter a little smaller than a single tooth.

Paint the teeth with the adjustments

When you paint, go over the teeth and avoid any non-tooth areas. Your teeth will look nice and white when you're done. If you want to adjust the whiteness, because you created an adjustment layer, you can adjust the whiteness of the teeth by going back to the adjustment palette and changing the settings there.

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