Not everyone has the money to get their teeth whitened. Heck, some of us do have the money and just don’t want to deal with it. Photoshop can be a miracle worker, by altering images to make them look better, different, wacky or refined. Just depends on what you’re looking for. In this tutorial we will go over how to make those pearly whites – actually white. There are so many fun tools in Photoshop to use, take the Photoshop crash course here.
Select your image to edit by going to File –> Open.
2. Activate your lasso tool from the tool bar. The lasso is shown above. You can also press the letter L as a shortcut to select it.
3. If necessary, zoom in on the picture so you have a nice big view of teeth. You can do this by hitting CTRL and the + sign. (To zoom out it’s CTRL and the – sign.)
4. Now, with your lasso tool engaged, draw around the teeth like shown above. (You’ll see marching ants.)
5. Go to the bottom of the Layers palette and click on the New Adjustment Layer icon. Kind of looks like a ying-yang.
6. Select the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer from the list that pops up.
7. Since teeth that aren’t white usually are yellowed (and not blue or red), we need to balance the yellow out. Click the arrow next to the drop down box that says “master”. You should see the options to click “yellows”.
8. Drag the Saturation slider all the way to the left. This will eliminate any yellow content on the teeth, making them whiter.
9. At this point, they should appear white, but why not make them shine? We want to revert back to the “master” option, so click on the arrow next to the word “yellows” and click “master”.
10. Drag the lightness slide bar to the right to brighten the teeth up. (To the left will make them darker.) Make sure you don’t drag it too far or it might look a little alien. There will be a white ring around the mouth. That’s okay, just look at the teeth color. Click OK when you are satisfied.
11. Whoa. You’re thinking, I didn’t want white lips too. Well, we’ll take care of that. Take a look at your layers palette. You should see a black box with a white lip shaped figure in it. Click on that layer to highlight it.12. This may seem a little counter-intuitive, but we are going to fill that box in black. Let’s go up to Edit on your top task bar and select Fill. Click on the arrow and choose Black. Click OK. You’ll notice it looks like your work was undone – it wasn’t.
13. Select your brush tool on the tool bar. Or press B for a shortcut.
14. Make sure that your foreground color is white.
15. Paint with white over the teeth to restore and brighten them. Adjust the size of your brush for more accuracy. You can also adjust the opacity to get the perfect smile.
16. Save your new image!
For more about all the cool things you can do in Photoshop, take this Fundamentals of Photoshop online course.