PI8 Brighter Smile Photo Edit

Sometimes you have a really great photo that displays a less than perfect smile because the teeth are discolored. This tutorial shows you a very easy way to remove a color cast for a brighter, whiter smile.

before and after

I'm editing this photo, which is from the PI8 Bonus CD's Hemera GraphicsDesk application. If you haven't already installed Hemera's GraphicsDesk, you should check it out. The program gives you 1200 of Hemera's royalty-free Photo Objects, photos and clipart images. It's well worth installing and it's free.

Open up the image in the work space. Select the Zoom tool and click once to magnify to 200%. Choose the Lasso Selection tool. Select "Snap to edges" and a Soft edge value of 1 in the Attributes toolbar. A Soft edge lessens the likelihood of an ugly, sharp line around the brightened teeth. You can make the Soft edge value 2 or even higher if you want a softer edge. Carefully drag a selection around the teeth only. Remember to double click to close the selection. Then you must click Finish in the Attributes toolbar as well. Your selection will look like this.

smile selected

Choose Format, Hue & Saturation. When the Hue & Saturation dialog box opens, click the 1:1 button so you can see the teeth at actual size. Edit the Saturation value to -30. Dragging the slider to the left desaturates color, getting rid of the faint yellow cast, yielding a very pale gray. Once you get rid of the yellow tint, drag the Lightness slider to the right to 15. Doing so will lighten up the gray so that the teeth are nearly white.

edit saturation & lightness

Keep in mind that these Saturation and Lightness values work well for this particular photo, but you will have to experiment with other values for your own photos. It's important to be careful to not overlighten the smile. The goal is to get brighter (not necessarily stark white) teeth. This method works a lot better than simply running the Dodge tool (which can "bleach" underlying color excessively) over the teeth.

When you're satisfied with the results, click OK to apply. When the dialog box closes, you'll see an animated broken line around the smile. Applying this effect to a selection created an object. Hit Enter to deactivate the object. With the Pick tool, right click, Merge All. Can you believe how easy it is to brighten up a smile without a visit to the dentist?

brighter smile

This tutorial uploaded 5/16/03

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