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How to Select Teeth to Be Whitened in Photoshop

Learn how to whiten teeth from certified trainer Scott Strong of The Training Farm in NYC in this Howcast Photoshop tutorial, part one of two.


Hey. My name is Scott Strong and I'm a certified trainer for The Training Farm. Today I'm going to show you how to brighten teeth in Photoshop.

We have a picture here. Somebody has probably been drinking a little too much coffee in the morning. What we're going to do is we are going to make those teeth a little less yellow.

What we're going to do is we're going to start off with new tool in Photoshop. It's called the Quick Selection Tool. You can find it right here where the magic wand is or you can just hit "w" on your keyboard and then shift w. What we're going to do is start off by expanding the brush of the magic selection tool and I'm going to paint inside of her teeth until we get a selection here. If I get a little too much, it's not a problem. You just hold down option on your keyboard and you paint out the areas that you don't want selected.

Now what I want to do is I want to refine this edge a little bit. Refine my selection so that I can try to get some of that gum out of the selection. So I'm going to click the refine edge button. And that will bring up a new window where the teeth are on their own. And it's against a white background. What I'm going to do first is I'm going start out by smoothing the selection a little bit and maybe feathering it just slightly. Then I'm going to use this tool which is the Selection Brush Tool. And I'm going to just paint over the areas that I don't want. And you'll see Photoshop starting to do a little bit of a calculation. I zoom in a little closer. I'm hitting command plus on my keyboard and the space bar will change it over to a hand tool. And just paint right inside there. I see Photoshop trying to remove some of that.

What I'm going to do is I'm going to change what it's getting output to. So I want to output this to a layer with a layer mask. I like to work non-destructively as much as possible. Once I have a selection that I'm happy with, I'm going to output to a new layer with layer mask and then I'm going to hit OK.

Photoshop has placed the teeth on a new layer with a layer mask. If I hit the eyeball on the bottom layer you can see that I still have my image. On the top is the same image but with a layer mask. If I hit option on my keyboard and click on the layer mask itself, you can see the actual layer mask.

What I want to do with this layer mask is just clean it up a little bit. I'm going to use the Burn and Dodge tools to do that. The Burn tool with take any pixel that you paint and make it darker. Start out by reducing the size of the brush by hitting the left bracket on my keyboard. I'm just going to paint right inside here. Change the exposure from 25 to 100. And just paint over the areas that I don't want to darken them up. Keeping in mind that any black pixel in the layer mask is going to be transparent and any white pixel in the layer mask is going to be opaque.

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