Brighter, Whiter Smiles with Paint Shop Pro.. | Tutorial Freak – Online Tutorials

Brighter, Whiter Smiles with Paint Shop Pro..


Brighter, Whiter Smiles with Paint Shop Pro

This Paint Shop Pro Photo XI lesson will demonstrate how you can give all of your portrait subjects the “hollywood star” smile of their dreams. Along the way you’ll also learn how to use the Magic Wand Tool to make selections, how to save and load selections as alpha channels, how to create an Adjustment Layer and how to use the Hue/Saturation/Lightness tool.

Brighter, Whiter Smiles
Give your portrait subjects a brighter, whiter smile

NOTE: This Paint Shop Pro lesson was created using Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI, but you can achieve the same results using other versions.

A Note on the Toothbrush Tool

Before moving on to the actual whitening technique I’d like to point out that Paint Shop Pro Photo XI has a Toothbrush Tool .

Paint Shop Pro’s Toothbrush Tool is quite powerful, but it’s lacking a little in flexibility in that the only setting available is the “Strength”.

Although it’s true that using the Toothbrush Tool you can whiten a smile using several mouse clicks, the “old school” technique used for this lesson only requires several mouse clicks, as well, but will yield results that are much more flexible. Not only that, but using this technique means that the changes are editable and re-editable even after saving and reopening the image file (your file must be saved as a .pspimage file for this to work).

One other issue I have with tools like the Toothbrush is that they are destructive in that they change the actual pixels of an image. If you make a change like that and save those changes over the original file you’ll have no way to get back to the original. Saving the file as a copy works, but that means you now have two files to keep track of, archive, burn to CD… whatever.

You can copy the areas that need changing to a new layer. This method solves the problem of descructive tools by working on a copy (stored on a separate layer) of the areas that need correcting. It also keeps all of the image data in one file which is nice…

For this lesson, though, I’ll demonstrate how to quickly create a selection (using only a few more mouse clicks than the “one-click” Toothbrush Tool solution) to isolate the area that needs to be corrected. Once the selection is made I’ll demonstrate how it can be saved so that it can be retrieved and re-edited, if necessary. Finally, I’ll show you how to use that selection as a mask along with an adjustment layer to isolate and whiten the smile of any portrait subject. There’s a bit to tackle, so let’s get started.

Making the Selection
Because the area that needs to be selected is an odd shape the best tool to use will be the Magic Wand Tool .

The Magic Wand Tool works by comparing neighbouring pixels and, based on the Tolerance value, either adds the pixels to the selection or ignores them. In other words, when you click with the Magic Wand in your image the pixel beneath where you click with the mouse is selected and the pixels around that selected pixel are examined and either added to the selection, or not… from there the selection blossoms outward as neighnoring pixels are examined and added/ignored.

There are several options available for the Magic Wand. You can set the Mode, the Match Mode and the Tolerance. You can choose to use all layers and you can also choose to make the selections contiguous (pixels must be touching each other to be selected). Finally, you can set the Feather value and choose whether or not to use Anti-aliasing .

The mode can be set to Replace, Add or Remove. For the initial click you can leave the default Replace setting. For subsequent clicks, though, you will want to either add to or remove from the existing selection. You’ll see what I’m talking about as you start making the selection(s).

The Match Mode setting enables you to decide how pixels will be selected. Based upon:

RGB Value
All Opaque

I’ve chosen Traditional for this lesson, but feel free to explore what the other settings do. For example, Colour or RGB Value might be a good choice for selecting the smile in a portrait…

The Tolerance can be set from 0 to 255. A tolerance setting of 0 will not select any pixels other than the one originally clicked on and a Tolerance setting of 255 will select all of the pixels in the image. I suggest starting with a number like 25 to see what happens. When I click the teeth in the portrait I’m using for this lesson I get some of, but not all of the teeth .

I’ll leave Use All Layers option off (there’s only one layer in the photo I’m working with) and the Contiguous option on, so as to not select areas outside of the smile… With the Contiguous setting turned off objects similar to, but not visually connected to the teeth, such as Pearls or silver jewelry in a portrait, might be selected along with the teeth.

I’ll set the feathering value (using Selection, Modify, Feather…”) a little later after the selections is complete so I’ll leave that value set to 0.

Lastly, I’ll leave Anti-aliasing on .

To keep selecting more of the teeth, set the Mode option for the Magic Wand to Add and simply click different areas of the teeth. Several clicks should be enough to get all of the teeth .

If you zoom-in (always a good idea when modifying an image) and take a look at the selection you may notice that some of the unwanted areas around the gums have been selected

To fix this problem, set the Magic Wand’s Mode to Remove, lower the Tolerance to about 10 and click close to the edge of the selection where it has gone out of bounds. Doing so will trim off the extra bits that were previously selected. Again, try zooming-in to make the process of clicking an area a little easier. If you find some areas that weren’t selected set the Mode to Add and select those areas by clicking inside them. With a little work you’ll have the teeth selected so that you can brighten them without affecting any other areas in the photograph. Before we get started with the whitening, though, it’s a good idea to save the selection. It’s taken a bit of time to create and it would be nice to have immediate access to it again if needed, say for further modification.

With the selection complete, it’s advisable to soften the edges a little to make the transition between the original and the brightening/whitening less noticeable. To soften up the edges of the selection, choose Selections, Modify, Feather, enter a value of 1 and click OK.

Saving the Selection
To save your selection choose Selections, Load/Save Selection, Save Selection to Alpha Channel. Doing so will bring up the Save Selection to Alpha Channel dialog box. Give the Alpha channel a name… “Smile” or “Teeth” would be good choices, and click OK to save your selection. To retrieve your selection at a later date, simply choose Selections, Load/Save Selection, Load Selection from Alpha Channel, and presto! your selection will appear as if by magic :)

I won’t go into detail (in this lesson, at any rate) on what alpha channels are all about, but suffice it to say they come in mighty handy for storing selections.

Whitening the Portrait Subject’s Smile

Now for the cool stuff that all the hard work of creating the selection makes possible…

With the selection still active choose Layers, New Adjustment Layer, Hue/Saturation/Lightness… Doing so will open up the Hue/Saturation/Lightness dialog box .

To brighten the smile of your portrait subject, slide the Saturation slider down (doing so will remove the colour from the teeth, whitening them)… I set it to -50, and bring the Lightness slider up a little to brighten the teeth… I set it to 15. The idea is to make the smile whiter but without it being obvious that any change was made to the image. You can see my final result in .

You’ll now have an image with two layers … the original layer with the unchanged, untouched portrait and a new adjustment layer/mask layer that holds the Hue/Saturation/Lightness info necessary to whiten the subject’s teeth. Pretty cool, very powerful, and incredibly flexible :)

To re-edit the changes you made you can simply double-click the adjustment layer in the layers palette to bring up the adjustment dialog box. You’ll see that the values you entered are still there, ready for you to modify.

You can easily turn off the visibility of the adjustment layer or even delete it all together… and finally, you can turn down the opacity setting of the layer to adjust the effect that way.

I invite you to play with the various settings I’ve mentioned until you have exactly the results you want.

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


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