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In this movie, I'll show you how to whiten and brighten teeth using a combination of the Sponge and Dodge tools. And I'm going to zoom in on the model's teeth and I'm also going to switch to the retouch layer, because after all the entire mouth is masked away on the blur layer. Now I think most people's temptation is to grab the Dodge tool, because we look at teeth and we see them as being yellow, they're dingy, let's brighten them up and you start painting across a smile and that does brighten up the teeth. And that's because the teeth ultimately have too much saturation.
So I'm going to undo that modification by pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac and then I'll click and hold on the Dodge tool and select the Sponge tool from the flyout menu. And notice by default the mode is set to Desaturate, so we're removing saturation from the teeth which is exactly what we want. So if I go ahead and paint over the teeth, you can see that they end up looking less dingy and also inherently whiter because we're pulling away that yellow. But a couple of problems, we're going too far with the effect, and I'm removing saturation from the lips as well which is not what I want.
Again I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac to reinstate the original teeth. What we need to do is select the teeth before we start modifying them. So if you're working along with me, go ahead and grab the Quick Selection tool and make sure you're working with a small brush or I'll press the left bracket key a couple of times to reduce it to 20 pixels in my case. And then I'll make sure that Auto Enhance is turned on and I'll go ahead and paint over the gums and teeth, so it's okay to go ahead and get the gums for this effect. In fact you want to get the gums actually.
We'll just make sure that we don't paint too far into them with the Sponge tool. And I'll go ahead and paint down toward the lip, like so, and if you end up getting a little bit of lip, actually in my case it disappeared as soon as I released the mouse button, but you can deselect with this tool as well. But say I go too far over this direction. To deselect with the Quick Selection tool you press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and notice that goes ahead and shows you a minus sign inside the cursor. Go ahead and paint the stuff that you don't want to select away. And this looks like a good selection to me.
I do want to soften it a bit so I'll go up to the Select menu, choose Modify and then choose the Feather command, and I'll go with the Feather Radius value of 2 pixels, which will work pretty well regardless of the resolution of your image. Now I'll click OK in order to accept that effect. Now let's switch back to the Sponge tool, which you can get by pressing the O key, and the reason, by the way, that the Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools have a keyboard of O, is because Photoshop regards them as the Toning tools. So I'll switch back to Sponge, make sure it's set to Desaturate.
Let's take that Flow Value down to 30% by pressing the 3 key. Make sure that Vibrance is turned on so that we're reducing the vibrance as opposed to the saturation of the teeth. And again that's important because vibrance ends up affecting low saturation colors more than high saturation colors. I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac to hide the Selection outline and then I will paint inside the teeth in order to remove some saturation. And if necessary, I might hit a couple of the teeth the second time, so I'll click once in that right front tooth, once in the left front tooth as well, maybe in the next lower teeth too, so that got rid of the yellow in the teeth.
Now at this point you might want to brighten up the smile a bit. So this is when you switch over to the Dodge tool, but you want to work with a very low exposure value. I'm going to press the 1 key to reduce it to 10%, and then I'll just paint along the bottom of these front teeth, like so, in order to brighten them up. And that's all there is to it. So creating a bright smile is one the easier things to pull off inside of Photoshop. Give you a sense of what we were able to do; I'll press the F12 key in order to revert to the original version of the image.
So this is the before version of that smile and this is the new radiant smile, thanks to our ability to whiten and brighten teeth using a combination of the Sponge and Dodge tools.
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