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In this movie, we will be working on a photograph which we worked on in a previous chapter, and in that chapter, we talked about how we could reduce and remove small blemishes or wrinkles. If you click on the eye icon, you can see here is our before, and then now our after. Whenever you're retouching a photograph, you need to have a good cohesive workflow. In other words, you need to work on all different areas of your picture, especially the teeth. Well here, I want to share with you a valuable technique that you can use for teeth whitening.
Let's zoom in on this picture a little bit. In this particular technique, it's going to require that we create some adjustment layers, build some masks, and also work with blending modes. So let's start off by clicking on the adjustment layer icon for Hue/Saturation. Next click on the Targeted Adjustment tool, and then click on one of the teeth. This will then take you to the Yellows channel, and it will show you which colors you're working with. Here we want to desaturate, so we are going to bring down our Saturation. I also want to increase the Lightness just a touch as well.
Next, you want to go back to the Master channel here, and also just increase the Lightness just a little bit. Well so far, we can see that this effect is affecting the entire image; that's not very good. We need to then invert the mask. To do that press Command+I on a Mac, Control+I on windows, or go to Masks panel, and click on Invert. Next, press the B key to select your Brush tool. With the Brush tool, what we want to do is use a nice small brush. We also want to remove all the Hardness. For the Opacity, let's bring this down to about 70% or so, and then just make sure to paint with white.
Last, but not least here, with this tool, what we'll do is we'll just start to paint over the teeth. And what we should see is that this kind of looks like we are almost scrubbing away, or cleaning away the yellow effect on the teeth. Now, this first adjustment won't be everything. It won't be the perfect amount, and the perfect way to whiten the teeth. Rather, this is going to be the foundational step which we'll build upon as we create a couple more adjustments. That being said, it is important that your mask is really good; that you really focus it in on the teeth in order to whiten or brighten those teeth.
Also keep in mind, we are not interested in making these teeth pure white. Next let's go back to the Hue/Saturation adjustment. Here, let's go back to Yellows, and I am going to decrease even more of those yellows. Alright, if we click on the eye icon, we can see here's our before, now here's our after; it's starting to look better. Yet to take this even further, what we are going to do is duplicate this layer twice. Before we do that, though, let's go to our Masks panel, and just increase the Feather amount a little bit on this mask we've created to soften our brush strokes.
Then let's click and drag this to the New layer icon, not just once, but twice, so that we have three versions of this same adjustment. Let's turn off the visibility of those top two, so we can kind of talk about what we are going to do here. Well, this first Hue/Saturation layer: that was the one that got rid of most of the yellow. Next, with this one here, we're going to take the Opacity level down to about 10 or 15%, or so. Then we are going to take this to a blending mode of Screen. What that will do is it will brighten the teeth a little bit. You can kind of see how it's bringing some nice vibrance to those teeth.
Then this top layer, we will turn on the visibility there, decrease the Opacity to about 50% approximately, then we will take this to blending mode of Soft Light. This is going to bring in some nice contrast to the teeth. Now these last two layers, you can see what they did is they brightened, and also just made the teeth a little bit more vibrant, rather than a bit too muted. It's all of these adjustments together which have helped us to whiten or brighten the teeth, as you can see here as I am kind of clicking between this before and after view.
As always, whenever you're using a technique like this, just tinker a little bit with your Opacity until you get the brightness amount, or the contrast level just right for your own photograph. Alright, well here I am going to zoom out a little bit, so we can see how this looks inside of the entirety of the photograph. I want to make sure that the teeth aren't so white that they're drawing all of our attention towards them. With this photograph, I think it looks really natural, and I think that's a decent job at whitening those teeth. Let's look at the overall before and after. So here is before we did anything to the photograph, and then we can click and drag through our eye icons, and we can see the after.
In this case, what you can see is that the retouching work that we did previously was really important. It was important to do that, because in a way, I know this will sound kind of weird, but that kind of helped us to whiten the teeth. In other words, by retouching our photograph in this cohesive, or kind of holistic way, by working on different areas, it helped to improve all of the different elements of the image. That really is a trick with retouching. The trick is to focus in on all of these different little elements in order to come up with the best results.
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