How to Add or Manipulate Teeth in Photoshop
By Filonia LeChat
When you ask someone to "say cheese" for a photo, you probably expect a big grin. If that person is unsatisfied with his smile, though, you may get more of a grimace or tight-lipped look. Assure your subjects or even yourself that by using the Adobe Photoshop graphics software, you can help give a makeover to just about any mouth. Photoshop's tooth techniques may be only available on screen and not in real life, but you'll be able to see the effects of changes such as gap closings and teeth whitening without any expensive, painful dental procedures.
Open Photoshop on a PC, pull down the "File" menu and click "Open." Navigate to a photo with teeth to fix and double-click the file name. The photo opens in the Photoshop workspace. Click the "View" menu and click "Fit on Screen" to enlarge the workspace.
Click the "Magnify" tool, which looks like a magnifying glass, on the bottom of the "Tools" palette on the left side of the screen. Zoom in on the person's mouth so it takes up most of the screen.
Click the "Lasso" tool on the "Tools" palette and draw an outline around the top row of teeth. When you see the blinking dotted lines, right-click them and select "Layer via Copy."
Click the "Window" menu and select "Layers" to open the "Layers" palette. Note you have two layers: Background and Layer 1. Right-click Layer 1 and select "Layer Properties," then change the name to "Upper Teeth" and click "OK."
Click the "Image" menu, click "Adjustments" and click "Levels." Move the black slider triangle under the "Output Levels" section to the right and watch how the teeth become whiter. Write down the number in the "Output Levels" box and click the "OK" button.
Click the Background layer and repeat the "Lasso" process with the lower teeth. Change the layer's name to "Lower Teeth" and repeat the "Levels" process. This time, instead of using the "Output Levels" slider bar, type in the number to get the teeth the exact same shade. Click "OK."
Click the small lines icon in the top-right of the "Layers" palette and select "Flatten Image." You're now down to just the Background layer.
Click the "Clone" tool, which looks like a stamper used to cancel checks, on the "Tools" palette. Hover your cursor over a part of the person's tooth, press the "Alt" key on the keyboard and click the left mouse button once. Release the "Alt" key. This copies the tooth into Photoshop's memory.
Move your cursor into an area where the person is missing a tooth or has a major gap. Press the left mouse button and the copied tooth area is pasted into the gap. Continue clicking to add more of the copied area as desired. Take care not to add too many or the mouth will look crowded or unrealistic.
Click the "File" menu, click "Save As" and type a new name for the photo, saving it with this version so you'll always be able to access the original.
Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.