Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements


Lesson Info

How to Whiten Teeth

Let me show you a technique to whiten teeth while we're here and we're talking about teeth. This is a request I get a lot or I have a lot of students who will ask. It's just the natural progression of things. Let's talk about how we would whiten the teeth. The first step would be to select the teeth. And we have teeth on three layers, so let's go back to the background layer and we'll just make a selection across this whole area. Using again that quick selection tool, I'm just gonna click and drag to go across this whole area. We have a little too much including that lip there, so I will press and hold Alt or Option to paint away that area. This area I also want to paint away, but it's smaller so I'm gonna zoom in so I can see better, and I'm also gonna make my brush smaller. I feel like you have a little more control when you use a smaller brush. So, here I'll hold down Alt or Option and again just paint away the area here that's not her tooth. Same thing over here. And I'm not gonna ...

worry about being super perfect because we're gonna blur this selection anyway. So, we have a basic selection for the teeth. That's looking pretty good. What we're going to do to pull this off, is we're gonna make use of an adjustment layer. As we saw yesterday we did the gradient map adjustment layer in our castle in the clouds image. Here we're gonna make a different kind of adjustment layer, but I only want the adjustment to take place on the teeth. So that's why we selected them first. But before I make the adjustment layer, I need to refine this selection because if we do it right now, it's gonna look like we painted the selection on with like a really hard-edged brush and it's not gonna look natural at all. So what I want to do is soften the edge of this selection. So just like we did yesterday with the kitten when we were softening it to see the fur and everything, we're gonna come up to the Select menu and choose refine edge. And here we can see a preview of what this looks like right now, and obviously it looks pretty bad. But the good news is we don't need a perfect selection to pull off what we're trying to do. So, I'm gonna leave the radius where it is. All I really want in this case is the feathering option. So, I'm gonna drag that to the right and you see that it blurs the edge of the selection. It's not blurring the teeth, it's blurring the selection. And it's only blurring the edge. So what I want is just something soft, not too soft. If I drag it way over here we get way too soft. So we still want it to be like around the teeth, but what we want is just that it doesn't look jaggedy. So I'll just do that. I think even just like three or four pixels is enough for this image. When I'm happy with it, I'll go ahead and click okay. Nothing happens but the selection has been feathered and we just have to trust that because we just did it. We won't see the amps can't really show us that it's feathered. But we know that it is, so now we're gonna come over in our layers panel and I'm gonna come up to this adjustment layer icon. I know that the adjustment is gonna create a layer right above my current layer and I wanna make sure that I'm including the left and the right tooth that are up above. So, I'm gonna just click the left tooth so that when I add the adjustment layer it will take place above the left tooth, and that way it'll affect all of the teeth layers. Alright, so we'll click right here and we're gonna select Hue/Saturation and we want to leave the hue where it is, but I'm just gonna click Colorize. That's all I've done is click the Colorize button. And there's like a million ways to do this, so this is my own personal preference for this image. And I think this actually works well in a lot of cases. So it's flexible and you can tweak it as needed, but I think it works great right here. And the reason I like this, is a lot of times when people are whitening teeth, they'll try to whiten teeth by actually brightening them and I think that's not the best way to go because white teeth are not necessarily bright. In other words, the luminosity value is not different, but rather they look white because they have the absence of stains. So that's what we're doing here. We're basically recoloring the teeth. Now we have to be careful because a lot of times even someone with the whitest of white teeth, they may look yellowy in an image because of the lighting. So we just have to keep that in mind. I think that looks really good. I'm gonna go ahead and close that and when we zoom out, I think it looks good but I think it's a little too much. I think her teeth are sort of awkwardly white, so what I'm gonna do is just fade that affect down by lowering the opacity in the layer panel. So if I drag it to zero, then we can see there's no adjustment. But if I drag it to like 50%, I think that looks pretty good. And we can toggle the layer on and off to see the before and after. And if we need to adjust, like if we look at this if I zoom in, and we really want to be picky about it, I can see where it's not really fitting on the teeth well. Maybe we feathered it too much or not enough or whatever. Remember that adjustment layers always come with a built in mask. And in this case, the mask perfectly it fits the teeth because we selected them first. But if I wanna adjust it, I'll just grab that paintbrush tool and if I want to block more of the adjustment from showing up, I could paint with black like this. It's not what I want in this case, so I could switch to white and then I can paint it away. So I see some edges where, you know, maybe the adjustment selection wasn't quite perfect. I can go around and just, I can alter this but honestly, you don't have to be this careful for something like this. So we'll just zoom out and keep that opacity down in about the middle, and I think that looks pretty great. So if we again group all of this retouching that we've done, so I'm selecting all those layers, Command or Control G can toggle it on and off. And not only are her teeth whiter, but then we also did some orthodontal work and we didn't have to pay for braces, so I think that's pretty cool.

We all have hundreds of images on our smartphones and cameras that we never do anything with. Adobe Photoshop Elements is the perfect tool for beginners to use for organizing and editing those images. Khara Plicanic will show you the practical ways to use this software by using step-by-step projects you can follow along with at home. You’ll get hands-on practice at making selections and working with layers, doing simple retouching, and adding text to your images.

You’ll also learn: 

• Basic adjustments to color and adding contrast to photos 
• Understanding resolution and image resizing and how to use the crop tool 
• Simple retouching and image compositing

No Photoshop Elements class would be complete without shedding light on file saving and organizing your images for a complete workflow! By the time you’re finished with this class, you’ll be creating beautiful images to share with your family and friends.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5.1


Class Introduction
Understand How Elements Works
Importing Images
Workspace Basics: Organizer
Workspace Basics: Editor
Tonal Adjustments in Quick Fix
Color Adjustments in Quick Fix
Apply Black & White Filters
Sharpen an Image
Fix Red Eye & Pet Eye
Straighten an Image in Quick Fix
Explanation of Photoshop Elements
Basic Cropping in Quick Fix
Guided Edit Overview
Guided Edit: Tilt Shift
Ways to Save Files
Layers & Simple Selections
Combine Images with Layers
How to Use Layer Styles
Make Selections with Layers
Make Selection with Lasso
Compositing with Multiple Images
Refine Edge Selection on Image
Use Refine Edge on Images
Create Gradient in Image
Gradient Map Differences
Options for Saving
Brushes Overview
Creatively Use Brushes
How to Change Brush Settings
Use Shape Tool with Brushes
Work with Multiple Shape Layers
Finish Image with Custom Shape Tool
How to Load Brushes into Elements
Add Layer Style to Image
Clip Image to Shape & Use as Template
Retouching Overview
How to Use Content-Aware Fill
How to Use Content-Aware Move Tool
Spot Healing Brush on Blemishes
Remove Frown Lines with Retouching
How to Remove Tattoos
Remove a Gap in Teeth
How to Whiten Teeth
Adjust Facial Features
Working with Type Overview
Match Type for Image
How to Manipulate Type Layers
Create Postcard with Type
Add Type on a Path
Organizing Images in Elements
Add Keywords to Images
Smart Tags Overview
Using Albums in Elements
Places Workspace Overview
Use Event Tags on Images
Timeline for Image Organization
Recommended Workflow


  • Just watching this class live. It's my first class with Khara; she is a wonderful teacher, moving at a steady speed but always being careful to let us know what she's doing in the moment. I would classify myself as intermediate in terms of PSE but I've learned lots of little things that will make further use even easier and more fun. I really appreciated her descriptions of the difference between PS and PSE and her encouragement in using Photoshop Elements and all that it can do.
  • I have only been able to watch portions of this class but every single part that I have watched has been technically clear and inspiring to me. Based on this experience and the thorough, 58 item list of lessons, I will surely be buying this class soon! Thank you Khara and Creativelive for making a class on this topic and making it be super!!
  • Great course. You can tell she knows the programme inside out.