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Retouching the Mouth

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This chapter is from the book

Make ‘em Smile

What is it about smiling? Some people can’t wait to get in front of the camera and will show us those pearly whites without hesitation. Others just refuse to smile. It happens a lot with kids and pre-teens. They seem to hit a point where it’s not “cool” to smile. Little do they know that you have Photoshop Elements, though. In addition to the multitude of embarrassing things you can do to a person, with a few clicks of the mouse you can at least add a little smirk to those that won’t smile for the camera.

  • Step 1. Find a photo of that person that just won’t smile for you. Now it’s time for revenge. Well, kind of—we really can’t add teeth in there, but at least we can make them look somewhat happy.
  • Step 2. Go to the Filter menu and choose Distort>Liquify. Press W to select the Warp tool (it’s the first tool at the top left). In the Tool Options on the right side of the dialog, increase your brush size until your brush is roughly the size of half the mouth.
  • Step 3. Making a person smile isn’t as much about the mouth as it is the cheek area around it. If you were to just curl the mouth upward, it would look kind of funny. Instead, it’s the muscles in the cheek area that seem to pull the lips upward. So, put only about a quarter of your brush over the edge of the mouth and leave the rest of it above and outside in the cheek area. Then simply click-and-drag upward to add a little smile to those frowning lips.
  • Step 4. Switch over and do the other side. If you find the effect is too much and you’re having a hard time keeping it from looking fake, then try dropping the Brush Pressure setting on the right side of the dialog. This will give you a little more room for error.
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