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How to Fix Someone's Smile Using the Puppet Warp Tool in Photoshop

How to Fix Someone's Smile Using the Puppet Warp Tool in Photoshop

Watch This Video Tutorial


Sometimes we capture a photo right when our subject's smile is fading, and end up with an "almost perfect" shot. If only we were a split second quicker...

Fortunately, we can use Photoshop to turn back time a few milliseconds to save what could have been lost forever.

This tutorial will show you how to fix or tweak someone's smile using the Puppet Warp tool in Photoshop.


Original Image

Obviously there's nothing "wrong" with our original image, but for the purposes of this tutorial, let's see how we can make her smile more emotive.


Step 1

First, right click the image in the Layers panel and select Convert to Smart Object. This will allow us to come back in later and tweak the final settings without having to start from scratch.

Next, click Edit > Pupper Warp. This brings up a mesh on screen that will allow us to drop pins on our image, then drag those pins around to distort whatever we want.


Step 2

In the top toolbar, change the Density from Normal to More Points. This will create a more dense mesh, allowing us to work in more detail.


Step 3

Click around the edges of the face to create approximately 10 points. You don't have to be precise here, just make a basic outline of the face.

This will keep the shape of the face from distorting when we start manipulating the mouth.


Step 4

Click to add pins at the corners of the mouth, and along the upper and lower lip. Usually, more pins is better, but too many can cause unrealistic distortions, so you'll have to experiment on each photo.

Click and drag the pins on the corners of the mouth outward and upward slightly to widen the smile.


Before and After

Oftentimes, there will be a slight border around the edges of your image after using the Puppet Warp tool, so crop it down if necessary.

It's not hard to take this effect too far and give somebody an unrealistic smile, but if you use it subtly, it works well to fix an almost perfect picture.

Of course, you can use this same method to purposefully exaggerate features and create caricatures of people and things like that.


Final Image

Click the image below to view it at full size.


What do you think? Were you able to apply some of these tips to your own images? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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