Can Photoshop Create Happiness?
Can Photoshop create happiness? Well maybe, sometimes! A photoshop user may be happy when a project turns out just right, or a client may be happy when they like their images, but does it really show? Photoshop has matured over the years and some of the filters can actually make it seem like a subject is smiling.
Several years ago, the only way to realistically place a believable smile on someone's face was the use the Puppet Warp tool This is a specific type of warp that places a fine mesh over a certain area of a body so that one can move it realistically once you put pins within the mesh. It can be a fairly powerful tool as shown in the link above. However, Photoshop has developed a new tool under the Neural filters menu.
The Smart Portrait neural filter actually has a Happiness slider (note: like many filters the image needs to be 8 bit). Photoshop gives you a slider that when pushed to the right will not only up turn the corners of a subjects mouth, but will add creases in the cheeks and even create teeth for you. If you go too far to the right, you risk making your subject look like the Joker in Batman. Like any filter, sometimes a little can be enough.
In the top images above, I thought the composition was less than cohesive since one of the subjects was smiling while the other looks as serious as possible. I wanted both subjects to be smiling, and in this case it did a fairly decent job, and even created teeth for the open mouth. This effect may take a few seconds, since it appears to be processing in the cloud initially. After the initial manipulation, small changes appear as quickly as any other filter. It may not be perfect, but this image was destined for the web, and not a poster sized production.
The smart portrait will do other things for your subject as well such as change the eye direction which could be useful it the pupil and iris are in the extreme corners. Again, pushing this too far will give VERY strange effects.
Like anything in photoshop, every image can be different, and this filter may not work well in all cases. But it is worth giving it a try if for nothing else for practice!