The Fossil Effect in PhotoShop

Written by kris borinski
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The Fossil Effect in PhotoShop
Creating digital effects is easy using Photoshop. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Photographers quickly accepted and adapted computers to manipulate snapshots into complex digital images not possible before personal computers and digital imaging software. Adobe Photoshop is one image editing program available, and is generally accepted as the most versatile and most widely used. Creating a fossil and other complicated tasks in Photoshop takes several steps but can be mastered with time and practice.

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Fossil Effect

Taking an everyday image and turning it into something completely different is possible using Adobe Photoshop. Fossils are impressions left by decayed organisms in the surrounding earth that turn to rock over time. Using Photoshop, an ordinary image can be made to look like a fossil. The resulting digital image will be two dimensional but will appear as a photograph of an actual fossil.

How To Make a Fossil Effect

Several step by step instructions and tutorials are available and can be found in the reference section. Not all of the guides have the same steps but the resulting image will be similar. The basic process starts with a blank page, selecting a colour, preferably an earth tone, and drawing a gradient to use as the background. Add clouds or another effect to give the background a floating appearance. Draw a grey oval shape on the background, add a drop shadow and other glowing and bevelled effects. Once the oval has a 3-D appearance, place the image inside of it.

Best Images to Use

Any image can be used for the fossil effect, but if you want a realistic image, use an insect or other organism that lived several million years ago. The image should be taken from a vantage point that makes the animal recognisable, such as a straight on perspective. The image should also be isolated and free of background clutter. You want only the outline and details of the organism's body.

Learning Photoshop

Photoshop is available in different versions from the full professional edition to Photoshop Elements, a stripped down, cheaper version intended for home use. The program is complex, but once the basic steps are learnt, the user can transform images using various special effects. The Adobe website contains tutorials addressing many different actions.

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