photoshop creative

How to create an amber ball to preserve insects in Photoshop

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Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
April 25, 2012

Here’s a quick and easy tutorial on making an amber ball around insects for that preserved forever look

Amber effect in Photoshop

Step 1 – Marquee selection

Open an image of an insect and create a copy of the Background layer. Use the Elliptical Marquee to create a circle (hold Shift, drag) around the insect.

Step 2 – Spherize

Go the Filter menu and to Distort>Spherize. Set Mode to Normal, Amount to 100% and hit OK. The insect should look blown up inside the circle.

Step 3 – Lens flare

Go to Filter>Render>Lens Flare. A glass sphere effect will need at least two, so pick the Movie Prime option and position at the top of the circle. Set Brightness to 200% and hit OK. Repeat this using a 35mm Prime at 135% Brightness; placed opposite the first flare at the bottom of the circle.

Step 4 – Tint orange

Add a new Solid Color Fill layer (Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color). Set the colour of the fill to an orange (we used c78505, entered into the # field). Change the blend mode of the Fill layer to Color.

Step 5 – Dodge and Burn tools

Select the Dodge tool and set this to 200px, soft edge, Highlights and 40% Exposure in the Options bar. Paint around both flares, keeping it subtle around the 35mm Prime. Use the Burn tool set to 50% Exposure and Midtones to darken areas. This will increase the contrast of the finished amber bubble.