Platypus Project


       The unusual appearance of this egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal baffled European naturalists when they first encountered it, with some considering it an elaborate hoax. It is one of the few venomous mammals, the male platypus having a spur on the hind foot that delivers a venom capable of causing severe pain to humans.





Monotremes are the most primitive mammals.

Today, monotremes live only in Australia and

New Guinea. The name monotreme means "one-holed," referring to the cloaca, a single hole that serves the urinary tract, anus, and reproductive tract in monotremes.



For this assignment I want you to consider how unusual the platypus is.

  •  It’s very rare that a mammal lays eggs, in fact there are only five in the world that lay eggs instead of live birth.
  • A mammal with a duck-bill is even more rare, there are only three in the world. These happen to be three of the five that lay eggs.
  • “Beaver-Tailed” it was stolen from a beaver somewhere along the evolutionary stages?
  •  “Otter-Footed”....wait it has clawed, webbed feet too?
  • Are we sure this is a mammal?



Your Goal:

      Create your own animal inspired by the Platypus.

  • Combine multiple animals to create your very own, new species.


Strengthen Knowledge of:

     >Blending Methods  >Liquify Tool   >Layer Masks  >Clone Tools  >Dodge and Burn Tools


Let the Platypus inspire you to create a unique animal of your own.


1. Find high quality images of your animals (You must use 2-5 different animals)

      a. Try Bing images with a size of 800 x 800 or larger

      b. Do this now. Collect many high quality images and put them in a new folder called

           Platypus Project in your student shares where you normally save images.

2. When constructing your animal, use the background that comes with the main animal you

     will be adding to. This will help to make the animal believable.

a. As for the other animals, use a selection method we have learned in class

b. Apply a layer mask over the non-selected area ( reveal selection in Layer> Layer mask)

     This way you can change it later without having to reselect.

3. Place the body part you are adding on top of the layer you are using as your bottom layer.

a. Temporarily lower the opacity of the added part to modify the shape

b. Use the Filter>Liquify tool to do this

c. You may need to do this multiple times

d. Play with the different blend modes so the layers appear to blend together

4. **So that your two different animals blend well,

a. Change your brush color to gray and use a soft round, use this on the layer mask in the

     area where the two parts meet. You may even need to lower the opacity of the brush.

b. You may have to duplicate the  above layer and move it, then lower the opacity or change

    the blend mode. This will help the two layers to look blended.

5. Change the color of the added part if it can be.

a. Use the eyedropper tool to get the exact color from the original animal, and use color

     replacement tool with the background option (see PL 2.1 Color Replacement Brush Tool 2 if

     you forgot)

b. Or color overlay with linear burn or a similar blend mode

6. You may run into a couple of issues with the background. Maybe some of the original animal

      is showing where you don’t want it to be.

a.  Hold alt + click an area you want to use

     to replace the area you need to get rid of

b. Let go of alt, and use the tool like a brush

c. You will see that you can paint a replica of

     the first area you clicked


d. OR Click and drag while holding alt.....OR


e. Select the area with the lasso tool, right-click >fill> and choose content aware from the drop

   down box. This will fill the space you selected with content from around the selection

7. You may also run into light and shadow problems. in other words, one animal may have light

     coming from the right, where the other has light

        coming from the left.

a. Select the dodge tool to lighten an area, or burn tool

     to darken it. This way you can help to fake the

       lights, and shadows on an image

b. Sponge tool takes color out of an image

8. Lastly you need to give your animal a name, and short description. This should include what

     it eats, how it spends most of it's active time ( day or night), what it likes to do, and where it

     lives (keep in mind that if your background was a tropical forest, you wouldn’t want to say

     they flourish in Alaska. I want this to look like a page from a National Geographic Magazine

     Try this site for wording ideas

a. To do this use your crop tool to encompass the entire image

b. Then let go and stretch the lines further than the image so that it looks like the example

     below ---hit enter

















c. Create a new layer and move it to the bottom

d. Fill that layer with black or white

e. Type the animal name larger, and the rest of the info beneath the name.





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