For many, a cross between a shark and spider is something we would imagine being only in our nightmares. While splicing animals in Photoshop isn’t really a new and revolutionary concept, a subreddit forum is making this idea into a fun game of “who can Photoshop it better,” and it is bringing out the best in young artists.
Take for example, Sarah deRemer, 25, who lives in Seoul, Korea. This blossoming graphic artist saw this tend as an opportunity to get better in Photoshop while creating her own species of animals. “I find it fun to mix animals, especially when it creates a startling juxtaposition, such as a ferocious animal on a cute and tiny one.” There’s no doubt that the way she combines animals is just as mesmerizing as it is disturbing. What started as an exercise for the Hybrid Animals subreddit, has now become a fun hobby and has led to quite the collection of weirdly cute art.
Sarah’s digital art of hybrid animals isn’t the only thing impressive about her photos, it’s her attention to detail that makes these photos believable. By paying attention to the tones and lighting of a pair of photos, she can compose them easier. “Photo composites instantly look less realistic if you’re composing them from photos that have different sources of light,” she says. The next step is to alter levels of contrast, saturation, and color balance so that both photos match. “After that I work with adding layers, erasing parts, playing with opacity, and transforming/warping certain elements. The more different the two animals (i.e. fur blended with a sea animal), the more layers and changes necessary.”
Sarah says her favorite hybrids are the ones that are the mix of birds and growling/yawning animals. “I like the simplicity of the bird’s forms and the intricacy and emotion of the open mouthed animals,” she says. She enjoys the juxtaposition of the predator and prey just as much as we do.
If you are itching for more hybrids, you can check where the madness “started” at this subreddit.
And if you want a smaller compilation of the subreddit, head over to buzzfeed to see another handful of Internet favorites!