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Photoshop tutorials Animal Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Author: Adri

I'm a freelance graphic designer.


In this tutorial you will learn how to create a new species of birds. The idea came to me after watching my cat trying to catch little birds and failing every time. This will be an easy and quick tutorial. Take the images of a cat and a dove and let’s start, by the end we will help out cat fly so she might even catch some of those birds:

Step 1

Open the image with the dove in Photoshop. It’s not necessary to duplicate the background because you’ll work on this image just a little, but you can do so if you want.

Open the image with the cat, take the Rectangular Marquee Tool and select the cat. Copy it and paste it over the dove.

Use the Free Transform (Edit > Free Transform or use the shortcuts Ctrl + T) and flip the image horizontal.

Step 2

You need to delete the cat’s body. If you use the Eraser Tool you wouldn’t be able to bring it back if it’s necessary. In this case you’ll not need to, but maybe you’ll use this tip in another project. Apply a mask to this layer. Do so by clicking on the little icon you see at the bottom of the Layer Palette.

Activate the layer mask by clicking on it, set the foreground color to black, take the Brush Tool and start to erase the body.

After you’ve masked the body, lower the brush diameter, set the Hardness to 50% and start to delete the area around the head. Don’t worry about the whiskers right now, delete them too, you’ll recreate them later.

Step 3

Using Free Transform and the Warp option transform the cat’s head to fit the dove’s body, but make sure you keep the head realistic.

Take the Brush Tool again set the Hardness to 100%, lower opacity, activate the layer mask and start to brush over the base of the neck to make a smooth transition between the cat and the dove.

Step 4

Now you can recreate the whiskers. Go to the Layer Palette, right-click on the layer mask and choose Apply layer mask. Next go to the Smudge Tool, set the Strength to 90% and the Master Diameter to 4 pixels and click and drag over the base of the whiskers to extend them. Do the same for the eyebrows.

Now set the Master Diameter to two pixels and recreate the fur around the head. You can create some of it over the back of the dove too.

Step 5

Now let’s create the head’s reflection. Duplicate the layer with the cat and flip it vertical. Position it like you see below.

In order to make the waves go Filter > Distort > Wave and apply the following settings.

Reduce a little the opacity of this layer and you’re done!


Hope you had fun!


Nice cat-bird Adri :) Or is it bird-cat?

Well .. I think it's a cat-bird. At least .. I know that the cat from this tutorial thinks that way .. cats are very stubborn :)

Glad you liked the tutorial !


nice and very effective tutorial. Thanks for sharing...

As always, Adri's Tutorials are good. I like your attention to detail.

hehehe, this is cute... great tutorial... thank you for sharing.


that's a funny tut

Thats Awesome i love it. i wanna Try it now __

Nice and very cute tutorial.. i love it...

LOL!! A funny manipulation work . i will try to make dog a bird.


love the cat-dove or cadove or whatever

Nice work.

When I do this sort of thing, I tend to find that the trick when sourcing images is to make sure that the animals have a similar type of skin - it's easier to match fur to fur, than fur to feathers. You can usually use adjust the hue and saturation levels to get make the pelts to match. It's much harder to adjust texture.

For inspiration, I would reccomend the work on, as he's the king of animal photoshops.

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