Sifakas!

June 10th, 2013

The BioAnthropology Facebook page is a great online community of people with the same professional interests as myself who post interesting news articles from around the Internet. Last week, this article from the Daily Mail was posted with a neat timelapse photo of a sifaka hopping across a path.

Bounding sifaka photograph

{ Bounding sifaka. Photo retrieved from (this article). }

A sifaka is a lemur that, like all wild lemurs, live on Madagascar. Instead of walking, the sifaka bounds on flat ground, and vertically leaps while in a tree. Coincidentally, I saw some at the St. louis Zoo last week.

Sifaka at the St. Louis Zoo

I was inspired by the Daily Mail’s photo so I Photoshopped this:

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The whole image took around half an hour. I used Photoshop’s Quick Selection tool to select the sifakas by “painting in” the selection area with brushes of decreasing size until I was reasonably satisfied (though some bits of dirt got selected). I found a Beatle-less image of the Abbey Road cover online and pasted the selected sifakas onto it. After positioning, I pasted another copy of the sifakas behind the first. This served as their shadows. I used Hue/Saturation to make the under-sifakas completely black, then I blurred the edges. I squashed the shadows with Transform:Scale, then Transform:Perspective to tilt them to match the perspective lines made by the road. For both the sifakas and their shadows, I added a little bit of noise to make the images look rougher like the background. For the sifakas I also used Hue/Saturation to oversaturate the image to match the album art. Lastly, I used the Magic Wand to select the reddish brown bits from the ground in the original sifaka photograph that got copied to this image. I tried a few ways to get rid of them and in the end I used Hue/Saturation again to desaturate those bits so they look like part of the light gray sifaka instead of dirt. Ta-da!


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