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Taniwha 2011

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Since I was redesigning the bunyip, I thought I'd give a bit of a makeover to the other original dreaming world inhabitant, the taniwha. While I'd been pretty consistent with the bunyip, the taniwha kept changing. It was always a composite of different animal types, and it always went mammal-reptile, but after reptile things got vague. That and I always ended up drawing it as a large block rather than the serpentine creature I had in my head prompted me to consider doing it over.

I read this book, The Taniwha's Tear, and it had a taniwha as a huge serpent-crocodile-lizard creature. The redesign is sort of like that, also incorporating a bit of shark-the term 'taniwha' was also applied to sharks, so it's sort of a mythological in-joke.

Doing this entirely in photoshop presented some challenges, aside from the usual 'complete inability to draw a smooth line' one. The water was one such problem, as I drew the taniwha as one layer but wanted the water to go behind it. I could have cut and pasted the foreground part into a new layer, but it was too close to a background element to make it not look crappy. I ended up doing two separate layers-one for all the water (under the taniwha) and another for the water covering the taniwha. The latter layer I made slightly transparent to show how the creature fitted together.

I also went and experimented with textures, as the cliffs in the background looked amateurish before I altered them. The taniwha itself got a filter used on it, as it looked too bright in relation to everything else.

Of course I could have just spent the last few paragraphs typing the word 'banana' over and over again because everyone just drive-by faves and doesn't stop to look.
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Dragonsmana's avatar
Very neat! Nice work!