Ever since Avatar came out I’ve been fascinated with the world and characters created by James Cameron. The story was by no means the strongest but the art and design of the film was some of the best I’ve seen for a while. As a designer/artist if there’s something that really catches my eye I’m immediately inspired and usually have to re-create something myself and what better test subject than… myself.
So here’s the result of my first effort creating a Na’vi version in Photoshop from one of my photos.
I started by getting a few tips from some video tutorials online and a couple of DeviantArt tutorials I found and then trying to learn how to adapt a style that would suit me. Using multiple layers and the burn/dodge tool I was able to create a colour I was happy with and start with the finer details. The skin texture is actually leather and I drew the rest of the patterns directly onto the face. At this stage I hadn’t gotten the hang of the Na’vi nose so I kinda smudged it around a bit.
Once I became confident that I could get the colours and the overall look right I needed more ‘subjects’ to experiment on:
These three were a lot more fun to work on as I’d already I’d established a quick and easy method to transform each person. This meant I could now focus on adding the ‘little’ touches and details or trying to create a Na’vi from a different perspective rather than just a profile shot. I used various animal textures such as a Zebra, Tiger or an average tomcat to give me striped effects on both the skin and the hair. The third image here (Avatar Jess) was the most enjoyable to do as I found the better the quality of image (also black and white) created a decent canvas for me to work on.
The film wasn’t the only source of inspiration what with the web (Flickr in particular) springing up hundreds of Na’vi Photoshop manipulations. So in keeping with the apparent Avatar addiction I have, I thought I’d share a few of the other Na’vi manipulations I managed to find while looking for inspiration and tips online.
Conan and Andy Avatar – By the_keiser