Author Topic: Examining the Proportional Differences between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans  (Read 52827 times)

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Offline Skxawng

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HI FOLKS ITS YOUR OL FRIEND SKXAWNG

I'm no linguist (hence my name) but I am a professional artist, and while my specialties lie within structural, environmental and technological rendering, I figured I'd pass along a little bit of knowledge I've gleaned as to rendering out the Figure and Face of a Na'vi, or an Avatar (there are key differences)

Firstly we'll consider an Avatar.

a lot of us have seen this image, I'm sure:




However, this image is wrong.  It is a poster and by no means an accurate comparison of avatar to human physiology. Firstly, its based off of this image which shows what we might first assume to be a half of jakesully's face, which is in fact tilted slightly clockwise. What this does is make the width of the bridge of the nose thinner, and more human like.  Notice in that hybrid image from the poster how prominent the jawline is, and also notice how the lips are tilted upward and the poor merge into the human side.  If we compare Sully's avatar with just a picture of the actor, we can immediately tell some differences.



Firstly, and most obviously, the Nose is not human at all. It is more closely a cat. In fact, the whole nose-eye area is completely feline, in proportion and even physiology. The tip of the nose, for example, has the change in texture into exposed nose skin that a cat has when the fur ends on the tip of the nose.  Like a cat, the nostrils are not visible, and there is a lower connection of the septum with a slight split.



Looking further we notice that the edge of the mouth on a human lines roughly up to the center of the eyes, were they looking straight forward. (a) Additionally, the distance between each tear duct on the eye is roughly equivalent to the size of an eye.   On an Avatar, however, the edge of the mouth lines up with the tear ducts, because the eyes have been enlarged while keeping the ratio of eye distance similar.   We can see this better in this fixed frontal comparison:



In fact, the bridge of the nose is larger than the width of a single eye.  Just under one-and-a-half times the width of an eye, I'd say.  Another quick rule to insert, is that the thinnest part of the nose proper is the outer part of the nostrils. From there it gets steadily wider until it meets the brow.



I matched the distance between the lips and the tip of the nose to the human version, as the area just under the nose downward is exactly the same as a human, albeit more elfin and bright blue.  Notice immediately that the eyes are larger, higher up, and wider.  In this image there is no tilt to the avatar and we can see the differences far more  clearly.  in proportion to the lips (our starting point remember) the avatar face is roughly the same width as a human face. However, the eyes are much higher, larger, and wider.  What this results in is a rather sharp outer ocular socket, resulting in a shorter end to the brow past the eye, and a longer face. You can see that in the ratio of edge of face here:



Notice how the Human has a 2-1 ratio, and the Navi has a 1-1.5 ratio.



Other points of note: The iris of an avatar is FAR wider than a human - only a small amount of white is visible, indicating extrordinarily large eyeballs. The eye openings are then, in proportion to the eyeball, smaller. Furthermore, the eyes are turned upwards at the corners, once again giving a more catlike appearance. The brows also follow this anglular shift.  The neck is far thicker than an average human neck, though longer overall. (a) Finally, of course, the ears are in the same basic position as a human, except they start at the browline, have no lobe, (na'vi specific) and are more or less like those of a deer. (b) The hairline also remains proportionally the same, so there is less forehead.  Additionally, the hair does not come down nearly as far as on a human (c)

Hopefully in the future I'll explain and show some basic proportions of a Na'vi vs a human, as well as the body itself.  I also may make a quick tutorial on navifying oneself, though I'll first need to figure out how to do that one out myself.

enjoy
« Last Edit: December 27, 2009, 08:52:03 pm by Skxawng »


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Offline shiaru

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Re: Examining the Proportional Difference of Na'vi vs Humans
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2009, 09:51:09 pm »
Erm buddy I think you made a mistake I picked it up as I was reading when you mentioned earlobes, then I looked at the tittle then back again at what you were talking about. Thing is you say avatars got no earlobe which I find odd but is ok it checks out, at least on the pictures I got of Jake. but then that got me thinking the Tittle is Na'vi vs. Human, perhaps it should be Avatars vs Humans to avoid confusion.
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Offline Eywayä mokri

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Re: Examining the Proportional Difference between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2009, 04:36:40 am »
Interesting. :)
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Offline Skxawng

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Re: Examining the Proportional Difference between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2009, 07:53:03 pm »
first pass at making myself into an avatar, using the rules outlined above:


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Offline neosis666

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Re: Examining the Proportional Difference between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2009, 08:12:24 pm »
first pass at making myself into an avatar, using the rules outlined above:



thats fantastic! how did you do the nose so well?!

How did you do all of it so well?!


Tutorial please!

Offline Skxawng

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Re: Examining the Proportional Difference between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2009, 09:34:10 pm »
Tutorial please!

;)

I'd say the biggest part of the tutorial has been written, above.  In my mind the most important aspect of navi-fying oneself is understanding the anatomical differences, so one can adjust their own face while keeping the likeness.  You can turn your face blue, flatten the nose, and make your eyes yellow but that is not enough.  If you don't understand how the structure works, the exterior will never look right.

After structure the second most complex thing is either the nose or adding the stripes.  I suppose I could write something up on that, sometime.
 


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Offline Skxawng

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Re: Examining the Proportional Difference between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2009, 10:28:38 pm »
Another Thing to consider about the avatar/human difference, that I've seen a lot of people screwing
up on, is the proportion and angle of the eye structure itself

Most important to note is the size of the pupil in comparison to the iris. With the nature of pandora being a moon orbiting a gas giant it can be understood that the Na'vi have evolved to be quasi-nocturnal, or at least have decent night vision. The more light that is let in, the brighter a picture becomes, so it makes sense that the na'vi eye has a large iris (and thus a larger possible pupil size).

The diameter of the iris in most cases is roughly 3x the size of a pupil in 'daylight' notice also how there is barely any sclera showing on the inside of the eye, and no more than a small pupil's width on the other size, in contrast to a human eye.



Secondly, the tilt of the eye is also quite important.  It is safe to say, I believe, that one must turn an eye, regardless of race, approximately 14° upwards, with the pivot point being the tear duct.



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Offline MOUNTAINBANSHEE

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Re: Examining the Proportional Differences between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2009, 01:54:23 am »
That is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Offline Brainiac

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Re: Examining the Proportional Difference between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2009, 02:07:49 am »
first pass at making myself into an avatar, using the rules outlined above:


Btw: did you paint this, photoshop it, or a combination of both?
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Offline Eywayä mokri

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Re: Examining the Proportional Differences between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2009, 02:52:01 am »
first pass at making myself into an avatar, using the rules outlined above:


Reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally nice. :) Congratz for the piece.
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Offline Tìngay

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Re: Examining the Proportional Differences between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2009, 08:14:32 am »
This is an absolutly brilliant tutorial, well done to you sir!
Its something ive been meaning to work on myself, but you've done all the work for me :D

Now to get photoshop and have a go myself :D

Offline Skxawng

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Re: Examining the Proportional Difference between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2009, 09:38:39 am »
Thanks all!

Btw: did you paint this, photoshop it, or a combination of both?

Its a photo whose proportions have been manipulated and then digitally painted on top of.


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Offline Brainiac

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Re: Examining the Proportional Difference between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2009, 09:42:07 am »
Thanks all!

Btw: did you paint this, photoshop it, or a combination of both?

Its a photo whose proportions have been manipulated and then digitally painted on top of.
Irayo!
I used your post as a guideline, and just like yours, it has a painted feel to it  :p
So, thanks a bunch!
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Offline Skxawng

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Re: Examining the Proportional Difference between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2009, 11:41:16 am »
I used your post as a guideline, and just like yours, it has a painted feel to it  :p
So, thanks a bunch!

If you're looking for photorealism though I'm not exactly the one to talk to. I've got an affinity towards loose, impressionistic painting, and I don't find the painted look to be a bad one.

Yer welcome though :)

In the near future I hope to write  up a couple quick things on the Stripe Markings, as well as a more comprehensive bit on Human nasal characteristic translation into avatar. Stay tuned.


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Offline Skxawng

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Re: Examining the Proportional Difference between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2009, 02:12:43 pm »
A super defining feature on the look of an avatar is the stripes. The stripes kind of make the image come to life. For this tutorial I'll be using an older version of the image i posted before of myself. The nose needs help and there are a lot of other things that need fixing but this particular tutorial is not about those things so uh ... just ignore it

In fact, I'd say that stripes should be one of the last things you do when avatarizing oneself or drawing a na'vi, as they are heavily dependent on the topology of the face they are painted onto.

A couple basic rules I've inferred from what I've seen. First; stripes are pretty much a fingerprint. They are unique and should never be the same. Additionally, stripes are sort of like a Rorschach test, in that they are somewhat random, with symmetry, and probably infer a little bit into the character.

here's Tsu'tey, a sort of solid, traditional, by-the-books kind of guy. Notice the bold, vertical, columnar lines on his forehead, jagged (he's always the first to go to war, subtly violent)


Here's Jake. Lots of lines closer together, jagged, and coming in from the sides, meeting at the top of the forehead. I'll let you make your own inferrences


Here's neytiri. The point of focus is instead in the middle of his face. The stripes are smooth and feminine, very contrary to the war-paint esque marks that tsu'tey has.


and here's one of a happy trio :)


When thinking about the marks its also a good idea to look at tiger facial markings. cat markings in general, particularly tabby-styled  are great points of reference.

SO here's my ugly mug, bright blue and with weird proportions:



The first thing I do, is make a new layer, and grab a round brush, pressure sensitivity set to adjust the size of the brush. (this is a default brush) From there, I start by adding general marks to indicate the overall feel.  

I consider myself a complex character with quasai violent characteristics, and a fair amount of intelligence (how arrogant lol). I should also note that it is important to look at your own features for guidance.  the stripes can work really well towards your advantage in accentuating features that make your face unique.



Make sure to remember how your face folds and changes, and adjust teh lines accordingly.  Keep things arabesque, and check reference often (cats, avatars, na'vi, etc)   Seek to find a balance of detail with size and areas without detail. Nothing but detail will look bad. Too much simplicity  doesn't drive 'na'vi' home hard enough. Seek a gradient of detail, small with large.  Also remember, particularly if you are male, that the stripes serve as eye shadow.  Let the stripes accentuate your  furrows, folds.

Next, zoom in and add small details to the edges.  seek to eliminate the signature of the brush used. vary things, small details, large details ... balance. Don't be afraid to use the eraser tool (use the same brush as your paintbrush) ... Don't go overboard here, this should be a relatively quick step.  Just keep in mind symmetry, and make things a little less obviously a couple brush strokes.



Next we move onto layer blending and stripe specifics.  In this pic we notice that the stripes themselves are not simply slashes of a color, they have depth themselves.



 Now, you can go right in and add some simple layer effects like inner glow to achieve a similar thing but there is subtle variation in the stripes that that just won't achieve. If, however, you're short on time and don't really care enough about detail, or are working on a small image then go use outer glow here, it'll work fine.

Me, I'm a sucker for detail.  So instead of takin the easy way out, I'm going to go in and brush the variation myself. I'll first start by blurring what I have drawn, just a little bit.  As we're talking about skin pigmentation there is rarely ever a sharp-as-a-knife transition between skin marks, so a little blurring goes a long way to adding realism. Play around with gaussian blur until you lose the sharper edges, then choose a darker blue.

I'll be using the brush that is a soft round, pressure sensitivity set to adjust opacity/flow.  I'll also vary up brush size frequently and throughout.   After I get my brush set up, I'll lock the transparency of the stripes layer. This means that if i tried to paint outside of the blue, nothing would happen.  This will keep our stripes intact.  Again - and I can't harp on this enough - look at ref throughout!



Note how not everything is uniform. Variation is the spice of life!  At this time, we've come to the end of the line as far as flat things. From here, we change the layer blending to 'Multiply'  which should look far too dark, so we then knock the opacity down. The result:



Depending on the brightness of the image, the opacity should be anywhere from 30-50% Looks pretty swell, right?  Lets make it look even better.  It looked a little too blue, so i knocked the saturation down a little bit.  from here I'll ...

Make it look more splotchy, make some of the edges fuzzy using the erase(remember toggle off fixed transparency)  and smudge tool:




Voilà, stripes!
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 03:49:22 pm by Skxawng »


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Offline Tengfya swizaw

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Re: Examining the Proportional Differences between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2009, 03:02:52 pm »
This is exactly what I've been looking for, as most of the "avatarized" pictures I've seen are merely those of dramatic facebook profile pictures redone with blue faces and yellow irises. Which looks horrible, and I wonder how people can't seem to notice that the nose is completely different. I'm going to take a stab at this (if I can get a recent picture of myself) but have one question: how exactly did you alter the picture proportions? I'm sure I could find some roundabout way in photoshop that would take a while and not look very good, but for obvious reasons I'm wondering how you did it. Did you take all the elements of your face (ie your eyes), resize them and stretch/contract accordingly, then position them on the clean slate of your face properly or what?


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Offline Skxawng

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Re: Examining the Proportional Differences between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2009, 03:12:53 pm »
I just used the lasso tool to select, then copy-pasted into a new layer and finally used  free transform, starting with large sections of the face, and working smaller.  Used eraser with a fuzzy brush to hide the edges of the transformed things, painted out any indescrepencies and errors.  a lil bit of liquify tool (use that tool sparingly)

If i were on Cs4 at my work computer I'd be using the warp mode for free transform a fair amount.

pretty straightforward, pretty much it.  I'm sure you could use quickmasking and a fuzzy brush to get a more exact selection and not have to erase but meh I felt it was faster doing the first way.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 03:54:31 pm by Skxawng »


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Offline Eywayä mokri

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Re: Examining the Proportional Differences between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2009, 03:50:15 pm »
Thanks for the addition of how to make the stripes. :)
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Re: Examining the Proportional Differences between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2009, 08:05:11 pm »
Irayo! That's about how I thought you did it, but I wasn't sure. And yes, the liquify tool can be deadly in the right (or wrong) hands.


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Re: Examining the Proportional Differences between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2009, 01:50:23 am »
I just used the lasso tool to select, then copy-pasted into a new layer and finally used  free transform, starting with large sections of the face, and working smaller.  Used eraser with a fuzzy brush to hide the edges of the transformed things, painted out any indescrepencies and errors.  a lil bit of liquify tool (use that tool sparingly)

If i were on Cs4 at my work computer I'd be using the warp mode for free transform a fair amount.

pretty straightforward, pretty much it.  I'm sure you could use quickmasking and a fuzzy brush to get a more exact selection and not have to erase but meh I felt it was faster doing the first way.

Irayo! But I'm afraid I'm not going to use my newfound knowledge. Na'Vi itself calls!!
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