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Examining the Proportional Differences between Na'vi, Avatars and Humans

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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.


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.

EywayƤ mokri:
Interesting. :)

first pass at making myself into an avatar, using the rules outlined above:


--- Quote from: Skxawng on December 27, 2009, 07:53:03 pm ---first pass at making myself into an avatar, using the rules outlined above:

--- End quote ---

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

How did you do all of it so well?!

Tutorial please!


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