Author Topic: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You  (Read 23420 times)

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Offline Skxawng

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Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« on: January 10, 2010, 06:29:55 pm »
SO

Today we're going to study avatar noses.

They are a particularly interesting subject as there is a lot of variance used within the movie, and yet, (in my opinion) the noses look very similar to their real life counterparts.  Before we get into that though we're going to look at the basic shape of the Na'vi nose.

First lets start with this image



To understand a na'vi nose, we must first understand the human nose. It is important to know the anatomy.  Starting from the bottom of the nose and moving up, we have the Septum,  the nostrils, the tip, the run and the flats, the bridge and the brow.

-The septum connects the tip of the nose to the upper lip, and separates the nasal opening in two.
-The nostrils are ... well i'd be suprised if you didn't know what they are. They connect the sides of the nose to the tip.
-The tip of the nose is exactly that
-The flats of the nose are the areas of that are basically the tubing that leads to the nasal cavity. They connect the tip and nostrils to the brow, bridge, and cheek.
-The run of the nose is actually several sections, the tip and the bridge together.
-The bridge is where the nose shifts from cartilage to bone. It can be extremely visible (particularly in people who have had their noses broken) or it can be hardly noticible. It connects the tip and the flat to the brow.  
-The brow is the bone structure that basically connects the temples. It runs from the end of one eyebrow to the other.  Basically when bridge meets the skull, the brow is formed.  

Furthermore, The nose can be broken down into basic planes:
Anterior, Inferior, Flange Left, Flange Right, Superior Left, Superior Right.


Right, now that we know the human nose, lets compare it to Avatar/Na'vi noses.


Right off the bat it is clearly different.  While the nostrils on the human nose are the widest part, the na'vi nose's widest part is the outer part of the bridge. The flats are no longer flat, but are instead rounded, the septum comes halfway down the original upper lip, and the nostrils themselves do not curve around inwards to the sides of teh septum. Instead, they curve upward.  The result is that the nostrils are not clearly defined, and circular, but are instead more crescent shaped, with no real continuous edge.  The brow is less prominent, the tip is much much sharper, and the run of the nose is much thinner.

Additionally we can see a ridge of sorts that outlines the nostrils, which is really a very, very thin Anterior plane,


though for the na'vi we'll need to do a minor reclassification of plane terms.  the 'Anterior' plane is split in two, and becomes Anterior Left, and Anterior Right.



Alright. Lets look at how the Na'vi nose breaks down, anatomically:



The Na'vi nose is clearly a cat  nose, and as such, cat anatomy needs to be considered, which means the skeletal structure.


 Unlike cats, however, I don't think that the bone runs right to the end - the deformation of the nose as seen in various points in the movie indicates that it is flexible and thus mostly cartilage, like ours. However, I do think that the bridge runs about 50% of the way down the nose, unlike our human 30%

It may be important to also consider the difference between a Na'vi and an Avatar nose, but only really for the female gender. Female Na'vi Have the same smooth, wide Y shape . However the only female Avatar we really get to see is Grace, and her nose is far more human than na'vi.  Clearly this was done to get Sigourney weaver's characatiure across. Though I also think that in order to maintain human femininity the bridge and brow, and general shape of the female avatar nose was redone. the wide brow/bridge works fine with Na'vi females, because in order to make up for the larger nose, the eyes are HUGE, 1.5x the size of a human's. The resulting effect makes the nose appear smaller, and thus, more attractive. With female avatar's though, the eyes are still pretty large, seen here:


though I just had a thought - The key with rendering an avatarization of oneself is to maintain key features throughout the rezising and transformation steps. With males, this tends to be easier because the features are more cut and angular, wheras female faces tend to be smoother, and less obvious ... subtle.  The Nose for females may be a stronger indicator of likeness overall by comparison to females than males.

So for now, If you're female and reading this, or doing a female conversion, you could try using this sorta guideline, but you might experiment with making the nostril width smaller.

Anyway.

The biggest mistake I see that people have when it comes to the nose is that the edges become too sharp. The nose flats become too flat, the anterior plane becomes WAY too flat, and the result is a nose that resembles a cowbell.  Its hard to divine the underlying structure, particularly when there is either warpaint, or facial stripes that screw around with your perception of form.  lets have a look at some more ref:







In these three we can sort of divine how the nose folds into the face, and basic, exaggerated contour.



Knowing this, there are several ways to go about rendering an avatar nose, which will be explained next.

Thus ends part 1. I'm still working on this and hopefully part 2 will be finished tonight. For now, though I need to make dinner.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 06:35:09 pm by Skxawng »


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Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2010, 06:31:19 pm »
SQUEEEEEEEE! Thanks a million.

Offline Taronyu

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 06:31:44 pm »
Holy hammerhead.

 :o

You mean Skxawng knows stuff?

Offline Tengfya swizaw

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 06:31:55 pm »
Skxawng? You're awesome.


Here's to not knowing exactly what you're saying and having fun with it.

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Offline neosis666

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2010, 06:33:46 pm »
Awesomessssssssss

Offline Tìsyaw Nantangä

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2010, 07:50:22 pm »
I love you.
Mì saw, kawtul tsun stivawm ngayä ayzawngit.

Offline ZombiezuRFER

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2010, 07:58:00 pm »
Holy hammerhead.

 :o

You mean Skxawng knows stuff?

Skxawng isn't so much what he named himself you see.  Next Skxawng post, please.
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Offline Skxawng

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2010, 10:05:01 pm »
;D glad this is helpful

Unfortunately part two didn't quite go as planned. Kinda ran out of energy, I guess. I'll have to pick this up sometime in the near future and finish it off.



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Offline Nìwotxkrr Tìyawn

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2010, 10:12:55 pm »
Skxawng, you should rename yourself Omumyu Nìwotx
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Offline Tirea Nìwotxkrr

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2010, 10:23:01 pm »
this needs to be stickied!!!

Offline ZombiezuRFER

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2010, 10:25:06 pm »
Make it uber icky Sticky!
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Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2010, 10:36:48 pm »
;D glad this is helpful

Unfortunately part two didn't quite go as planned. Kinda ran out of energy, I guess. I'll have to pick this up sometime in the near future and finish it off.

We can ban you from the forums until you finish, would that be motivation enough?

Offline Sera

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2010, 01:30:18 pm »
Thank you so much for this (and your other tutorial).  I'm still having problems with the nose on my next attempt and I'm sure this will be a huge help!

Offline Tanhì Tireafya'o

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2010, 08:59:17 am »
Thank you. I'll come back here when I'll start photoshopping myself. ;D

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Offline Tefpakyu

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2010, 11:36:54 am »
Wow you analyse the structure cooly and efficiently, and arrive at a quick conclusion as to how it is formed internally just through a few reference pictures

I'm really impressed, your guides never fail to deliver!
-Tefpakyu-

Offline Skxawng

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2010, 09:03:38 pm »
Glad these are helpful.

Part 2/3

Alright so you can do a couple things at this point, as far as shading goes, but before we do, Lets just break down the shape of the nose even further.



as you can see, its basically just a 'Y' shape, and the same goes for the inferior plane of the nose (the septum and nostrils) The lines I've drawn there do the job of illustrating the hard lines, the areas where planar shift is most prominent.



And from there. All one needs to do is keep in mind that basic Y shape, and you've pretty much got a na'vi nose.



there I've started to shade some. In most cases, the inferior plane is going to be pretty dark, considering that it is nearly paralell with the ground.

I tried to think about how I'd try to draw the nose, if I didn't work the way I do - by painting tone and color - so here's a basic shape breakdown. I start with the Anterior Plane ... which is more or less a square, with a curve through it.



From there I make it a cube of sorts, and add an upside down trapezoid to the top for the brow



Further define the roundness bulge and the ridge that splits the anterior plane in two .. start to think about the angles of the outer nostrils



Finally I'll eliminate the edge of the cube - remember the nose isn't really a cube ... the edges need to be softened ... round the front of the nose and make it pointed



not very clear I know  ... best to look at reference while doing this. Good to keep in mind the planes and anatomy.



So back it up to our line image



From there, the first thing I'll do is start out with a base, medium grey. Save the white for the absolute brightest highlights. After adding the midtone in a new layer as 'multiply' I'll make another layer, and fill in some of the shadows and base contours. As with the whites, I try not to use black too liberally. Particularly with skin there is rarely a black-black. At this point, the linework is on the top . The sphere I made to keep in mind the direction that the light is coming from.  Some people use a directional arrow, but I find this way to be more effective, as it illustrates how the light would fall over a smooth and rounded surface, which is what we're ultimately painting.



Highlights are next. I like a fuzzy brush at this point, and I'll work atop the lines. When working on subtlety like this, I like to keep my brush at pretty low flow and opacity so I gradually work areas upward. at brightness to large areas, and work smaller and smaller - the highlights should be relatively small, unless the angle at which light is reflecting towards us is particularly low, or the light itself is extremely bright.  Keep the planes in mind and try to imagine how the light would flow over the shape of the nose.



Notice the thin line of bright white at the tip of the nose. This makes the edge of the nose much sharper, and additionally it adds a little specularity - which would indicate wetness.  Its a small thing that is nevertheless important.

I mean that's basically it. I figure from here if y'all were to draw some noses, and post them here, I could critique with some draw-overs.

Next up is part 3, in which I'll go over converting a photo of a human nose into a na'vi nose, and maintaining human characteristics. That might take a couple days tho.


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Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2010, 09:18:43 pm »
Next up is part 3, in which I'll go over converting a photo of a human nose into a na'vi nose, and maintaining human characteristics. That might take a couple days tho.

I can wait, these are amazingly detailed yet surprisingly easy to follow! Irayo ma tsumukan.

Offline Taronyu Ayunilyä Alahe

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2010, 05:22:27 am »
this is amazing.. will make a fanart someday.. and your guides will guide me! lol.
amazing it is. irayo, ma tsmukan. :)
ke plltxe ngeyä kawng tìrey lu

Offline Tirea Nìwotxkrr

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2010, 06:31:01 pm »
what is that sphere thing? it seems you can control the angle of the light. how can i find that in photoshop?

Offline Skxawng

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Re: Na'vi, Avatars, Noses and You
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2010, 08:41:24 pm »
what is that sphere thing? it seems you can control the angle of the light. how can i find that in photoshop?

I made it. Used a circular selection, filled it black, and used a fuzzy brush to describe the sphere.


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