Author Topic: Na'vi colouration morphs discussion  (Read 3636 times)

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Offline Herwìna

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Na'vi colouration morphs discussion
« on: January 23, 2014, 04:29:03 pm »
What do y'all think a Na'vi with albinism would look like?

I can't really find much photos of earth animals that without the albinism gene would be blue; the only one I managed to dig up was a blue-red-black frog, which with albinism was orange and translucent with faint darker spotting.
Would Na'vi have like... Lilac-ish pale pink skin with faint darker striping (or no striping), yellow or red hair, and orange eyes? Maybe? (I think orange eyes because some forms of albinism don't affect yellow (or red for that matter), but some darker colour layers would be absent from the eye, which allows for blood vessels to show through slightly and turn the eyes more orange.) (Obviously other forms of albinism could make them even lighter than that)

Opinions?
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 04:41:06 am by Herwìna »
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Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 05:02:01 pm »
To be honest, I have no idea how they would look as albino...
I just started photoshop and did this:

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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 07:25:10 pm »
Seems like they might be naturally translucent and then light up like torches at night. ;D


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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 02:30:31 pm »
Interesting topic. I've thought about it once some months ago, when I started to create a Na'vi skin color sheet (dark tan to albino), but since I discarded it, I unfortunately discarded the thinking process, as well.
I absolutely think that Na'vi albinism is possible and also likely.

Your post on ToS about this is very interesting, too.
Hope you don't mind if I quote it here;

Quote from: Herwìna
Aeumelanistic:
Skin: light blue; no stripes, IF the stripes are caused by eumelanin as opposed to tighter-packed cyan pigment
Hair: Pale yellow, golden or red
Eyes: Yellow-orange, orange, yellowgreen (if green is caused by a cyan biochrome, not eumelanin-based structural colouration)

Amelanistic (albinistic):
Skin: pale pink, pale lilac(?), faint striping(?) (may have blue spots)
Hair: pale yellow, golden
Eyes: orange(?)

Acyanochromatic: (if separate cyan pigment)
Skin: pale pink; stripes
Hair: Dark
Eyes: yellow, yellowgreen

Melanistic:
Skin: dark blue, dark blue with thin lighter stripes, black-blue(?)
Hair: black
Eyes: yellow, yellowgreen, darker(?), brown(?)
Source: http://www.tree-of-souls.com/characters/5667-navi_colour_morphs.html

There has been also a statement about Na'vi skin color spectrum on the Pandorapedia;
Quote
(...) Pigment patterns vary widely but are generally bands and stripes of darker blues on a field of lighter blue and cyan tones. The pigment becomes darker and shifts toward purple with long exposure to sunlight. (...)
Source: http://www.pandorapedia.com/navi/appearance_behavior/anatomy_physiology
... but I'm quite sure nearly everyone has read that already at least once, heh.

However, now that I've read this I kinda feel that I maybe should start to work on this sheet I started a while back again, but even if I'd do so... how Na'vi skin tones really look like is up to Jim Cameron. But, indeed, thinking about this and even working on it (fan-wise) could be fun.

Ma Herwìna, have you tried to visualize your thoughts about this with the help of colors? :P Would be interested in having a look at it. Tìtstewan's attempt is quite nice already, but a look at all skin tones would be even better :D

Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 03:07:12 am »
Because of the harsh environment on Pandora, I wonder if a albino/leucistic Naʼvi would be able to survive? The blue skin color is so unusual, that in order to arise, I suspect it has to have considerable survival value. The fact that the skin color darkens with sunlight exposure is a good clue.

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Offline Herwìna

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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2014, 04:31:19 am »
However, now that I've read this I kinda feel that I maybe should start to work on this sheet I started a while back again, but even if I'd do so... how Na'vi skin tones really look like is up to Jim Cameron. But, indeed, thinking about this and even working on it (fan-wise) could be fun.

This^ I'm kind of the type who goes like, "I have a headcanon and if canon disagrees with it I don't give a single frick". Like I headcanon that the Elves in LotR are kinda East Asian looking and that dúnedain are a bit Egyptian-ish, though I guess that isn't canon-divergent per se because Tolkien never was awfully prone to going into detail in terms of people's looks, but it does go against the mainstream ideas for what they look like, so...

Ma Herwìna, have you tried to visualize your thoughts about this with the help of colors? :P Would be interested in having a look at it. Tìtstewan's attempt is quite nice already, but a look at all skin tones would be even better :D

I do want to try making some examples but I have a bad case of the procrastinations :P (Also I'm totes cool with you quoting the list thing here)

Because of the harsh environment on Pandora, I wonder if a albino/leucistic Naʼvi would be able to survive? The blue skin color is so unusual, that in order to arise, I suspect it has to have considerable survival value. The fact that the skin color darkens with sunlight exposure is a good clue.

Well looking at Earth examples, the highest rates of albinism in humans occur in certain parts of Africa, aka where the sunlight is harshest.... People with albinism are more susceptible to sunburn > skin problems, obviously, but that doesn't mean they aren't able to survive. Especially such a group-oriented society as humans or Na'vi are able to take care of their own. I assume Na'vi wouldn't be quite as prone to the kind of harmful social stigma humans tend to attach to albinism. In other animals specimens with albinism aren't quite as likely to survive though.

Now people with albinism tend to not have as good eyesight as non-albinistic people, due to some dark layers in the eye missing and light passing through the eye without barriers. I wonder if Na'vi with albinism could, say, rely on their ikran for eyesight to some extent? They probably would not be able to hunt with a bow and arrow as well as their non-albino brethren though... But they could have other skills. Not everybody is a hunter or a warrior, right?

So I don't really see any reason why they couldn't survive. 8)
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Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2014, 04:01:28 pm »
I guess I tend to look at things from a scientific or biological standpoint, as that is my background. That doesn't mean I think this kind of speculation is wrong or anything; its just my personal feeling that it is unlikely. BTW, I was not aware that albinism is most common in parts of Africa. That IS interesting!

The other skin pigmentation to consider is leucism(sic), which is the condition that gives us white lions and tigers. They still have some pigmentation, but it is just not as pronounced.

The only mammals (of which the Na'vi are closest to on 'Rrta) I am aware of that have any blue skin pigmentation is certain species of primates. Mandrill baboons and Patas monkeys in particular.

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Offline Pam (P.A.'li makto)

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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2014, 02:09:42 am »
Absolutely great topic! An albino Na'vi must be beautiful... Wait a minute! My skin is not blue (...only if I put paint on it)... I'm an albino Na'vi!  :o  :D

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Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2014, 03:07:43 am »
Absolutely great topic! An albino Na'vi must be beautiful... Wait a minute! My skin is not blue (...only if I put paint on it)... I'm an albino Na'vi!  :o  :D

Not really. If you have any kind of skin pigment, you would be closer to being a 'leuicistic Naʼvi'. Albinism is defined as a total lack of pigment, and few people are truly albino. It is also possible the blue color is the result of several different pigments working together.

Another interesting possibility is that Naʼvi in different areas of Pandora might have significantly different skin coloration, especially in the polar regions.

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Offline Txur’Itan

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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2014, 01:29:36 pm »
I think there was another thread where we talked about the reasoning behind the pigmentation. Thanks to three new movies coming out, there is always a chance for new information.

Anyhow...

For humans:
Skin pigmentation in human beings evolved to primarily regulate the amount of ultraviolet radiation penetrating the skin, controlling its biochemical effects.

The skin color of people with light skin is determined mainly by the bluish-white connective tissue under the dermis and by the haemoglobin circulating in the veins of the dermis.

There is a correlation between the geographic distribution of UV radiation (UVR) and the distribution of indigenous skin pigmentation around the world. Areas that highlight higher amounts of UVR reflect darker-skinned populations, generally located nearer towards the equator. Areas that are far from the tropics and closer to the poles have lower concentration of UVR, which is reflected in lighter-skinned populations.

Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) is a lack of pigment in the eyes, skin and sometimes hair that occurs in a very small fraction of the population. The four known types of OCA are caused by mutations in the TYR, OCA2, TYRP1, and SLC45A2 genes.

Human skin color


For Na'vi:
The production of blue pigmentation indicates to me, that Na'vi evolution produced beneficial mutations with a higher propensity for reflecting blue wavelengths of light than would be necessary for humans. This would be environmentally triggered.

This is further speculative, but it could possibly also be a result of their tenacity for flying on winged animals above forest canopies where they would receive higher concentrations of direct sunlight.

Tribes of Na'vi that engaged in living low to the jungle floor, spending no time in flight, never finding home in tall trees or on top of flying mountains, might be exposed to reduced sunlight, and could have evolved to lighter in skin tones.

Mutations that produced pigment conditions similar to albinism would likely be deleterious in neolithic cultures, where they would be unable to properly care for someone who would be vulnerable to over exposure to sunlight's thermal and UV radiation. In short they would die young, and be very sickly.
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Offline archaic

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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2014, 03:16:18 pm »
The yerik has similar skin color and striping, but it doesn't fly above the canopy on Ikran. As far as I know.
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Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2014, 04:13:52 pm »
The Na'vi, yerik ikran and syaksyuk all have in common a relatively soft skin, whereas all other creatures we are aware of have armor, and are predominately black in color (The one exception is Toruk, whose striking coloration must have another purpose). So, I think both Txur'itan and I are basically thinking on the same wavelength. But there is probably more to this than just sunlight exposure.

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Offline Txur’Itan

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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2014, 04:33:42 pm »
The yerik has similar skin color and striping, but it doesn't fly above the canopy on Ikran. As far as I know.

The Yerik is built like deer or the Dik Dik. They could roam to any number of places, and probably spend more time in the planes than in the jungle, much like deer and Dik Dik do on Earth.

But I have no way to know for certain if that is true.

The Na'vi, yerik ikran and syaksyuk all have in common a relatively soft skin, whereas all other creatures we are aware of have armor, and are predominately black in color (The one exception is Toruk, whose striking coloration must have another purpose). So, I think both Txur'itan and I are basically thinking on the same wavelength. But there is probably more to this than just sunlight exposure.

As for more to it than sun exposure, there is the need for camouflage, mate attraction, or predatory interference by animals. Those pressures alters fur, chitin, and feather coloring on Earth. This does not appear to be a clearly explained evolutionary component for Pandora as far as I can tell from the given examples.

The Toruk's coloring is anomalous, to say the least. But, I think that if we knew more about earlier conditions on Pandora, there might be a reason for it.
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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2014, 08:28:56 pm »
TBH, if anything, I'd have expected the Toruk and Ikrans colouring to be the other way around, or for both of them to be blue/green. The Toruk has to disguise himself against the sky, after all.

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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2014, 04:43:54 am »
But with Toruk flying higher than anyone else, he will appear black from underneath. Altitude is Toruk's friend!

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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2014, 05:27:39 am »
We have on Earth also some animals who are nice colorated.



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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2014, 04:42:21 pm »


On the topic at hand, do we have any idea what could produce albinism in the Na'vi? I think we just do not know enough yet to answer that for ourselves.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 04:49:47 pm by Txur’Itan »
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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2014, 05:21:33 pm »
Na'vi cells must contain genetic material, in the same way human's cell do.
Amongst that genetic code, there must be such things as determinational factors for height, sex, skin coloration.
On Rrta mutations in their genetic code can cause skin pigmentation to be absent, it would seem logical that random mutation could cause similar effects in Pandoran species, including Na'vi. Even if I don't recall seeing any instances of it. 
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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2014, 09:15:08 pm »
Only James Cameron knows the details on how often skin color mutations occur and what form they take.

In all other respects, I suspect that the genetic mechanisms of humans and the Na'vi have to be really close or a lot of what happens in the film would not be possible.

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Offline Herwìna

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Re: Na'vi with albinism?
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2014, 04:39:16 am »

i was thinking that since it seems bluish colours are pretty common among Pandoran fauna, it might be possible it's caused by a cyan biochrome rather than structural colouration. And that would make different types of leucism/amelanism look different which would be cool. The blueness and the stripes are both pretty important features in na'vi and the thing that really sets them apart from humans in terms of colouration like?

I wonder what tone the skin of a na'vi with all-encompassing albinism would be. Would it look like that of a human's or would it have a hint more lilac? Or something else?
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 04:54:27 am by Herwìna »
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