How to Photoshop Yourself into a Avatar Na’vi

©2010 ~ Sasha H. Muradali

Again, cross-posted, high quality images at my Deviant Art.

If you are a frequent visitor of my blog, you know that I made an Avatar Na’vi Adobe Photoshop tutorial at the beginning of January.

That tutorial was made doing a lot of Photoshop manipulations and cloning. This time around for VERSION 2 I did everything from scratch in a pure digital art setting. This means, I didn’t clone from an Avatar image and I sat down with my Wacom Intuos 3 and painted my brains out.

I think it came out WAY better! … and it’s far easier! 🙂

©2010 ~ Sasha H. Muradali – Click to Enlarge Image

Tutorial below:-

— AFTER each step, make a duplicate of your “Na’vi” self and hide the layer, but continue working on your original.
This ensures that should you mess up, you have a backup of your LAST step!!!

Step 1 – Skin

©2010 ~ Sasha H. Muradali – Click to Enlarge Image

Using multiple layers, paint yourself blue.

  • “Chalk” brush
  • Opacity at 50%
  • Mode “Color”
  • In this order first layer to last layer I used colours: #5d7z99, #32576a, #3c6986 and #54809b
  • Then I highlighted my face very lightly with Opacity set to 10% for easy blending with the purple colour #472a50. This gave it a more natural look and made me look more like a blue person than smurf like last time.
  • My lips were also done in #472a50, but I went around the palette after I blended this and used similar purples — also at 10% opacity, in the “color” mode, to get the tint I wanted.

Oh and just using the “Clone” tool I added more of my hair to the right-hand side and got rid of my ear and earring.

Step 2 – Nose Structure

The nose was far easier to do this time and I’m sorry I don’t have an image of the ‘process.’ I kinda put my laptop into overdrive because my .psd file was about 100MB, lol.

Basically, go into “Liquify” or SHIFT+CTRL+X on a PC

  • Using the “Forward Warp Tool” go from the bridge of the nose down to extend into a snout.
  • “Brush Density” and “Brush Pressure” should be set to 100.
  • If you mess up, don’t worry, just use the “Reconstruct” tool in the “Liquify” window to go back.
  • Also, I used a mix, going back and forth in between, of the “Pucker” and the “Bloat” tools in order to get the tip of the nose just right. I also used these features to make the nose straight.
  • My brush sizes were sometimes 20, 61 and 100 at different times.
  • Also, at the crown of the bridge of your nose, I carefully used the “Forward Warp Tool” and gently raised it.

Step 3 –

Ears and more Nose information

©2010 ~ Sasha H. Muradali – Click to Enlarge Image

Again, as previously mentioned, You are more than welcome to use my Picasa’s AVATAR folder online to get images.

I just took a pair of ears, duplicated them, shrunk them to my taste and stuck them on there.

Now that you have the basic nose, some ears and your lips are painted, you need to fix your nose and the rest of your body.

  • In this order, mode being “color,” opacity at 50% and multiple layers, for the tip of my nose I again, used the “chalk” brush in a VERY small size with: #ffc2d6, #f5b3bf and #fc8980.
  • Using the “Burn” tool, utilizing the “midtones,” “shadows” and “highlights,” aka all three of the parts of the “Burn feature” — shade the nose, cheeks, eyes and any other part of the body you feel needs to be contoured.

Step 4 –

More Skin adjusting etc.

©2010 ~ Sasha H. Muradali – Click to Enlarge Image

So my skin was looking kind of like a cadaver, or at least I thought so and therefore I thought I would fix it up some more.

I did this in two ways.

First, I went into IMAGE -> Adjustments -> Levels. I did it on “Auto” which I didn’t have to tweak. When on “Auto” your settings should say for “RGB” “0” on the far left, “1.00” in the center,” and “255” on the far right for the “Input Levels.”

Your “Output Levels” should be “0” on the far left and “255” on the far right.

I still wasn’t happy with my skin, so I went and painted on another layer. This time I used the “chalk” brush again, the opacity at 50% and the mode in “Color” — but I finished off the tone with #248be8.

Using the same purple from Step 1, #472a50, I went over my skin a bit again.

Step 5 –

Skin Marking & Making your Eyes Bigger

©2010 ~ Sasha H. Muradali – Click to Enlarge Image

I know a lot of people suggest using the “Burn” tool to do this — and I tried and it didn’t work very well for me. Actually, I found it very difficult.

Using one of the specialty brushes that come with Photoshop, pick and choose the one you like best.

In the image above, I used the 3rd one in the 6th row from the top and adjusted the size, this is called the “Rough Round Bristle” brush.

I set the Opacity to about 30% so that I could ‘paint’ with it. I used pure black and on a NEW layer on top of my face, using a real Na’vi reference for where my lines should go — I painted.

©2010 ~ Sasha H. Muradali – Click to Enlarge Image

You’ll notice that now my eyes are more even, than how squinting the right eye was looking.

This is because I went into the “Liquify” tool once more and using the “Bloat” tool, I adjusted to my liking.

Afterwards, I had to make my eyes bigger, just like a Na’vi. I read a great tutorial on that inspired most of how I made this and their idea for the eyes is something I really liked. You’ll notice a lot of what I did is very similar to what they posted, but I made my own little tweaks that made my Na’vi art easier for me, personally, to do.

Right so back to the eyes —

  • duplicate your layer
  • using the top layer and the “Polygonal Lasso Tool” draw a circle around each eye
  • after they are highlighted, cut and paste them onto the second layer.
  • the eyes from the top layer should now be on the second layer.
  • use the “free transform” setting and make them bigger. It is OKAY if the sides spread out a little past your face.
  • use the “move” tool to size to your face.
  • once at the size you want, using the “Eraser” to erase the outsides of the layer of eyes to blend them into the original image.
  • once happy, “merge down.”

Step 6 – Colouring the Eyes

©2010 ~ Sasha H. Muradali – Click to Enlarge Image

Now that you have yourself a pretty decent Na’vi you need to do your eyes.

I couldn’t do them. Not at all. So I took this image of Neytiri and blended:

  • Copy area of eye using the “selection” tool from Avatar image.
  • Paste in a new layer on top of your own eye.
  • Use the “Eraser” tool to get rid of blue an excess. Make sure her eyeball lines up with yours.
  • Use “Transform” tool or CTRL+T on a PC — to size into your eye.
  • Duplicate and mirror it so that you get the ‘green’ on the other side.
  • Again, use the “Transform” tool to size.
  • Use the “Eraser” tool to get rid of any excess that won’t make the eye fit properly.
  • Use “Merge Down” for the BOTH eye layers. DO NOT “Merge Down” to your face YET.
  • Make sure they are even, properly shaped to fix etc. NOW “Merge Down” to your face.
  • Use the “Burn” tool to blend into your face.

Repeat for the other eye.

You’ll notice my original picture had me looking STRAIGHT forward. With my new Na’vi eyes, I’m looking off to the SIDE.

Oh, well 🙂

Step 7 –

Your Bioluminescent Face Dots

and Fixing Your Skin Yet Some More

©2010 ~ Sasha H. Muradali – Click to Enlarge Image

Before you add you face dots, using the “Burn” tool again, with the “midtones,” “shadows,” and “highlights,” and your “exposure” at about 10% or less or more depending on the setting — go over your entire fact and body again. This time you should be also going over the areas where you made the ‘lines’ on your skin.

Contour your cheeks, nose, eye area etc.

I used the “Dodge” tool to highlight a little more on my brow bone of my eyes — I’m a girl and I want my Na’vi to be pretty 🙂

I took the “Burn” tool and went over my eyelashes some more and where I had eyeshadow on in the original image, just to fix it up a bit and make me pretty!

Using a VERY small brush — any brush of your choice, but I used the “Hard Round” brush at I think a 5 I took pure white and referencing a real Na’vi put them ALL over my face on a NEW LAYER!

Then, I went into the “Blending options” by right-clicking on the layer, and I went to “Color Overlay” and picked #acd6f6.

All of these were at “Normal” for the “mode.” I didn’t change the opacity or anything and left it at a normal 100%.

Step 8 –

Bringing your Na’vi to Life

This isn’t so much a step, as it is just fixing your Na’vi.

“Burn,” “Dodge” and “Saturate” or “Desaturate” to your taste.

I actually went back into my eyes and “Desaturated” some of the areas, and I “Saturated” other parts to kind of help them blend into my face more. I thought the eyes were kind of hard to do.

Also, go to your nose and “Burn” around the very end tip where the pink is so that you can shade it properly.

If you feel like it, at this point, go back into the “Liquify” area and arrange whatever you want.


©2010 ~ Sasha H. Muradali – Click to Enlarge Image

And there you have it! 🙂

©2010 ~ Sasha H. Muradali – Click to Enlarge Image

Good Luck!🙂

***My likeness and image belong to me and only me.
The rest is between you and James Cameron.***

©2010 ~ Sasha H. Muradali – Click to Enlarge Image

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Copyright © 2009-2010 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

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  1. hi..this is great…i can you make one myself..

  2. This is really cool!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Thanks and you're welcome!

    This tutorial is way better than the first one I made and it's far easier to
    do! 🙂

  4. omg this is sick! Love it!

  5. lol, thanks 🙂

  6. Hey Ms.Sasha ,

    I know you dont know me but i was really wondering if you can make one for me.Ive been trying to make one but i just cant do it.Please contact me if anything.My email is please help.thanks – Allen.

  7. Thank you for sharing!I will try to make one too 🙂

  8. I'm so love this blog, already bookmarked it! Thanks.

  9. I'm so love this blog, already bookmarked it! Thanks.