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Angelina Jolie as a Na'vi from Avatar Movie: Tutorial Photoshop Part1

So by now you have seen a ton of people spit out photomanipulations of themselves as a Na'vi character. Some have been very well done... while others... could use a little guidance. Well it has been requested that I provide a thorough tutorial on how to turn someone into a more realistic looking Na'vi. Hopefully the information I provide will encourage some to go back and re-work their Na'vi'ed selves, or maybe inspire those of you who haven't made one yet... to hop on the bandwagon!
I must warn you: this is a VERY advanced tutorial. I do go through every step… but good Photoshop skills are going to be needed if you want a high quality result.
First make sure you have the tools you need!
  • A GOOD picture! One that clearly shows eyes and eyebrows. Hair pulled back is the best option for a picture because it allows you to manipulate braids and other hair textures into the image if you want.
  • Photoshop (I used CS3, but as long as you have the Liquify Filter… it's all good! To see if you have it, just go to the "Filter" drop down menu and "Liquify" should be there)
  • Skin texture brush from here Skin texture (it's free!)
  • WACOM Tablet (not required! But helps. Big time.)
  • Prep
  • Eyes
  • Eye Brows
  • Skin Color
  • Nose Shape
  • Pupil Size
  • Pupils Color
  • Lips
  • Nose Tip
  • Face
  • Eye Brows (Na'vi Style)
  • Face Stripes
  • Glow Dots
  • Body
  • Neck
  • Background
  • Ears
  • Hair
Install the brush. If you need help doing so you can follow this tutorial: Install Fonts and Brushes
Open Photoshop. Go to Edit>Preferences>Performance. Where is says "History && Cache" Change the history states to "1000". Chances are you will mess up A LOT and you want to be able to go as far back as you need to. Press OK.
Go to File>Open and locate your file.

If you are experienced with Photoshop, I recommend a very large image with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch. This way you can go in and add detail to make the final result look even more real! Also, the process will go a lot smoother if you can see the texture of the skin in the image. However, my image is large enough to see the skin texture and it's at 72 pixels per inch. So either way… make what choice you feel is best.

Create a New Layer

Click on the background layer. Use the selection tool to select the image on the background layer. Select Layer 1 and paste the image. Name the Layer.

You should currently have two layers. A Background Layer, and the Original Layer on top of it.
, select one eye. You want a large portion of the eye and the face around it as seen below.

Click Ctrl+C and then Ctrl+V (copy/paste) to paste the eye onto another layer.

After painstaking research, I have discovered the calculation for the eyes. I have tested this method using the actors from Avatar and their Na'vied selves and these steps seem correct.
Still on that eye layer, go to Edit>Free Transform or Ctrl+T to open the Free Transform tool.
Change the Width, Height, and Rotate numbers to that showj below. If you are working on the right eye (the one I'm working on) then you rotate the eye -10. If you're working on the left eye, it's +10.