Published on Sun, Jan-24-2010 by Dainis

Create Avatar Movie Poster in Photoshop

James Cameron’s movie Avatar needs no introduction. The movie focuses on Navi, which is an indigenous humanoids race who stays on a planet named Pandora. While the TV channels and news portals are all full of praises for the technology used in the production of this film and its virtues, many designers found themselves instilled with great inspiration from the Navi characters after watching the film. So, for all you designers who wish to create such Navi images, the given Photoshop tutorial is sure to be of great help. This tutorial elaborates how you can create a Navi image of any usual photo as you add impressive text and backgrounds to make an Avatar movie poster. Let us begin to see how you can get this amazing Navi photo effect in just 8 easy steps.

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create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

1.Step: Preparation

Firstly, open a new document: 1000 *700 px. Drag to document your photo. Here we use the photo of a girl to achieve the desired effect.

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

Delete background from the image using the Pen tool. Next, take Blur tool and soften the lips of the girl.

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

2.Step: Navi face lines

This is one of most important steps. So, make sure you get it right as we will now create specific Navi face lines. To do this, we will use Liquefy filter. Go to Filter -> Liquefy. It is suggested to set the brush pressure at not more that 50%. Only 2 tools need to be used here – primarily, Forward warp tool and at certain places, Bloat tool. So, let us begin. Take Forward warp tool and with easy strokes from nose, middle pull to both sides as given in the picture below:

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

After you are through with this, take Bloat tool and make the eyes of the girl a little bigger than its usual size. Now is the time to experiment a little with Liquefy filter. Once you have got impressive result, take Burn tool and darken the nose from both sides and use Dodge to lighten the nose from the middle. This should give you a result that looks like this:

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

Do not worry if you are unable to achieve the perfect results. Keep on experimenting until you get it right. Now add Adjustment layer (Curves), to define the face couture of the girl with more exactness. Set Curves parameters like below:

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop


create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

3. Step: Navi Skin

In this step, we will transform human skin into Navi. As you all must be aware, Navi skin is blue. So, for this, we will add one more Adjustment layer. This time it would be Hue/Saturation. Select the following parameters:

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

Add Layer mask to Hue/Saturation layer. Now, select the black colour and delete blue colour from the girl’s eyes. Here is result:

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

I also added Crocodile skin texture for this work. You can download it from Deviantart. Simply add this texture to your document. While holding the Ctrl button, click on layer with girl’s couture and make active Crocodile skin layer. Go to Select -> Invert and click delete bottom. Change blending mode to Overlay and set Opacity to 50%.


create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

4. Step: Navi eays:

At this time, we are almost through with the creation of Navi skin. Now, we will make the eyes of the girl even more impressive. For this, we need to create a new layer. Take Elliptical Marquee tool and draw circle on one girl’s eye. Push Ctrl button and draw circle on second eye of the girl. Now, with these selections, add white colour and set Blending mode to Overlay. I also added clouds to both the eyes. Create a new layer, add clouds texture to your document. Hold the Ctrl button and click on layer with white circles (you will get selection). Now, Invert selection (Select -> Invert) and click delete button and change Blending mode for this layer to soft light. Here is what you must have now:

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

5. Step: Navi skins details:

You may remember from movie, Navi have some dark lines on their skin. In this step, we will create those lines, using lines ornaments. You can simple go to my article about 200 tribal tattoo designs, find ornament that you like and add it to your document. After this, while holding Ctrl, click on layer with ornament and you will have an ornament selection. Delete ornament. Fill your selection with dark blue colour: #384c9c and go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian blur and select about 10-15px. Add your ornament to some part of girl’s face. Now repeat this step 4-8 times, till you have something like this:

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

6. Step: Glowing sparkles

We have almost created a Navi girl. Now, we will add glowing sparkles. For that, we will again create a new layer. From brushes pallet, select stars brushes and in Brush tip shape, select spacing about 50%:

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

Take pen tool and create a line below the eyes of the girl and go to Paths, right click and select Stroke Path, select Brush and click ok. Do not forget to set white colour and brush Hardness to 0. After you have followed this step, repeat it till you have something like this:

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

For this layer, you can also add Layer style outer glow for an impressive glowing. Here is my result:

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

7. Step: Background

After we are through with our creation of a Navi girl, we must add background. For Avatar movie poster, I think most suitable background is Jungle or war episodes. You can take whatever you like. I Googled for a nice war episode and took a screenshot from Avatar itself and added it.

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

Go to Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation and select the following parameters:

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

Create another new layer, fill it with black colour and go to Filter -> Render -> Lens Flare. Select 35mm Prime and 120%. Click ok and change blending mode to screen.

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

8.Step: Text

In this final step, we need to add text to our movie poster. I found a perfect font for Avatar movie. You can download it at Herculanum fonts from Urbanfonts. Create a new layer and write your text with grey color: #e1dddd.

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

To this text, add layer style Outer glow with the following parameters:

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

Finally, we are done with our avatar movie character and poster creation in Photosop. Of course, you may add more text or images in background but I think you got main idea from this tutorial. As you can probably guess after reading this tutorial that transforming an image into a Navi is not a very difficult task. So, you also get started and create your own Navi images and Avatar posters. Do not forget to post them in comments and share your talent with us.

Result: Avatar movie poster

create Avatar movie poster in photoshop

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14 Responses

  • Wayne say:

    Dude, that’s excellent!

  • flyer templates say:

    That’s a great general technique. Although I think the final outcome also depends on how the person in the photograph looks.

    Some are better than others.

  • Francisco Castro say:

    Impresionante artículo, mis felicitaciones!. El resultado es increible. Gracias.

  • Watch the social network online say:

    hey that was an innovative and excellent one from photoshop tool thanks to sharing with us.

  • ajay say:

    great job

  • Star Windows Lymm say:

    That’s awesome!!!!!

  • AZUNG say:



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