Make your own Avatar with #GIMP

Eversince I watched the movie Avatar, I’ve always wanted to have my own avatar.  Alas! I saw a tutorial about it! 

Wanna make your own too? Follow the steps! 

1. Open your portrait picture. I think it is better if it is really a frontal view like mine below. 

Click image to enlarge


2. Duplicate your photo and work on the copy. We will have to work on the distortion of the face first. We need to have bigger eyes and make the nose more connected to the eyes. (it was not really effective on my nose though because I have a ‘flat’ nose…haha). 

Anyway, click on Filter -> Distort -> IWarp. Then select “Move” and change the values to 30 (Radius) and a strength of 0.3.  These values are used for an image that is 1000x1000px big.  You can increase the radius if you have a bigger picture. 

Now start at the top of the nose in the middle:  drag the parts of the top nose a little to the left and a little to the right. You can work from top to bottom. Be careful not to move too much of the nose into the eyes. Don’t click OK yet as we will also work with the eyes. 

If your eyes became a bit too much distorted, use the “Remove” option in the dialogue (which should still be shown).  Drag the mouse slowly over the left eye towards the nose and do the same on the right. Be sure not to move too much to the nose as  it may remove your distorted nose. 

We’re still not done! 

By now the eyes should be looking normal again, we’re now going to make them a bit bigger. Select “Grow” and a radius of 70. Then click the center of the pupils (left and right eye) and click 3 to 4 times, each time the eye should become a little bigger. If you think the nose and the eyes look okay now, then click OK. 

Click image to enlarge


Click image to enlarge


3.  Now let’s work on the blue skin.  The tutorial that I used exported color values from the Colors / Color balance dialogue. You can download the file here (right click and “Save as…”) and import it using the Color Balance dialogue (click the import-button at the top). 

Click image to enlarge


4.  The whole picture is colorized. We will have to use a layer mask to bring the original hair color and else back in. 

Before using the layer mask, we’re going to use the Quick Mask first, where we will paint on a temporary layer using black and white to get a really detailed and nice selection. 

Click the “QuickMask” Button on the bottom left corner of the image window. A red overlay should now show. 

Click image to enlarge


You can now paint “Black” and “White” to make the selection. Black color (this is the red overlay in the beginning) represents full transparency in the selection and white represents fully selected parts after finishing the QuickMask. 

Paint with white using a smooth brush to select the parts that will remain blue, which is the skin part. Then use a smaller brush and carefully paint the eyes with black to make it transparent after we finish the masking. 

Click image to enlarge


5.  Now click the QuickMask-button again to get a nice selection of it. 

Click image to enlarge


Right click the layer in the layers dialogue and click on “Add Layer Mask”. Choose “Selection” in the dialogue and click OK.  Your image should now look like the one below. 

Click image to enlarge


6. Now we’ll have to work on the eyes to make them more like the na’vi eyes. Choose the Elliptical Selection tool and drag a selection around the iris. Select  Edit -> Copy  and then Edit -> Paste.  Name the floating selection ‘Iris’. The iris is now a separate layer. 

Then use Colors / Colorize to get a yellow into it. Hue: 56, Saturation: 55, Lightness: 0.  Do this on both eyes. 

Click image to enlarge


7. Now we will be putting on the stripe like paintings on the whole body. 

Create a new layer and use the free select tool now to make that kind of painting.  Hold shift to add more selections at once. Make sure that you make all stripes in one layer. 

Once you’re done, fill it with black (Select Black as new Foreground-Color – then do Edit -> Fill with Foreground color). 

Click image to enlarge


8. Now, activate the lock-transparency button below the opacity ruler in the layers dialogue. Then select Filter -> Render -> Clouds -> Solid Noise: 0 / 15 (details) / 5.0 / 5.0. 

Click image to enlarge


9. Deactivate the lock-transparency by clicking it again. We need to smoothen the ‘stripe’ paintings. Select Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur: 10px. 

Select the eraser tool and delete overlapping paintings. 

Click image to enlarge


Now add a layer mask, activate it by clicking it and use Filter -> Render -> Plastic Noise again (Random seed: 0, Detail: 1, X: 7.8, Y: 7.7).  Then set the layers mode to Overlay. 

Click image to enlarge


10. Finally we need some sparkle on the face. Create a new layer. Then select the Brush tool again and use the “Sparks”-brush. Use a small brush scale (0.2 or so).  Click on the parts where you want the sparkles to appear. It can be under the eyes, on the nose and on the foreskin.  If you don’t like some of the sparkles, you can remove it using the eraser tool. Then set the layers mode to “Dodge”. 

Click image to enlarge


And we’re done! Thanks to my source

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5 Responses to “Make your own Avatar with #GIMP”

  1. Hi Ate Ela! Karla (from FB and KN) here. Thanks for the tutorial. I recently installed GIMP because Adobe Photoshop is taking up way too much space on my hard drive. I super like the Avatar makeover when you first posted it on FB. Hopefully, I’d be able to make one as well. 🙂

    • itsmeela Says:

      hey karla! thanks for visiting. great to hear that you’re using GIMP na rin. I hope you’ll find other tutorials here helpful as well. I know u can make you’re own avatar. just leave a comment kung may question ka. enjoy! 🙂

  2. Hi Ela, I still havent seen the movie yet. –This looks like fun. =)

  3. […] The busiest day of the year was October 5th with 161 views. The most popular post that day was Make your own Avatar with #GIMP. […]

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