Avatar’s Early Concept Art Reveals Na’vi Who Glow

by AryanArtnews
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Avatar’s Early Concept Art Reveals Na’vi Who Glow

Movie concept artist Joseph C. Pepe reveals a portrait of a different kind of the Avatar franchise’s Na’vi, inspired by bioluminescence in nature.

The second Avatar movie, The Way of Water, introduced audiences to a race of the Na’vi people who adapted to aquatic conditions. There are still endless variations on the nimble blue aliens yet to be revealed, and some early concept art highlights one interesting possibility.

Artist Joseph C. Pepe shared the piece on his personal Instagram, along with an in-depth explanation of how he helped create the design for Avatar’‘s characters. The photorealistic digital portrait, titled “Na’vi Elder Male,” was created in 2004 and first published in The Art of Avatar: James Cameron’s Epic Adventure by Lisa Fitzpatrick. It shows the face of a Na’vi man with the blue skin and yellow eyes of the final design in the movies, but he also has a feathery nose ornament and a glowing patch on the crown of his head that appears to be slightly above him floating.

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Pepe provided a bit of history for the image, writing: “We were given 14 days to ‘show Cameron something new, develop the characters further and give them new life.'” At the time, Cameron said the film was photorealistic would be once it was completed and I felt the utmost pressure to illustrate something that would impress him.”

James Cameron’s use of natural sciences in avatar

The glowing feature on the Na’vi elder, according to Pepe, was inspired by some kind of real-life invertebrate, and Cameron immediately picked up on the idea. “At the time, Cameron expressed no emotion during the review, only that he recognized the Sea Slug bioluminescence I used on the forehead,” Pepe says in his caption for the artwork. “Cameron said, ‘It’s a pelagic nudibranch, Phylliroe bucephala.’ My mouth is agape with total surprise that he not only recognized what type of animal’s bioluminescence I used, he also knew its scientific name.”

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The Na’vi people in Avatar and its sequels look like blue-skinned humans with tails and vaguely cat-like features. They are much taller than humans and have several evolutionary adaptations to their home planet, Pandora, including an organ that allows them to connect on a spiritual level with other native life forms.

Avatar: The Way of Water, now playing in theaters, was a huge box office success and was nominated for a Best Picture award at the Oscars. Further installments in the Avatar series are in the works.

Source: Instagram

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