View Full Version : PIXAR EYES!! Please look.................................................

07 July 2002, 07:04 AM

Im writing in regards to how to make realistic PIXAR EYES!!. I love everything about them except I havent seen anybody able to do them or know how to atleast. Dont get me wrong, ive seen some very fantastic texturing as far as creating realistic looking eyes, but I was more interested if we could get someone in CGChannel, to show a step by step procedure as to how to creat pixar qulaity eyes, like you see in bugs life and most their films. If anyone has pictures, or tutorials, or any information on how to do this, I know it will help me and many others out as to getting that extra personality to the 3d model.

Thanks for reading.


----------Please READ---------
I feel that the PIXAR eye has been figured out and many people are close if not have the answer already. Im curious what they look on really models you all are working on, or even realistic eyes!!! Sort of a new topic but a good thread to do them on, it can bring some realistic and interesting results, post finished products if you have them..

07 July 2002, 09:53 AM
There's a nice tutorial here:

07 July 2002, 07:06 PM
well.........if u are asking about setting up morph targets for eyes ... then u gotta see Michel Comets page....

he has got goood tuts for char anim. for 3ds max and in general aswell.........

I dunno what are u using but another excellent resource for eye texturing is at this french site.....u can translate this with altavista translations.........

heres the page and u'll find the tuts at the tutorials page...

hmmmmmmm..........i got them all on my harddisk...that's why i'm digging it..........

oh yeah........u also gotta c one from Irina tuts of maya section.........

hope this helps u:wavey:

07 July 2002, 07:07 PM
Hey magpile,

thanks for the tutorial, but I have that one already, it works great, but for some reason I dont think that is exactly how PIXAR does their eyes, if you look closelly the eyes have the extra feeling to them, dont know what it is, or something they fail to leave out, who knows, maybe its renderman doing all the work, it would be nice to see if someone from PIXAR would help out even though I know they are not suppose to tell secrets..


I check it out, it was a really nice site, but couldnt find anything on eyes their as to making of it. But what a great resource though.

It would be nice if people could through up renders of their own as far as realism of eyes on cartoons and realistic humans, and to find out the best ways of doing things. I use MAYA 4.0 by the way

07 July 2002, 07:36 PM
@TheSEL - Well, first of all you should know that the image you attached is a paint over, it is not a render! That is why it looks so good. I have attached the image showing how it looked before the paint over, so you can see what was changed.

The biggest change is the use of shadows at the top of the iris to give the illusion of depth. The easiest way to do that is to actually paint it in the texture. Otherwise, you will have to link lights above the eyes to cast the shadow for you.

Also, you might try sending a PM to "psumo", the guy who did the paint over, since he actually works at Pixar.

07 July 2002, 07:44 PM
hey thanks pearson,

I actually read that thread as it was part of the months challenges, but basically you understand what im saying as far as getting the quality of the eyes though. Ill PM psumo to see if he can contribute to this at all. Thanks for the feedback though

07 July 2002, 08:52 PM
You have to figure it out yourself :)

but I can tell you it's done in shader
and not geometry

07 July 2002, 09:19 PM
but I can tell you it's done in shader

I figured as much, because when I try to get that much shadow on the iris I have to make the iris really deep, like a big cone, and it looks all weird from the side.

I'll play with it, as I also want to know the secret! :D

07 July 2002, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by pearson

I figured as much, because when I try to get that much shadow on the iris I have to make the iris really deep, like a big cone, and it looks all weird from the side.

I'll play with it, as I also want to know the secret! :D

no extra geom. no iris.
just a perfect sphere
shader does it all

07 July 2002, 10:16 PM
Originally posted by psumo

no extra geom. no iris.
just a perfect sphere
shader does it all

Meanie! :D

One way I've found (with using mortal methods of iris geometry etc.) is to make the iris itself darker, then give it a broad, colored specular..this gets that sort of effect but you only have to angle it in a little's like a fakey caustic sort of thing. I guess I should dig up some examples. Does that make any sense?

07 July 2002, 12:18 AM
why not just model the eye, and then put appropriate materials on the corresponding parts of the eye? would that not work?

07 July 2002, 02:02 AM
Psumo, thanks for the post, so its just a shader huh??? im going to whip out my PIXAR movie collection and see how the environment effects the eye, reflection, etc. Wow, im taking the shader is completelly assmebled in Renderman, corect, would I still be able to get the same quality if I were just to create my shader through maya?? Also, you could save us a ton of time if you just slipped it under the table ;) ( no one will know: as the whole cgchannel community looks on) either or, if I can figure it out, ill through the post up of the eye. I think I have some ideas as to how it goes about, one question though, it does not use any file textures at all with the shader???

hrrmmmm... this will be a challenge for me to figure out, any other helpful hints would be fantastic!!

07 July 2002, 06:08 AM
Well, here is the first experiment. I'm assuming that unless Pixar's method is purely Trompe l'oeil there must be displacement, so I actually modeled the iris and the lens.

I used Hypercubes suggestion and the iris is black, with a green specular.

07 July 2002, 06:09 AM
And here is the wireframe, to show how steep the iris is angled.

07 July 2002, 04:58 PM
interesting discussion! :)
so i also worked on an eye but tried to do it only with the use of shaders not geometry. but i'm not totally satisfied cause i can't manage the iris to cast a shadow so that it is darker in the upper area and lighter in the lower area. i've used a bump map to simulate the geometry. tell me what you think and how i can improve things plz.

07 July 2002, 06:26 PM
hrrmmm, well I was doing some research and looking up somethings on shaders on things you can and cannot do, I will post my eyes up tonight, but as a WIP for I know I will be missing something, I think derwolpertinger has something with his shader eye, excet this time higher the specualrity on it, there is a node that places the same specularity and shadows in all angles from the camera, so the eyes doesnt change from view to view, its almost like mel scripting, except within the MAYA hypershade, I also think you need to throw a transparent ramp on the pupil, on the edges to bring things together, just a little though, and the same goes with the iris. If you could, place your connections up on this page so everyone can see what you are getting at. Also pearson, your eye looks great from the front but from the side angles, it indents in, which I know it is not suppose to do that, but that is because of the geometry, ill post tonight on my progress.


07 July 2002, 08:29 PM
Perhaps it's a combination of shaders and geometry?

07 July 2002, 08:30 PM
take bug's life art of page 42 !!! big 2 pages pic...

you'll see that PIXAR eyes are not always...hum...nice & clean...

page 53 !! look at princess Atta eyes !!! :eek:

07 July 2002, 08:33 PM

and what about a rotating textures depending on the position o the light ?!?!?

or maybe just a specular layer rotating the same way...

arg...I wish there was a Monster Inc making of book...

I don't remember exactly but I suppose the eyes were much better than Bug's..

07 July 2002, 08:34 PM
i also think that a combination af geometry and shaders would be the best solution. but currently i'm trying to create the eyeballs only with shaders. i just wanna know how good i can make them look.
@psumo: ca you tell me why you are using no geometry but only shaders for the eyeballs? i'd just like to know the advantages/disadvantages. :)

07 July 2002, 08:36 PM
the rotating texture is a cool idea baby. i'll try that now. :thumbsup:

07 July 2002, 08:38 PM
Just for anybody that happens to be modeling an eye... take a look here, you'll see that real eyes do not bevel in too terribly far actualy....

Hope this helps ;)

07 July 2002, 08:41 PM
be was an idea like that...

I think it could work but with 2 layers...

one with all your eyes details (that won't rotate : weird)...
and the other with the fake lighting mixed...

07 July 2002, 08:43 PM
@theSEL - Are you talking about using the facingRatio? I don't understand, if it's all just in the texture, then why not just paint in the shadows? Especially if you want the shadows the same from every angle.

07 July 2002, 08:44 PM
well it's worth a try. :)

07 July 2002, 09:02 PM
Alright guys,

Ive been messing with the idea of a complete shader for the eye texture, there was one site where a guy by the name of Matt Wood created a complete shader of an eye that came out really nice actually, I was studying how he went about doing it, it all made sense, yet he had a couple problems pertaining with the specularity that was driving me crazy to figure out how to solve. Pearson, the node I think is called the sampler info. node which gives the info. about a point that is being shaded on your surface. The facing ration could come into play with this and maybe is the answer to the spec problem for the shader he created did not have this node intergrated. He created a ramp specularity in the correct spot yet it also spreads it outside of the iris as well which was the problem that needed to be fixed, ill post what I saw, and give you my test renders tonight, see if you can figure anything out about it, its pretty good....... go to

download it and test it out, see if anything comes from it

P.S. rotating spec to the camera was a good idea also

07 July 2002, 09:14 PM
Maybe using gradient ramps(in 3ds max) with gradient type=lighting

Also, if you could put a "reflection map" as specular shape to do the nasty round thing it would be cool

07 July 2002, 09:48 PM
eyes1 (
eyes2 (

Yes, it looks an only shader work. What a great Shader :)

07 July 2002, 01:16 AM
well here's an update-i think it looks a lot better now.
now i'll try to make that colour structure of the iris.:wip:

07 July 2002, 01:54 AM

Fairly generic, but the end result is nice


07 July 2002, 02:01 AM
Very good tutorial on eyes

07 July 2002, 02:11 AM
well someone already posted it here. it's a good one if you want to use geometry for the iris etc.. but i'm trying to create a shader for that, without any geometry, well at least i do need a simple sphere.:D :D

07 July 2002, 02:20 AM
doh... sorry :)

Also, don't know if you've seen it, but darksim (darktrees) have a procedural iris as well...Now you've piqued my curiosity to try one tho :)


07 July 2002, 02:23 AM
that's cool! so we all can change our expierences. :)
now i'll have a look at darktree's.
btw. what software are you trying to create it with?

07 July 2002, 02:56 AM
You can see in this image that it is just a ball.... there eyes are soooo sweet. i wish i could do them like that.

my beast of burden (

Image copyright to pixar... or who ever owns it... in other words its not mine....

07 July 2002, 05:10 AM
I haven't looked into this as deeply as most who have replied posts to this item, but hopefully I'm steering you in the right direction!

A friend of mine had the book to "A Bug's Life", and in it they described exactly how they did it. It was basically a sphere with a dish booleaned out of it, with the eye textures on it, and then another sphere slightly larger with a glass material on it.

hope this helps

07 July 2002, 05:25 AM
Here is a comp of images from Monster's Inc. I made. I captured them from the trailer.

You can see the eyes pretty good here. Maybe they'll help a little bit.

I'm working on the eyes as well and I'll post some pics if I can get them to actually look like Pixar eyes...

Otherwise I guess, use this image as a reference...

Images copyright to Pixar


07 July 2002, 05:32 AM beans. Interesting stuff you guys are coming up with..unfortunately I still have to make do with geometry eyes, but hmm.

I never noticed that effect on the pixar eye from the side before, either...must've watched them wrong with my ONE EYE. ;)

P.S. real vs. cartoon btw, real eyes -are- seethrough from the side, because of the cornea and iris assembly, but that can give away the 'canted iris' trick, too, or look strange because they're so huge. It also makes a big diff if you're tracing refraction or not, since that can make it seem more like a 'whole eye'. Ah well.

07 July 2002, 08:03 AM
hey all,

looks like this topic took off and im not the only one interested in finding out the answer, im still trying to figure out the best way to do this with just a sphere by creating this unknown shader. I tried mapping a circular ramp as the spec through the sampler info node, it worked well, yet it was giving me 2 shines of spec because I was using a blinn or phong material with the fake spec ramp, I tried using a lambert, but that casued the rest of the eye to go dead and dull, and the fake spec didnt fit it at all. I decided to scratch that idea unless someone can figure it out. I decided to go the regular appraoch and just mess with the blinn settings to create my spec. The hardest thing im trying to figure out is getting that wavy smooth iris feel, as seen in my first post while trying to fake a pupil depth at the same time, its frustrating cous I dont even know how close or how far I am from the actual way to do it, but I will keep at it until its figured out. I mean, we can always model it and use life textures etc. but who doesnt know how to do that. Im just trying to see if anyone can figure it out by just using a shader for it. Here is the image I did on a model im doing for a 5 minute short, untextured.... (I added the eye ive been working on)

07 July 2002, 08:06 AM
things in red are what I see going on, if anyone can figure out the marble effect they have in the eye, please pass it on..

07 July 2002, 10:44 AM
hey your iris is pretty cool but its brightness is the same all over ;(. but don't worry i'm also trying and trying and trying.....
and your specular is much too soft - as seen on monsters inc. pics it is much harder and a little bit smaller.
and now my eyes will have a look at my eyes again:D

07 July 2002, 12:24 PM
This is going to sounds a bit stupid.. but why don't you just cheat it?

Make a colour map for the iris - and darken it near the top...

You could go to lengths to use an inverted light/shadow falloff to control which part of the eye is dark. But it'd be a lot easier just to change the image map.

That's my pair of cents.

07 July 2002, 02:30 PM
Hi all,

Great thread, this one!

Since a few weeks ago, I'm also doing a few experiences with the shader approach for this "Pixar effect".

I've added one image of the eye shader I'm working right now. What do you guys think ?

07 July 2002, 02:33 PM
looks very good

07 July 2002, 02:44 PM
yeah man-they're lookin' pretty good though! :)
here's my latest update. they are not totally perfect but i like them. i concentrate very much on the light situation in the iris. unfortunately i can't work on these eyes for the next days cause i'm on a workshop away from home. but when i'm back i'll finish my eyes by creating the right iris colour structure.
i'm lookin' comin' back and see a lot of cool eyes here! :)
so cu in a couple o' days!
good luck!

07 July 2002, 03:07 PM
another idea...

three textures :

- the normal eye

- the lighten eye

- and a rotating mask (maybe this one is wrong...) with an expression to rotate depending the position of the primary light

like this...those textures are very bad...someone could try with better ones...

07 July 2002, 03:22 PM
ok so here is my little attempt.... it was all done in max. no textures images just using the basic max procedural shaders.

i masked the coloured part out then inverted the colour map with the fall off shadow/light shader.

it works ok.. but it hasn't got the little lines in the coloured part.


07 July 2002, 03:35 PM

Harrad's eyes are beautyful!!!

as shine as star!:applause: :applause:

07 July 2002, 03:44 PM
here's what U could get with the technique...

of course the specular should move as the fake lightning...(did this very quickly)

with a good eye texture and a good fake higlight could be good !!!!!

07 July 2002, 03:50 PM
hey baby!!

u made a good mpg!!!
the eye < single eye > look good!!

maybe next time u can add some blood vessel and let it become horrible!? :p :p

07 July 2002, 03:53 PM

07 July 2002, 05:04 PM
is this kind of the effect you're after? as in the colour difference at different angles?

if it is, this was done in max with lots of falloff maps here and there. its all shader, simple sphere. in the falloff maps i have set the green to show up where the light is. it might be a tad hard to see but thats just cause mines a little bodgy. you can set it so it also displays at an perpendicular angle when its on default setting. hope this helps a little.

hmm i just scrolled down and saw some one else has already used this same technique.. grr! oh well. mines probably worse!

07 July 2002, 06:40 PM
i think Harrad's are the closest so far :)

the "lines" could be put in by making a suitable texture map and then making 2 versions, one for the dark area, one for the light, then these could be placed in the relevant falloff uv mapping the black area of the light the eyes could be animated to react to light and emotion :)

07 July 2002, 07:00 PM
here's my kinda try

07 July 2002, 07:07 PM
I think I did fairly good in my dancing alien flick

...see this thread (

I used geometry, anisotropic shaders on a cone for the iris, using a distorted gradient texture to make a colro map AND a BUMP MAP ... that last bit methinks is important..... Maybe.


07 July 2002, 07:42 PM
@givetommoney: well i think you did the best job till now. :thumbsup: your eyes are lookin' really great! but did u use geometry or is it just shaderwork? and how did you achieve, unless it is only the work of a shader applied to a simple sphere, that the iris is brighter where the lights come from?

07 July 2002, 08:49 PM
Hi all,

well this is my latest update on the eye, I managed to change and figure some stuff out, the big thing im running into now is getting that bright marble feeling inside the eyeball that PIXAR has, I have a couple ideas, but havent figured it out yet, it seems like everyone has something great to contribute but in different aspects. The Goal im going for is just a complete shader like psumo said and no geometry. I feel like im getting closer... anyhow, gotta go, 4th of July.


07 July 2002, 09:19 PM
here's how you do it in blender:

07 July 2002, 09:38 PM
@thesel: you're really coming closer now! :)
it would be great if you could tell us how you achieved the nice light situation in the iris. i can see that it changes its brightness according to the light position. how did you achieve that? or did you just use a simple gradient in the iris to darken it on one side?
and what software are you workin' with?
lots of question, i know... but i'm curious about these aspects.:D

07 July 2002, 09:47 PM
Here's what the eye's I decided to stick with looked like...

Now - they aren't spheres, I did modelled a (concave) curve to the iris/pupil and the (very minor) area of darkness at the top of the iris is actually in the texture-map, but as I said before you could control this with a light/shadow dependant falloff map - as Harrad did also in his excellent example.

07 July 2002, 09:50 PM

07 July 2002, 10:17 PM
This is an intriging thread, I havent had time to try out any of the theorys. But I knew of Bill Flemings eye tutorial at so I found the url, hope it is helpful in your quest for the perfect eye. And happy 4th of July to all other Americans:beer:

Bill Flemings eye tutorial (

07 July 2002, 11:33 PM
i did model my eyes, and then for the iris shader i set the type to metal, and then put a map in the bump and specular slots
and then a turned up the glossiness a little

07 July 2002, 12:07 AM
(@thesel: you're really coming closer now!
it would be great if you could tell us how you achieved the nice light situation in the iris. i can see that it changes its brightness according to the light position. how did you achieve that? or did you just use a simple gradient in the iris to darken it on one side?
and what software are you workin' with?
lots of question, i know... but i'm curious about these aspects.)

First off I use MAYA 4.0

The light cituation in the Iris is the hardest thing im coming into contact with for if you noticed with the true PIXAR eye, it is almost like a marble gloss. I managed to mess with the settings, and change my spec on the transparent blinn which was connected to the layered shadrer transparancy option box, to help in this aid, yet I still dont feel satisfied enough. There are 2 blinns involved with this shader, it is a take off from the Matt wood shader. I could achieve the results I want by creating extra geometry, but that is not what I am after. In the begining I was fighting 2 specs from 2 different blinns along with a faking of an environmental sky, one blinn which the color nodes used I applied a pure black ramp and connected it to the spec to stop the extensive shine getting that white shine you see, the other I left alone. There is one idea I have not yet tried to make the inner part of the eye that marble glossy feel, I just have to mess with it some more. I realized you can fake the shine, but it just looks dead, and the thing is when you fake the shine, you must leave the eye as a lambert, otherwise you will have 3 different specs shinning from one light, *doing that though causes the eye to look dull and dead which was not what I wanted either. I dont know if im making sense, so I will post a screenshot of my connections shortly.

I was confused with light/shadow dependant falloff map that you guys were talking about, but realized it has something to do with faking a inner bump of the iris, showing depth within a pure sphere object, or at least thats what I got out of it..

I dont know if this answers your questions, but I hoped it helped in anyway possible..


07 July 2002, 06:18 AM
In xsi u can make a shader easy

heres the link

also i do it like pixar i use a full sphere
try it ull understand how to do it in ure package

Godd luck

07 July 2002, 12:36 PM
:thumbsup: thx for the information although i think it's not adaptable to my software. :( i'm using cinema 4d.
but i'll try my best when i'm back at home.

07 July 2002, 08:36 PM
I must say AJ_23, i really like that character :).

I'm not sure if this is the "pixar way", but anyways this is an eye i've been working on:

07 July 2002, 08:51 PM
Here is an eye I did in maya

it is very simple

and can be done in about 5 mins without
any extra geometry. no scripting etc

Also it responds to light in any condition
no darkening ramps..

msg me if you want the maya file

07 July 2002, 10:16 PM
wow unknow, pretty good work!!
i've got an update of my eye, too. but compared to yours it looks like crap. :(
but i think it's really hard to create this type of eye with cinema 4d.
so i'm trying and trying and trying..........
anyway here it is:

07 July 2002, 11:12 PM
great updates guys.

I think unknown has a great result of the eye, just wondering what it looks like from different angles? But great job. derwolpertinger, your eye is close also, but it seems like it is lacking something, maybe its just cinema 4d? Either way, the principles are still the same, we just need to know what they are in order to apply it on all applications if you know what I mean.

Unknown, I dont know if you got my message, but I would be interested in looking at how you created your eye. So if you could, send the maya file to my email at Looks good!

To everyone else: I figured there is a ton of information on this thread as far as creating that perfect PIXAR eye or realistic eye. Take a look around, if I have the time and ever figure out what im looking for, Ill create a resource page from my website and throw everyones 2 cents in as far as creation, links, and files for different applications.


07 July 2002, 11:15 PM
@unknown - That looks great! Can the pupil dialate? Nice lighting; has a lot of depth. Love to see that maya file!

07 July 2002, 11:56 PM
it can dialate easily

here is a pic

07 July 2002, 12:19 AM
very nice, that eye seems like it was set up very well, and you said it is just a shder, correct? did you use textures from other sources or are they just maya procedurals?? Also, was the information taken from a tutorial, or was it create by yourself, it really is a nice eye.... :applause:

still looking forward for that file also..

07 July 2002, 12:34 AM
no tutorial
I just thought it up while browsing through
this thread

its done procedurally

07 July 2002, 01:08 AM
I dont think I'll post the file but

but I'll tell you what I did

I separated into 2 layers
spec layer and color layer

spec layer has high cosine power = 600
spec color = 200

the color layer has a huge bump
map which gives the depth of the eye

the colors are generated by streched
fractals 3 different ones for inner
middle and outer color

thats about all of it

nothing fancy

07 July 2002, 03:11 AM
so i think this is gonna be my final eye cause i'm pretty much satisfied with it and cause i want to participate in this month challenge. really gotta start modelling now! :)
so here it is-finally got that marble effect!:bounce:

07 July 2002, 03:46 AM
Hey bud,

looks good, I think thats pretty damn close to what you are looking for, with cinema 4d. :buttrock: I think its a good time to start my part of the challenge also too. :) .


07 July 2002, 09:26 PM
so is this eye considered good?????

07 July 2002, 10:32 PM
i'd say so but 2 little crits. make the shining effects in the iris stronger and make the spec on the eye overall harder. that's it! :)
but great job you did there!:thumbsup:

07 July 2002, 08:22 AM
Hey all, first post.

Here's my quick attempt at a Pixarish eye in Maya.

Here's what I did:

Geometry is just one NURBS sphere.

Shader is all procedural.

It's a layered shader. The first shader in the layer is a transparent Phong with a really hot/hard specular setting. You could put a refelction map on it, but if you do you'll proabably want it to be real sulime. The second layer is a Blinn with almost no specular. The Blinn's color attribute is a U Ramp (Exponential Up is OK, but you can see what works for you). The color at 0 in the ramp is just off white, slightly pinkish. You could use marble or something to make veins, but that may not be such a great idea for a cartoonish type of eye. Further up the ramp the eye white color is duplicated, followed by a very dark blue for the ring around the iris, then a dark bluish fractal for the outer iris, a lighter bluish fractal for the mid iris, and a light violet fractal for the inner iris. The fractals are stretched in their U coverage settings 1, 1.2, 1.5 from outer to inner, respectively. Finally black for the pupil. There's also a black and white ramp in the bump slot set to about 5 at about the same position as the iris.

It's simple, it reacts to light, and can be dialated. That's it.

07 July 2002, 10:58 PM
I've been watching this thread since it began. What a very cool thread. There has been some great looking eyes in here and has inspired my to redo the ones for my characters. The previous ones were quite dead and someone had mentioned it before. The problem I had was that these eyes are not round, there cartoony eyes and therfor I couldn't use round eyes and still get the what I was after. I have to use texture maps that are referenced to null objects that are IKed to a Eye goal null, so I can keep the eyes focused where I need them to be. Anyways, there is a texture map, a spec map, and a bump map and it seems to repond to the light well. Not as nice as some of the modeled eyes in here, but I'm much happier than with the previous ones.

What do you think? All crits and any ideas are welcome that could make them look better.

Again, thanks for the inspiration and ideas! :thumbsup:

07 July 2002, 11:00 PM
And this one. You can tell the difference from the avatar. Oh, and his eyes may be too dark. Let me know what you think.

07 July 2002, 01:32 AM
I think it looks pretty good, one thing though, to get depth inside the eye without geometry, plug in a bump to the inner eye to make it look like it goes inside, use a ramp of black and white for that..

MDC: Bro, your right on the money man, no hard crits, one question though, you ssaid they can dialate. I wa wondering how to do it for my eye is similar to your. I know its in the hy[ershade, or do you have your dilate set to a set driven key??

looking good..

07 July 2002, 04:01 AM
By default the ramp position attributes are not keyable, so you need to do some trickery to animate it. It's simple though. I'll explain it step by step.

First you need to create a new keyable attribute in you ramp for the pupil. Select the ramp and open the attribute editor. Go to Attributes->Add Attributes... and a new window pops up. Fill it out like this.

The Minimum, Maximum, and Default values are based on the pupil position in your ramp, so you have to play with the pupil position in the ramp to determine what positions work best for you. Also make sure the "Make Attribute Keyable" box is checked. After you add the attribute, you should get a new slider with minimum and maximum values you set in the "extra attributes" section of the ramp's attributes like this.

Now you need to hook this new slider up to the postion of the pupil color in the ramp. All the info for individual colors in the ramp is stored in an array and they aren't exposed in the attribute list by default, so we have to figure out exactly what the name is for the pupil position. Pop open your MEL edior, and go back to the ramp attributes. Make an adjustment to the postion of the pupil color, In the Mel editor you will now see something like...

setAttr "ramp1s.colorEntryList[3].position" 0.955

The part in quotes "ramp1s.colorEntryList[3].position" is the name of the position attribute for the pupil specificly. This is the attribute we need to hook up to the slider.

Go back to the ramp in the attribute editor and right click on the "pupil' attribute in the extra attributes rollout. Select "Create New Expression". Inside the expression editor window that pops up, give the expression a name, and in the big white box at the bottom type something like.

ramp1s.colorEntryList[3].position = ramp1s.pupil

The "ramp1s" part is the name of my ramp, so it'll be different probably for you, as will the number in the colorEntryList because it's dependent on what color in the ramp you'd like to animate. What this little expression does is copy the value from the "pupil" slider into the value for the position of the color you are animating.

Once you've done this, you can key it, or you can use, say the "Y" scale of a dummy object as a set driven key to animate the pupils.

I'm relatively new to Maya, and this is the only way I could come up with to animate it, so if this is a bad way to do this sort of thing, I appologize in advance.

07 July 2002, 05:29 AM
For the hell of it, I just made an animation using the steps I outlined above to add an attribute for the pupil and it really sucks. You'll need to create new attributes for the pupil and the three iris positions in the ramp, and animate them all together, or better yet, animate the fractals themselves. Setting keys for just the pupil makes for a pretty boring animation, you want the whole interior of the iris to shift around as it dialates. If all you do is key the pupil, the animation of the eye dialating will have no life at all to it. The iris is totally static while the pupil grows and shrinks. Anyway, the stuff I wrote above I think is deffinitely a huge step in the right direction, you'll just need to take it a bit further than I did.

07 July 2002, 06:51 AM
thanks for the very informative post, I will give it a try on my eyes. Im sure once everything is setup right, you should be able to create a set driven key slider for all the fractals in the iris to move from big to small. I will see and also try to do a test and through up my finding up here.

Unknown, I was wondering how you were able to dilate your eyes as you showed from your post, curious.


07 July 2002, 07:17 AM
Tip: If in MAX, model the iris as a CONE primitive onto which you add an Edit Mesh modifier and delete the bottom of the cone... turn the bottom side out, and then you can edit the top radius to dilate the cone... and for free you get a texture space on the sides of the cone that when you add plain stripes to it, they become radial spokes in the eyes...

...add some fractally distorted color ramps, and you get a beautiful iris which dilates naturally. See my dancing alien animation (, which might suck in most ways, but the eyes are kinda okay.
Click to see my eyes dilate :) (

Another important thing w. a real eye is that the cornea actually bulges MORE than the actual eyeball, so it gets its own lil specular highlight... whereas the iris is sorta bulging "inwards" a little and gets its specular kinda on the other side-ish, yet not quite (its made of a freaky material :) )


07 July 2002, 07:06 PM
@MDC - Hah! Very good point! I wanted to try animating the fractals, not just the iris, but only for that extra bit of realism. I can see now how it would look dead with only the iris animated. And thanks for your previous post; I had forgotten about adding attributes to make the ramp positions animatable.

I'll have to give it a try. Not this week though; too many deadlines!:annoyed:

07 July 2002, 08:11 PM
I once used those eyes for my brown bear character.

I wanted to give the bear some kind some “cute Disney friendship eyes”.

Sorry about my bad english - I'm danish.

Aaron Moore
07 July 2002, 11:02 PM
i'm positive that pixar models thier eyes a little more than just a sphere...

any way hers my eye... not pixar eyes but what the heck

07 July 2002, 11:31 PM
If you read the full thread
There's a lot of evidence showing that pixar
eyes are just perfect spheres

07 July 2002, 03:46 AM
Tried to do it as exactly a possible - perfect spheres etc. the edges are a bit soft, but aside form that I'm pretty happy. All sla. Harod's was a great example.

see you,


07 July 2002, 05:25 AM
i'm positive that pixar models thier eyes a little more than just a sphere

Although it looks spherish in the images posted here, my take is that pixar might *model* a sphere, but they are using renderman, so modelling-as-part-of-the-shader is standard for them.

Like all the different doors in Monsters Inc, were all a simply one rectangle... all actual door geometry came from the different shaders written for the doors.


07 July 2002, 05:44 AM
Master Zap - I was under the same impression at first, however, if you look at the images posted you will see that from the side of the eye, the iris is still visible. This is the same that you would see in real life, except that if they are useing geometry at some point in the render, they are then having to correct it later in the render with lens distortion giving them 2 excess computations for a net result of 0. Pixar are going to use the fastest solution that works visually and I think the lens distortion alone would be enough of a render hit for them to fake it.

07 July 2002, 06:09 AM
I half agree.... :)

The funny thing is that the particular eye posted (mikes from M. Inc) i dont like!!!

Yes look at a real eye from the side you do "see" the iris... and the refraction puts it and the pupil closer to the "surface" than it is in reality... but you still see that it is lower... I think pupils-on-the-surface is THE thing that makes an eye look UN-realistic.

Especially look at a cat... there eyes are very "deep", i.e. the cornea is almost half the front of the eye, and the iris assembly appears very deep (3 dimensionally). Even seen from the side although they appear "less deep" due to refraction "pulling" our picture of the iris "outwards" they still have clear depth and the pupil definitely does NOT look like it's sitting on the surface!
(Before you complement me on my fur simulation - thats a REAL cat :) )

Personally I think eyes modelled w. depth look better.... (but as said, pixar can do real depth with zero modelling, although yes, the evidence presented here (mikes eyes) makes it appear as if they dont..... lets see some "bugs life" eyes tho....)


07 July 2002, 01:57 PM
Some of you working on eyes might find this Iris generator useful;


07 July 2002, 05:41 PM
It's a trade off
while a non spherical eye would look good
it would intersect with the perfectly
spherical eye lid.

07 July 2002, 05:58 PM
a) Who said the eye-lid is spherical :)

b) the eye doesnt need to be non-spherical, but it needs to have (or to simulate via a shader) depth, i.e. pupil doesn't lite in the plane of the sphere), i.e the *point* isn't the cornea standing out, it's the iris going in!

c) A bump map is sufficient if one want to simulate the fact that the cornea bulges more than the eye itself, since it's a very small difference but it is there


07 July 2002, 06:13 PM
bump maps are do not change geometry

also the spherical eyelid is needed
for easier rigging

thats just how pixar does it...

07 July 2002, 06:13 PM
The only problem with just using a bump map is that you lose depth when looking at the eye from the side. It's no a big deal so long as you don't have closeups on the profile of your character's face. Pixar, I'm sure, probably does something really simple with just a single sphere, a couple shaders, and micropoly displacements. I'm always amazed by how complex looking the stuff some artists create is, and it always turns out to be an obvious, simple, elegant, solution.

here's a gigantic picture of their eyes.

more here

07 July 2002, 06:33 PM
bump maps are do not change geometry

The geometry does not need to change, the cornea only have to "appear" to stand out a little to get its own little specular highlight.. and as said above, the cornea going "out" is not the important one, its the iris going "in" that is


07 July 2002, 06:14 AM
I think one thing that is being overlooked by a lot of people is the thin black outline around the iris that pixar seems to have...

07 July 2002, 06:52 AM
the only special about pixars eyes that i can see is that the colouration(rainbow,iris(?)) receives light from external light sources. other then that there is only one big sphere with textures.

07 July 2002, 09:25 AM

Hey all, well, it seems like there has been some debating, argueing, and discussing, etc. in here. Well, I started this thread to figure out the way PIXAR does their eyes for if you really look closelly, and use a normal model, and use an eye you create, and then put the same model with a Pixar eye, emotion, personality, and feeling starts to comes from that model. Yes there are technical things involved with making the perfect eye, and there are many different way at approaching them. What was unique about this was that it involved only 1 shader thrown on any old eye. We had someone from PIXAR who wrote this. No modeling, no textures! Thats the great things about PIXAR is that you can achieve a great look without all the extra nonsense many people go about doing. That is fine, if you all noticed, this thread has over 100 replys in about a weeks time, all relating to this subject. Me and im sure many others were interested on the how to's as well as understanding and shwoing own examples the same time. I feel, instead of all the praise and all the hype that goes on in here for someones model, or great texture work, why not try to get many creative heads together and figure out how to create the eye. I think by the lengeth of this thread, there is enough information to tell you how to do it, as well as many great links to modeling, texturing, and creating realistic looking eyes as well. With all this said, im glad I created this thread for it helped me a great deal with understanding how an eye really makes that big of a difference, no matter how Star Wars or Pixar it is... That is my 2 cents....


07 July 2002, 12:24 PM
hi all.

I'm not sure how this will be useful to real 3D artists, and I guess this thread has said all that had to be said, but my experience using a pseudo-3D package called Zbrush has produced the following specimen:

the eyeball is a 3D sphere. it was colored (you can see the eyeballs textured in flat colour on the upper right, with a completely flat material attached to them, so that no 3D information show) and then given two materials:

a dim, kind of glossy "jelly-bean" shader for the pupil and the eye white, and a highly glossy "gel-shader" material, with a modified specular diagram, for the iris.

the eyes are lit by two sun-lights, a bright one placed on the top left, and a dimmer one placed bottom right.

all in all, it took 15 minutes to put together and render (with Zbrush's mediocre renderer), but I think the result is very interesting.

PM me in the highly unlikely case that you need any more information on this.

07 July 2002, 12:25 PM
and here's the specular curve, for what it's worth

07 July 2002, 05:18 PM
Heres something I whipped up in max... the Shellac material is a good help to make the glossy finish... the iris is a gradient ramp w. a bunch of colors w. noise on.... and a ton of submaps and stuff.....

The "sneaky" stuff lies in a bumpmap that depresses the iris "inwards" so it gets its specular reflection on the "other side".... so geometry here is pure sphere, all is material.


07 July 2002, 07:15 PM
looks very cool from the front but awful from the side.

btw. havent anyone with lightwave tried to do this with procedurals? (hmm, typo :))

07 July 2002, 08:30 PM
Is this any better? (although I think eyes modelled w/o depth inherently looks a bit wierd from the side)


07 July 2002, 09:20 PM
an eye....:cool:


07 July 2002, 12:46 AM
An update, they can now dialate, and can be linked to lights. Not much else is different, slightly different iris too.

see you,


07 July 2002, 02:05 AM
* -- RenderMan compatible shader for an eyeball.
* Makes a plastic-like surface which looks like an eyeball. It's meant
* for use on a sphere. The center of the pupil is at the "north pole",
* i.e. where the t parameter is 1. The colors of the pupil, iris, white
* part (eyeball), and blood vessels can be set individually. Fractal
* functions are used for the veining and the iris mottling.
* Ka, Kd, Ks, roughness, specularcolor - work just like the plastic shader
* iriscolor - color of the iris
* eyeballcolor - color of the white part of the eyeball
* bloodcolor - color of the blood vessels
* pupilcolor - color of the pupil (opening)
* pupilsize - size of pupil (in "t" space)
* irissize - size of iris (in "t" space), must be larger than pupilsize
* bloodshot - controls how bloodshot the eye is (0=no blood, 1=very ugly)
* veinfreq, veinlevel - control the formation of the blood vessels
* index - set between 0 and 1, lets you use this shader to generate
* non-identical eyeballs.
* ANTIALIASING: basic antialiasing of the boundaries between tissue types
* is performed.
* AUTHOR: written by Larry Gritz
* Nov 1991 - crude written of "eye" by lg for Herman's eyes for
* "Graphic Violence". Original version hard coded in C.
* Dec 1993 - "eye" modified by lg to clean up a bit.
* 10 Jan 1994 - recoded by lg in correct shading language.
* 28 Jun 94 (lg) - revamped to add veins and iris mottling, renamed
* "eyeball"
* 7 Jan 95 (wave) - changed name to LGEyeBall for namespace reasons...
* 8 Jan 95 (wave) - changed Ciris line to fix bug Larry figured out and changed defaults
* 27 Feb 95 (wave) - changed PO line to fix bug Larry figured out to actually *use* index
* last modified 8 Jan 95 by Michael B. Johnson (wave)

LGEyeBall (float Ka = .75, Kd = 0.75, Ks = 0.4, roughness = 0.1;
color specularcolor = 1;
color iriscolor = color (.135289, .084323, .372417);
color irisoutercolor = color (.403882, .343944, .68276);
color irisinnercolor = color (.065142, .040605, .179311);
color eyeballcolor = color(1,1,1);
color bloodcolor = color(.8,.05,.05);
color pupilcolor = 0;
float pupilsize = 0.05, irissize = 0.12;
float bloodshot = 1.0;
float veinfreq = 8, veinlevel = 4;
float index = 0;
#define snoise(P) (2*noise(P)-1)
#define MINFILTERWIDTH 1.0e-7
color Ct;
point Nf;
point PP, PO;
float i, turb, newturb, freq, f2;
float displayed, newdisp;
color Cball, Ciris;
float irisstat, pupilstat;
float bloody, tt;
float ks, rough;
float twidth, cutoff;

/* Calculate an appropriate filter width for antialiasing */
twidth = max (abs(Du(t)*du) + abs(Dv(t)*dv), MINFILTERWIDTH);
PO = transform ("object", P) + index;

/* Figure out where we are in the eyeball. Use the following variables:
* irisstat: 0 inside the iris/white boundary, 1 outside
* pupilstat: 0 inside the pupil/iris boundary, 1 outside
* bloody: how potentially bloody it is (fade as we get away from iris)
tt = 1-t;
irisstat = smoothstep (irissize, irissize+twidth, tt);
pupilstat = smoothstep (pupilsize, pupilsize+twidth, tt);
bloody = bloodshot * (smoothstep (-irissize, 2.5*irissize, tt));

/* If we're somewhere in the white part and it's potentially bloody,
* then calculate the veining pattern. Otherwise, just use the color
* of the whites. The veining pattern is essentially summed zero sets
* of turbulence functions. Some stretching is done to get it to look
* just right.
if (irisstat * bloody > 0.001) {
turb = bloody; freq = veinfreq;
displayed = 0;
for (i = 1; (i <= veinlevel) && (turb > 0.1); i += 1) {
newturb = 1 - abs (snoise(PO*freq + point(0,0,20*freq)));
newdisp = pow (smoothstep (.85, 1, newturb), 10);
displayed += (1-displayed) * newdisp * smoothstep (.1, .85, turb * turb);
turb *= newturb;
freq *= 2;
Cball = mix (eyeballcolor, bloodcolor, smoothstep(0,.75,displayed));
else Cball = eyeballcolor;

Ciris = mix (iriscolor, irisoutercolor, smoothstep (irissize*.8, irissize, tt));
/* If we're somewhere in the iris, calculate the iris pattern, which is
* just a stretched turbulence function.
if (irisstat < 0.9999 && pupilstat > 0.0001) {
turb = 0; freq = 1; f2 = 30;
for (i = 1; i <= 4; i += 1) {
turb += snoise (PO*f2 + point(0,0,20*f2)) / freq;
freq *= 2; f2 *= 2;
Ciris *= (1-clamp(turb/2,0,1));

/* OK, now calculate a surface texture color (Ct) based on where we are
* and what patterns we calculated.
Ct = mix (Ciris, Cball, irisstat);
Ct = mix (pupilcolor, Ct, pupilstat);

/* Make the eye a little glossier on the iris and pupil */
ks = Ks * (1+2*(1-irisstat));
rough = roughness * (1-.75*(1-irisstat));

/* Now shade like plastic, but using our calculated surface color and
* our modified values for roughness and Ks.
Oi = Os;
Nf = faceforward (normalize(N),I);
Ci = Os * ( Ct * (Ka*ambient() + Kd*diffuse(Nf)) +
specularcolor * ks*specular(Nf,-normalize(I),rough));

there is most definetly a newer updated shader that they use at Pixar....but this is how they write the shaders...then compile them.

07 July 2002, 02:30 AM
heres my first attempt, thought i would join in:)

07 July 2002, 12:17 PM
old one done with PRMan

07 July 2002, 07:42 PM
hey fluxgrafx,

your mel script sounds interesting, I think ill give it a try to see where it takes me. Tnx for posting it up. As far as everyone else in here. It seems like we have every eye with almost every program known to man with 3d.

----------Please READ---------
I feel that the PIXAR eye has been figured out and many people are close if not have the answer already. Im curious what they look on really models you all are working, or even realistic eyes!!! Sort of a new topic, but it can bring some realistic and interesting results, post finished products if you have them..


I need to get back to work! :eek:

07 July 2002, 08:32 PM
hey..this is actually not a mel script. this is pure programming (...Original version hard coded in C....)
it is for use with their software etc. i did a decent amount of fooling around/study with BMRT a little while ago, that's how I know about it. It is almost the same as Renderman except it uses raytracing instead of shadow maps. It uses the .rib format for output...--- rendrib -d 4 file.rib

oh yea...also it is DEFINETLY not mine. It was originally written by Larry Gritz, one of the people who helped to invent 3D graphics and programs from what I understand.

07 July 2002, 09:10 PM
K, this link might already be given, if not it might be interesting, one big thread on eyemodeling, check it out !!!!!!!!

E Y E M O D E L I N G T H R E A D !!! !!! !!! (

07 July 2002, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by derwolpertinger
interesting discussion! :)
so i also worked on an eye but tried to do it only with the use of shaders not geometry. but i'm not totally satisfied cause i can't manage the iris to cast a shadow so that it is darker in the upper area and lighter in the lower area. i've used a bump map to simulate the geometry. tell me what you think and how i can improve things plz.

07 July 2002, 10:09 AM
Do PIXAR really do it ALL in shader? Been trying to visualize it in my head but can't. Looks like it's time to brush off those renderman skills

07 July 2002, 12:47 PM
Remember rendermans extensive displacement abilities.. hence you can take a sphere, and write a shader that turns it into a human head with ears, eyes, hair, e.t.c. all perfectly modelled...


07 July 2002, 11:17 PM
hi there I just noticed this post on eyes and thought I would let you know there's a free scene on my site with different eyes, there not great but thought I would just let you know:hmm:,
o and also there not Procedural eye Shaders which I think this post is mainly about.:wavey:

07 July 2002, 06:03 AM
eVERYONE seems to be showing off eyes and heads.. ehh.. ok. here is mine, why not...

03 March 2003, 08:53 PM
Well, I think this is pretty simple to achieve in MAYA, I don´t want to be too software specific but with a "little" bump and a layer shader it´s done.

See my attemp, only a NURBS sphere and it´s perfectly ¿"dilatable"?, mmm, sure this doesn´t exist in English..., well, I can set the pupil size as I want easily:

Check I out!

Note how the muscles of the iris deforms to fit the new pupil size


03 March 2003, 09:46 PM
theres always the simbiont shaders
available here (

one of shaders does a pretty good job on eyes, its got a lot of parameters that can be chnaged, pupil dilation, iris colour etc.

( see image )

Serial Killer
03 March 2003, 01:34 AM
Heres my contribution, maybe late but here it is tell me if you like it also if go and check Daniel Martinez Lara home page there you can find nice eyes

03 March 2003, 06:26 AM
hey guys .. great thread ... i have been wondering how to recreate the PIXAR look in the eyes too ... i have noticed the simple sphere with shaders on Mike Wizouski in Monsters Inc first time i saw it .. because it looks wrong from the side but from the front you cant tell .. though the other characters with smaller eyes seem to have some geometry ( though pumo said no GEo .. so i dont know :P )

anyway thought id post my attempt ... this was done in max 5 by the way :P

03 March 2003, 06:29 AM
some other colors

03 March 2003, 06:31 AM
again something else

( sorry im new here and im not sure how to post multiple links to pics in one post cuse there seems tot be only one upload pic per post when i hit reply .. anyway )

03 March 2003, 06:33 AM
heres the same eyes in an unfinished head of a model so you get an idea what they look like being used in an actual model

03 March 2003, 08:26 AM
ok... cool thread.. now.. it's my turn to post some eye( ok and the the girl who belong to them )

and i f you want to see more of the girl.. ( warning xtrm nudity )


03 March 2003, 12:33 PM
Not very pixar-ish... but what the hell


w00t click me w00t (


I just do eyes (

Taken from this thread of mine... (

03 March 2003, 05:16 PM
Ooh ooh me me!

03 March 2003, 07:05 PM
Found this threat last night and played around for 20-30mins.
It's a very ugly shader (structure wise), but it produces decent results at very quick render times. (2-3secs in active-viewport).

It's applied to a regular sphere with a UW-Cyl. map.
The pupil and iris radius is control via two sliders, I also wired two spline-circles to that to get and idea of the pupil/iris-size in wireframe mode.

The colour of the iris is completly controlled using the ambient/diffuse-colour properties of the base material.

Some screenshots I took today when I came home from work.

Next I'll find a better solution that should provide a better side-view.

Regards, Jens Churchill.

03 March 2003, 08:10 PM
Here is my attemp, check this scene in MAYA 4.5 and let me know, pupil size is controlled by a custom atribute in the main layer shading group.


03 March 2003, 12:15 AM
Joje, that looks really nifty... Care to share how you did the iris material?

03 March 2003, 08:43 PM
i found this topic and decided to give it a try...i used the photoshop action to make the iris texture and from that i made spec, bump and color maps...anyhow here it is, made it with blender using its scanline renderer

03 March 2003, 03:08 AM
Wow! Very nice eye. :beer:

03 March 2003, 05:27 AM
man I wish I did that eye :)

03 March 2003, 12:16 AM
mmmmm... eyes.

03 March 2003, 04:22 PM
derwolpertinger: eye dilation in cinema very cool.
see this site:

don't suppose you've still got that cinema file so i can take a look..would appreciate it..see how its done in sla.

thanks guys.

04 April 2003, 05:12 PM
flingster -Damn, sorry I think I either deleted it or it's on another computer was a simple gradient apllied to a circucular gradient which masked a distort layer on a colorizer which consisted of 2 a noise functions mixed both with extended y values. The real trick was to get the top grandient down to give it that nice dark on top, and a nice spec below.
any questions I can try to explain it a little better. It was decently fast as as well, no raytracing obviously.

I think a few are forgetting that the challenge was to create it with a single shader(s) on a perfect sphere. (ie no iris, lens)

04 April 2003, 10:33 PM
l_farley13_l: thanks...appreciate it...:thumbsup:

04 April 2003, 12:22 AM
Originally posted by l_farley13_l
I think a few are forgetting that the challenge was to create it with a single shader(s) on a perfect sphere. (ie no iris, lens)

Yeah, I forgot... heh... I always model eyes with a concave iris, and raytraced cornea. I still don't understand why people are so concerned over doing it shader-only. :shrug:

04 April 2003, 10:27 PM
u gys wanna some eyes? so take some eyes? How bout some eyes right here?

Well i´ve made those(cool heh?) but i aint still not satisfied with them(cant say theyre pixar eyes, theyre more realistic).

I´ve been working on them for months and i realize that they´ve got a huge problem...not in the texturing but in the seems if i use baroody´s pixar eye tutorial if u make a close up of the eye u´ll c its not in pefect harmony the eye-white sphere and the iris mesh...i wonder how i can fix that...

i wonder why they suck


04 April 2003, 11:23 PM
Cranium - beacause generally shaders are faster than raytracing (and pixar did 'em like that :))


04 April 2003, 11:36 PM
Also, a perfect sphere lets you quickly cheat the eyelid as a solid instead of a thin deforming skin and it won't noticable intersect the cornea.

I always build the iris funneling backwards too, even though that's not how it's structured in reality. It's a cheat if you don't want to apply refraction to the cornea.

04 April 2003, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by l_farley13_l
pixar did 'em like that :)

If Pixar jumped off a cliff, would you do it too? :p

Heheh-- anyway, I always thought eyes were important enough they were worth the extra time to look especially spiffy. Pixar style eyeballs aren't necessarily that realistic, I think.... mebbe that's just me.

04 April 2003, 12:34 AM
Hey guys, i must have been asleep at the wheel here because i only just caught up with this thread.

Ah the eyes! The window of the soul. Our eyes are actually quite simple with much of the work being done by Slim and PRMan.

I have attached a FTB wireframe that shows the simple modeling behind the eye.

Our eyes are made to look wet. It is odd that with all the talk here about the shape and specularity and reflection and even caustics, the one thing i didn't see any mention of (and it might be here, long thread you know!) was the fact that it is wet. Moisture gathers at the bottom of the eye, it drives the surface quality and gives the eye that gliding feel that ours have.

Also, the 'correct' shape causes several problems. Firstly it intersects with the eyelid in a way not easily dealt with. Secondly, as seen in some of the renders, it can be hard to create a solid 'look at' or 'gaze' from the side view, because the pupil is receeded.

We do use a fairly basic semi-flattened sphere shape. Though the one image shown here earlier of Mike, for some reason, doesn't look right to me. In the wireframe you will see the pupil and iris are colored. The wire frame is colored to help us animators and to represent other important data.

The most essential thing to bringing your to life though is in the motion. We all spent a long time getting those looks down. The eye really is critical, but so is the surrounding features, like cheeks, eyelids, eyebrows and so on.

04 April 2003, 07:51 AM
Excuse me if this has already been said, but I was just viewing some Monsters Inc. images and I noticed the subsurface scattering on the eyes. I do not know if you can shader this, but there are ways to fake it, which work pretty well.

04 April 2003, 08:07 AM
this thread is still alive :p

anyway it's cool that the saint took some time to come and clarify some idea...

and yep the original idea of the thread was to create a nice PIXAR like eye (that could be animated and react to light) but with texture only...

04 April 2003, 09:12 PM
Hey guys! I love eyes!
U see my character's eyes in WIP session? What you think about it?


04 April 2003, 11:56 PM
I love them!, how did you make that noisy specular?

04 April 2003, 07:35 PM
my first attempt of the eye :cool:

04 April 2003, 03:02 PM
not bad at all DJB343 esp. for your first attempt... i didnt know a think bout shaders, when i first started so - my eye swould have been ****ed up lol


04 April 2003, 07:55 PM
hey thanx for the comment ;)

10 October 2003, 03:19 PM
this is worth a look, eye rendered a la pixar with the source for the shader included
go to the bottum :)

10 October 2003, 07:34 AM
U are the best! Your eyes are perfect!!! I`ve read your tutor about eyes its exellent. Can you tell how do you make a lot of thin lines which go from center of eye. Is it handwork?

Also eyes on this picture u posted has too much reflection, i think.

10 October 2003, 07:39 AM
Nooooooooo :)

The new one is here:

Take a look.

Yes, is everything hand painted.
Visit my web site for details on tutorial session.


10 October 2003, 08:00 AM
Eyes too reflective. It looks good, but not realistic. Look at yourself in mirror and you see...

10 October 2003, 08:15 AM
Well, I read PIXAR EYES! On this topic... not REALISTIC EYES! ;)

10 October 2003, 08:48 AM

10 October 2003, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by Antropus
The new one is here:

Hey - your characters are great! Your texture and materials are very good. In that image, a few parts are too bright though - the back of the mouth, the highlights inside of the upper ears, the highlights right at the top of the eyes where there should be eyelash shadows. And then half his teeth aren't lit; it looks strange to see the unlit front tooth in front of the brighter mouth interior. You have your own style that isn't a copy of any company's style, and nobody expects you to be doing realism. But, making things believable, as you've done already with your model and texture, should include believable lighting. Even if it gets stylized, lighting should still have its own logic that people can read in your image. I know this is a modeling forum and you don't want people talking about lighting, but I hope you know what I'm talking about, and from seeing your abilities I think you could take another pass at the lighting for an even better image.


10 October 2003, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by jeremybirn
Hey - your characters are great! Your texture and materials are very good. In that image, a few parts are too bright though - the back of the mouth, the highlights inside of the upper ears, the highlights right at the top of the eyes where there should be eyelash shadows. And then half his teeth aren't lit; it looks strange to see the unlit front tooth in front of the brighter mouth interior. You have your own style that isn't a copy of any company's style, and nobody expects you to be doing realism. But, making things believable, as you've done already with your model and texture, should include believable lighting. Even if it gets stylized, lighting should still have its own logic that people can read in your image. I know this is a modeling forum and you don't want people talking about lighting, but I hope you know what I'm talking about, and from seeing your abilities I think you could take another pass at the lighting for an even better image.


wow i love this your book taught me a shed load so thanks whilst i get chance..:thumbsup:

10 October 2003, 05:12 AM
Hi Jeremy, a lot of work here. Did you see my old lady?

You have posted very good points here. I'm a great fan of your work for latest years (your tutorials are great!). Congratulations and many thanks for share some of your skills! I'm trying to do my short movie in progress the best I can, but it includes some technical problems like my "super ultra render farm" (1 Dual Pentium III 800Mhz, 1 Athlon XP 2000+ and 1 Pentium III 400Mhz... yeah, I'm depressed :shrug: ).
But I think your tips will not affect render times and will help me a lot. All my characters are in progress and I hope until the final version, lighting will be better. (more works and WIPs from my movie).

Many thanks again :)

11 November 2005, 02:12 PM
Had a crack...done in max. one texture image & just using the basic max procedural shaders.
followed Harrads lead and.....kinda works.....all crits/advice welcome.

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