View Full Version : Eyelid / eye area modelling - Request for opinions

09 September 2003, 01:12 AM
Hi everyone,

I am modelling a character's head right now, and I'm working on the eye area. Right now I've modelled the eyelids closed, so I know they will close correctly, and also to make the weighting easier when I rig it for animation.

Is this the normal method? Would it be better to model them open for any reason? I'd rather poll the opinion pool now than redo work later on when I'm knee deep in a face rig.

I can't see any real advantage to modelling them open unless you want to show off the model in default pose and wish them to be open. Ah well.




09 September 2003, 01:27 AM
This is generally correct, both for tex. mapping and for SDK cluster rotations, though most prefer the 'open eyed beauty' pose as their 'base shape', chiefly because the viewer is more likely to be critical of the shape and appearance of the open eye, not least also from an emotive standpoint, as this 'pose' is inclusive of the pupil, iris, etc....


09 September 2003, 04:30 AM
model it open, this way it's a bit easier to make the character blink
by making a few cluster and properly weighing their CVs...
i model them open, i can see the eyeball when modeling for more accuracy.
hope this helps

09 September 2003, 04:55 AM
Thanks for posting so quickly!

I think I'll go with eyes open in the model, but try to leave enough space up there to easily pick out the verts for weighting.

Atwooki's comment about the viewer being more likely to be critical about the open eye is what's cemented it for me - I was thinking completely from an "ease of rigging" direction, instead of the artistic frame of mind that I should have been in.

Do you guys like to make an inner eyelid that countours the eyeball for a short distance back into the head? I started doing that to prevent any gaps being apparent between the lid and the eye, and it seems to work out ok, but it does leave a mess of vertices in the eye area.

I don't want to sound too lazy - I'm just always on the lookout to simplify and reduce the clutter I have to deal with and still get the character I like.


09 September 2003, 08:43 AM
Do you guys like to make an inner eyelid that countours the eyeball for a short distance back into the head?

I guess I'm even more lazy, because I just let the inner eyelid collide with the eyeball in a 90 angle (The eyelid sticks inside the eyeball). If I would do Final fantasy style closeups on the eye I'd probably have to model more detail, but for every other render you'd never see the difference.

09 September 2003, 07:28 PM
I have a question about modelling the eyelids. I need to know the size of the eyeball itself, to get the eyelids correct the eye must be of correct size. So, anyone got a good reference picture? It would be enough for me to know the proportions of the diameter of the coloured area (iris and pupil togehter) and the "total" diameter of the eye, though a picture showing how much of the eye that is hidden behind the eyelids would be great too.


09 September 2003, 08:26 PM
The total diameter of the eyeball is 25mm, which is much smaller than I first expected. Giving your character bigger eyeballs makes it look more female.

The size of the iris is half of that of the eye, that would be 12,5 mm (checked this with a mirror and a ruler, it's about right :) ).

The shape of the white part is not completely spherical if the anatomical drawings are correct: the front is a bit more flat.

The eyeball is a very smooth shape. Because the eyelids are following the shape of the eyeball they are also very smoothly shaped. Most of the time the part of the eyelid that is directly against the eye has no bump or sudden angles, so take your time to smooth it out.
Especially the inner part of the eyelid (the slightly more pinkish part) takes some time to create, since it is of a very even width and it runs at exactly the same angle along the eye.

09 September 2003, 07:30 PM
thanks Marcel. I have some other questions, first on your picture the iris is curved outwards, while I often see that people make it curve inwards, which is correct?

09 September 2003, 09:28 AM
hi count0 just thought i'd jumpin on this one :)

the eyeball anatomically has no concave.

why some people model it with the concave is because
it adds a bit of depth to the eye and the concave catches the light at certain angles just like the real iris sometimes does,
you see the real anatomically correct iris has thousands of little fibers that overlap (almost like in layers) those fibers contract and open the pupil like little muscles pulling and pushing inward toward the pupil. those fibers along with the cornea are what catch the light in real life so in modeling you can't go and model every single little fiber to have light catch so in stead you would just bring in the whole iris (make it concave).

ive attached a little pic for you to look at.

Hope this helps!

09 September 2003, 11:55 AM
Thanks MRAY, very helpful info!
Another question though, the cornea is "bulging" outwards quite much on the picture Marcel posted above. This causes problems when modelling the eyelids as you must make it follow the cornea. I'm not sure if reflection/refraction will take care of that but now it looks like the eyelid is not touching the eyeball at all on some places. And when I animate the eyes to look at something, won't it be very hard to make the eyelids always follow the eye as it's not completely round?

09 September 2003, 12:56 PM
take a look at this one: :thumbsup:

09 September 2003, 09:10 PM
Thanks Digidim! Those wireframes looks like a very good reference, but it doesn't answer my question ;)

09 September 2003, 12:16 AM
I think I'm going to try what you said Marcel, and start bringing the eyelid right back into the eye - you're right, I probably won't ever be that close up on the model. I still let myself get very caught up in modelling too many little detail.



09 September 2003, 01:54 AM
Originally posted by Digidim
take a look at this one: :thumbsup:

WOW thanks a bunch for that link and im not thanking you for helping me on making an eye. I just found out some kid has been copying 3d art for awhile now i was always suspicious TY again

09 September 2003, 08:51 AM
Copying 3d art?! Get the stakes! Burn him!

Seriously, I think the images on that page are not copied. PrimitiveX is a group of freelancers, one of which is Peter Syomka: the maker of those images.

09 September 2003, 01:29 PM
yea i know that the site you posted is legit its the kid in my town err that was here that was coping them we found like another 6 more. he left to washington to go to college in this 3d animation feild. i feel sorry for who ever hires him

10 October 2003, 01:51 PM
Hello everyone, here's my try on making eyelids. I'm not sure if it's correct so so please comment :) I'm trying to make it as realistic as possible. (the black wireframe is the cornea that will be transparent later. As it's bulging out over the iris it might cause some problems (the cornea will clip into the lids) when you rotate the eye or won't that matter as it's transparent?

10 October 2003, 02:04 PM
That looks great Count0! Would you mind posting a wireframe of the lid for curiosity?


10 October 2003, 04:19 PM
Thanks Obsidian, sure I'll post a wire too. I'm having a little problem making the inner corner of the eyelid (marked on the picture of the wire) especially that muscle (or what it might be) around the eyeball (I hope you understand what I mean). If anyone have any good ideas on how to make it that would be great!

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