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Making eyes

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I thought I'd have a bash at this and tbh I'm not unhappy with the results, except that they are HOOOGE!!!!

I used a French template download with a mask in place, but having used the SL template without a mask, I find the same thing. The template and tute is here: http://www.avatars-3d.com/tutorial-template-secondlife/262-eye-avatar-secondlife

Now, I would love to do something about this myself and fix the mask, but I only know what they do on Hallowe'en night.

The template is very good otherwise. Can anyone help me out on how to make smaller eyes, but still use my lovely masks?

Thanks again from a very grateful muppet. :)eyes for furom.png

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When you say the eyes are huge, I assume you're referring to the fact that the irises you've got there are almost twice the size of RL human irises, in proportion to the rest of the eye.  In a real eye, the diameter of the iris is roughly 1/3 the width of the eye slit.  In your screenshot, the irises are about 60% of the width of the eye slits.

The easy solution, logical solution is simply to reduce the size of the iris area on your template by about 40-45% of its present size.  That would bring it into normal human proportions.

Unfortunately however, if you do that, ypu'll find that the irises look like little more than beady little dots in the middle of a sea of white.  This is because the avatar eye isn't (usually) shaped like a real human eye.  On most avatars, the eye slit is grossly out of proportion, in terms of its opening vs. its width, and the degree to which it wraps around the eyeball. 

Furthermore, most avatars' eyes are way too big in proportion to the whole face.  For whatever reason, people tend to overemphasize the eyes when designing face shapes, resulting in eyes that are too large, and too close together.  Your screenshot is a perfect example of this. 

On a real face, the eyes are almost exactly 20% of the width of the head.  There's enough room to fit a third eye in between, as well as a fourth and fifth on either side.  The eyes in your picture, however, are closer to 29% of width of the head, which means they're almost 50% wider than they should be.  The result is eyes that appear to be too close together, and temporal bones that appear to be way too narrow.  The whole face looks like it's been squished in a vice, when compared to the eyes' widths.

Granted, part of this is due to camera distortion from zooming in.   The image looks a bit fisheyed.  But still, even if you were to straighten that out, I'd be willing to be the eyes would still be too big.  99.99% of avatar eyes are.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, by the way.  So don't get too bent out of shape over it.  These kinds of proportional "mistakes" are so common, they've become the norm, the accepted aesthetic of SL.  Avatars don't look like real people; they look like avatars.  It's a cartoon-like styling.

If you want to, you could easily shirnk those irises.  But you'll have to experiment to find what you consider to be the happy medium between realistic intr-eye proportion, and acceptable looking proportion with respect to the face as a whole.


My biggest problems with the eyes you've created have nothing to do with the proportions.  If you want my critique, here's what I'd say. 

First, the irises look like circles with stripes converging toward the center (because that's what they are), which is not how real irises look.  Take a good look at a real iris, and you'll see that it's not really made of up of converging stripes.  It's actually built more like a carpet, with what appear to be millions of little twisty hair-like structures.  They do all converge toward the pupil, but they don't do it so linearly as what you've got there.  There's a lot more noise in the pattern, if you know what I mean  The lines you've got are way too straight.

Second,  the lines are far wider than they should be in most places.  In some areas, there's they are so overly wide (primarily in the upper right quadrant) that it looks like the person has some sort of bruising of the iris, or other ocular malady going on.  No real person has wedges of black or wide stripes of blue in their irises like that.

Third, you don't have any veins in the whites.  Nobody's eyes are pure white.  There are always red veins.


I'd suggest you ditch the tutorial you used, and give this one a whirl:  http://www.3dtotal.com/team/Tutorials/antro_eye2/antro_eyetex_01.php (or any of the literally hundreds of thousands of good Photoshop eye tutorials that are all over the web).  You'll have to adjust the proportions to make it all fit the SL eyeball, of course, but that's hardly a big deal.  Also, the author suggests starting with a 1000x1000px canvas.  Change that to 1024x1024.  Downsize to 256x256 before upload, of course, since that's the size the texture will end up at when applied to the avatar.


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I didn't mean to make it a bitter pill, Eloise.  Sorry if it sounded at all harsh.  That wasn't my intent.  The "art teacher voice" doesn't always translate too well to plain text (which is why I so rarely give artistic criticism on the forums, and instead almost always focus just on the technicals).  My purpose was just to try to suggest that you might better approach the problem from a different direction, rather than get too caught up in just the proportions.

In any case, I'm glad you took the advice to heart.  The problems with the iris weren't really your fault, from a technical perspective.  You followed the instructions you had, flawlessly  It just happens that they weren't particularly useful instructions, at least not if realism was the goal.

If it's any consolation, eyes are always the hardest thing to make, in any medium, from pencil to paint to sculpture to pixels.  Human beings are absurdly good at recognizing facial features.  We are hard-wired for that, from birth.  And eyes happen to be the one feature we focus on the most.

It's not a simple task to make eyes look convincing, from scratch. Keep at it.  Try multiple techniques.  Look at lots of different tutorials.  You'll make it work. :)

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Chosen, I wanted to say thanks for posting that tutorial for eyes.  I tried it myself, and have discovered that I definitely need to find my graphic tablet and pen in order to do it justice.  My mouse was just too unwieldy to give me the fine control needed to get a decent approximation of the final outcome of this tutorial.  That being said, again, thanks for posting it.  Makes me want to make my own set of eyes for my avatar now. :smileyhappy:

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Looks like you're making great progress, Eloise.  What an amazing difference.  Those new eyes look very good. 

Strictly speaking, the irises are still not quite realistic, in terms of their structure, but that's perfectly OK.  The shading in them is very pretty, and more importantly, you've created a great sense of liquidity in every part of the eye.  Those eyes look moist, reflective, three-dimensional; there's a very convincing illusion of depth behind the lenses.  Nicely done, really.  I'd call it a very effective example of illustrative realism.


Kalyn, yeah, there's no substitute for a Wacom tablet.  By all means, if you've got one, use it. :)  (And for anyone who doesn't have one, get one!)

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WOW! Thank you. :smileyhappy:

I agree about the irises. They are the part that needs the most work.

Of all the things I've tried to make, I'm enjoying eyes the most, simply because it's such a challenge to make them look real, so your compliments about that are a great encouragement.

On another note, I have a cheapo Median drawing tablet but I still love it, but for the eyes, I used my fingerpad on my laptop. It was all I had for such a long time that it almost feels like holding a paintbrush to me now.

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Here are some eyes I made.  The iris is from an image i found in a googe search.  Just use Google Images and search for 'human eyes' or 'human iris'.   I used GIMP to manipulate the image I downloaded and get it into a good texture and a good size for my avatar.  There was a lot of fiddling and many uploads of temporary textures before I was happy with the results.

Oh... and remember to scale the image smaller for the final upload when you make a permanent texture.



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I have made eye templates with the purpose to be able to Photoshop your beloved one into your eyes. Except for the picture of the lover that reflects in the pupil the eyes are handdrawn on several layers.


For those that might be interested: I sell the Photoshop file with a copyright license. (Use "eye-in-eye" as search term on the marketplace to see them pop up).

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  • 2 years later...

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