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Thread: How do you make eyes?

  1. #1
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    How do you make eyes?

    When sculpting, how do you make realistic eyes? I know some people use glass eyes (from taxidermy supply), but they can be expensive...what I would like to know is how do you make your own realistic eyes?
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  3. #2
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    I have book on the Jim Henson company. The way they make them is to get a white sphere and file flat a surface about the shape of the iris. They then paint the eye design on this surface, along with any other veins or other details.

    They then put the finished paint job in a spherical mold and inject clear resin which covers the painted area and the rest of the eye making it spherical once more. The clear resin helps magnify the paint design, making it appear 3d.
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    The Dark Power: That sounds rather complex...

    Shadowwing: Look around on the net, it all depends on what you're looking for. Look at the Shiflett brothers art and you don't see fake eyes, looks like they just use clay. I use beads sometimes and sometimes I just use clay, granted I just started but you gotta find what you like and look at what others are doing.
    Last edited by little_john; May 7th, 2007 at 03:46 PM. Reason: Forgot something...
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    Well the query was about realistic eyes... :0)

    Beads are good to if you just want something the right size. I often use beads usually used for making bracelets.
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    Thanks, Darkpower. That does help give me ideas. Of course I can't bake resin in the oven with sculpey (it is flammable), but I probably could make "contacts" out of resin and glue them on for realistic look. I know that for small sculptures, painted eyes or simply holes would suffice, but for larger sculptures, it's nice to have eyes that stand out.
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    well when i was being taught i was told this.

    Make a cavity in the head where you want the eyes. make 2 balls of clay so they just fit. take another peice of clay and flaten it out so it's thin. Using a pasta machine is great for this. It doesn't need to be a big peice either, just big enough to over lap part of the eye and the face to make the lower lid, do the same for the upper lidd. blend the peices in (just not the part on the eye itself..

    good luck, it's loads of fun to get down
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    Hey Shadowwing,

    I have wondered this myself! I use "real eyes" brand of acrylic eyes for larger sculpts but I also wanted smaller eyes that were not so expensive! I spent some time searching the net and this is one of the few Links to making small eyes that I have found.

    I adapted my own technique. Here's how it goes!
    Using white SculpeyIII, I make the appropriate sized eyeballs and bake them. Then I use an airbrush, a small circle template, and airbrush ready acrylic paint (ComArt, although any acrylic will work) to paint the iris and pupil. If your have this stuff on hand, this part goes pretty fast, if you don't then hand painting is an option. Next I heatset the acrylic paint! This is important, if you don't the glaze will dissolve the paint job. I the attach the painted eyeballs to one end of a hooked strand of wire with some soft clay and dip them into Sculpey glaze. I then hang them to dry. As the layer of glaze dries, it will form a mild droplet over the Iris/pupil thus adding to the realism.

    Here's the catch...............I tried this with polyurethane and the eyes looked fantastic.............that is, until I baked the finished sculpt! The polyU turned brown! I have been told you can bake the sculpey glaze after it cures. But I don't know this for a fact! Today is the first day I have used the Sculpey glaze and my first batch of eyes are drying! So I have not experimented with baking them! I will let you know!

    Ray
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    OK.............you can NOT re-bake Sculpey glaze!
    I'm out of ideas for now.

    Ray
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    Shadowing... why not try the same Jim Hensen approach... but instead of making contacts... just use real ones? Judging from my girlfriend who wears them, I think they too might amplify the color of the iris too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Power View Post
    Well the query was about realistic eyes... :0)
    Good point, my bad...I use the hematite (sp) beads myself.

    Looks like there are some good ideas I hope someone has a workable solution. The more I look at this thread the more I want to put realistic eyes in my sculpts (sigh).
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    This may or may not be relevant here, but I saw a documentary on making false eyes for people missing one. The process was similar to what The Dark Power suggests, and included a layer with painted on veins and some very thin threads that were glued on with a painted glue for a few veins.

    They put a clear resin over them and buffed them clear.
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  13. #12
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    I agree with DP and LJ, the operative word being realistic. I have tried most of the techniques I have found on the IN. They just don't seem realistic to me.

    I am interested in the Henson technique if anyone can provide a url to a site that may show how it's done.
    I found this site today. Is this similar to the Henson way?

    I can buy real eyes down to 13mm for $3.75 per set. The problem is that I need smaller eyes.

    Ray
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    Anybody tried using that kind of technique with liquid sculpy? May be worth a shot, make some small print outs of eyes, glue em cover em with liquid sculpy...dunno never used the stuff...anybody know if this would work?
    Last edited by little_john; May 9th, 2007 at 03:39 PM. Reason: spelling
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