Art: How do you make eyes?
 
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  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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    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 04:46 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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    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 04:39 PM. Reason: spelling
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSchrader View Post
    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
    That's similar to the Henson method, their corneas were two dimensional paintings though which were then covered in clear resin to make them appear 3d.

    Here's a link to the book on amazon if anyone's interested:
    http://www.amazon.com/No-Strings-Att...751600&sr=11-1

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    How about doing it this way:

    1) Roll balls of sculpey, bake them.
    2) Paint them
    3) Insert them into the model, sculpt the eyelids around them
    4) Bake
    5) Mask off the area around the eyes with rubber masking fluid or similar
    6) Dab them with gloss arcylic or liquid sculpey. Maybe put on a little extra, tilt the sculpture so excess will form a slight swell over the irises.

    -or- make small "contacts" by dripping small droplets of clear arcylic or like...and letting dry. Then glue them directly on to the eyes and paint over with gloss arcylic or polyurethrane

    I haven't tried this but it's an idea that might work....

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  17. #16
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    Ok here's my idea, I've used it to pretty successful effect

    get a sphere. I use the wooden balls u can get at any craft store. file down the pupil area. u can either paint it in, or if you have fine tip prisma markers they work nice. prop the sphere in some clay, pupil up. Get some glaze, put a few drops on it, let it dry, put a few more on. The excess will settle at the bottom, but that will be inside the head anyways, and after gradual application, the flat pupil should have built up a rounder tip. It's sort of a poor man's jim henson process, but it looks groovy if the pupil is painted well.

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    Thanks Darkpower, I think I will buy this book just to have around.

    Shadowwing - I started off sculpting around baked balls of clay only to find out that I really sucked at painting eyes afterwards! Frustrated, I tried the pre-painting with the aribrush and they looked more realistic and alignment in the head was easy. This worked well until I was sculpting the lids. I kept scratching the very thin layer of acrylic paint with tools! Even some of the rubber tipped ones. I think this was partly due to two factors. One, I was not heat setting the acrylic paint! (DUH) And two, I was softening my clay mixture with Sculpey clay softener and this was leaching into and jacking with the binders in the acrylic paint! That's when I started looking for a clear coating.

    However, after my own "doi de doi" moment, I will try heat setting the acrylic paint first and then after the sculpt is baked I will try your method of masking and then adding a clear!

    Thanks Prophet and SW! I also like the contact ideas! I found some great Photoshop eye tutorials that I think will make awesome two D printed eyes that I can then apply, somehow, to a sphere. I will let you know.

    R

    Last edited by RSchrader; May 10th, 2007 at 12:19 PM. Reason: spelling
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  19. #18
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    random brainfart:
    there is an acrylic glaze suited for 180 degree (130 being polymer cure where I live).
    Works totally fine for human eyes but when used to thick (animal eyes) it can fog up blueishly :/


    greets

    Aky

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  20. #19
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    I usually paint my eyes with translucent paints on white glass beads. I work very small and have not found it worthwhile to purchase eyes. At my scale (6 to 14 inches; I usually need eyes between 4 and 8 millimeters), I don't think the Henson technique would make much difference; I just paint on the round bead and glaze it with faux stained-glass paints after the whole thing is baked.

    If you're going to try the Jim Henson thing, though, the glaze you want is an acrylic glaze from Rustoleum called Varathane. You get it at the hardware store in the wood-glaze section, unless they have a whole aisle devoted to Rustoleum. Be sure to get the acrylic-based one, not the oil-based one. You can apply this to polymer clay before curing it or after. It's best to let it dry overnight before curing. It won't yellow in the oven or for years afterwards.

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