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The Key to Animating Eyes #TopTip

  • Tutorials
  • Posted by Anahita Tabarsi on March 01 2016

Into animation? Here's a #toptip from the studio via our Lead Animator John Kennedy - this one explains the key to drawing appealing eyes for your characters.

John: We've all heard that a persons eyes are the windows to their soul, well this same analogy can be applied to animated characters.

A Characters eyes are very important in animation, they are usually the focus of the audience’s attention.

When the pupil is in the centre of an eye the character can feel very starey/vacant and has a tendency to look lifeless onscreen. When filling in the pupils for the eyes, avoid the centre of the eyeball where possible. If your characters eyeline needs to look at an object that puts the pupil in the centre of the eye, try tilting the head towards or away from the object so the pupil can be offset to one side.

If the pupil must be in the centre, bring the top lid down or play with the expression, and perhaps use a bit of a squint or cross the eyes slightly to get more focus out of them.

Never completely surround the pupil with the white of the cornea unless the character is frantic or shocked.

Another rule of thumb to follow is to keep the highest point of the top lid above the location of the pupil. Play with the curvature of the lid to add a more fleshy feel to the eye. Eyelids inherit some movement from the eyes' rotation, the eye doesn’t just slide freely underneath.

Check out this awesome free tutorial from animschool on how to animate an appealing blink:

Anahita Tabarsi

Anahita is Brown Bag Films' Marketing Director, Digital & Social and drinks more than five coffees a day...

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