Thoughts on Eyes


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @pumeco
    Creepy is the correct word.
    Beautiful?
    Certainly not.
    Realistic?
    Not in this galaxy.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    0_1466950882500_MegFoster2.jpg

    0_1466950994350_Traci_ColorPencil.jpg

    @pumeco please note. I have a B.A. in art, I have been drawing for over 50 years and doing digital art for over 30 years, I have recieved awards for my artwork. This is my background, fact and not self professed expertise. Top image is a photo of Actress Meg Foster ... the closest I could find to having eyes like your image. The second is a prismacolor portrait that I made of my roommate's daughter on her graduation. I study eyes. (maybe because I'm visually ipaired, but I've done extensive studies both with traditional art at digital. I have threads around the web on getting realistic eyes in Poser, Just ask bagginsbill, who has helped me immensely in this goal. I don't have it perfect yet myself, but I"'m working on doing my best.

    0_1466951956224_Danny3.jpg

    Honestly, I find your eyes far less lifelike than any of these, even if I need to use my own studies as an example. Fellow posters, If I am out of line here, please put me in my place. I have unfortunately taken up the challenge here and this has been bugging me for days. Also ... I totally agree with Tony. Sorry.



  • @pumeco tl; dr



  • @Boni Really impressed by your Prismacolor portrait. I never even once managed to draw an open smile without making it look creepy and wrong. Great work!



  • Thank you, @Teyon, despite what anyone else says, for moving this to another thread. I think this issue does bear some discussion. Assuming the OP stays out of it, I think we can all behave like reasonable people and have a valuable discussion.

    I don't agree at all with the approach the OP took to this issue, nor do I agree with his assertion that his image was somehow the pinnacle of realism. I mean, seriously.

    But... The issue of eyes and realism is as old as art.

    It's something most of us have thought about, struggled with, and sought advice on in many a forum thread.

    So. Eyes.

    Things I thought were fair (and these points are just my opinion based on my experience; I'm not stating these as any kind of universal facts -- and let's be clear: I am NOT validating the OP in any way; I'm only addressing this because almost all of us have thought about this issue):

    • baked reflections aren't necessarily as good as real reflections
      I think baked reflections certainly can have their place, though. Sometimes you want a specific effect. Sometimes you want to do a studio portrait with windows reflecting in the eyes, without going through the struggle of setting up a scene around your character. Sometimes playing with the real reflections and lights doesn't give you the result you want. And this is the key: it's the result the artist wants that is primary.

    • too much reflection is bad
      I have to agree with this; sometimes eyes in cg look like they're made of solid polished glass -- and they aren't. At least mine aren't. If you have eyes (or one eye) that is made of solid polished glass, I apologize for this statement. ;)

    • eye convergence is a major factor in realism
      I agree with this, and it still drives me crazy trying to get it right when a character is looking at the camera. :) Using the "eyes left" or "eyes right" dial that moves both eyes at the same time just moves both eyes at the same time. But depending on the distance of the object being looked at, the angle of the head, and the placement of the object being looked at, either eye might be facing in a slightly different direction, or at a slightly different angle.

    How have you tackled the issue of eyes in your renders?



  • @James_in_3D I pose my eyes separately, one at a time. I use the red selection circle around the iris as a guide Getting the inner red circle to be in the middle of the outer eyeball circle.



  • Eye reflections:

    It seems to me that bright spots that are reflected in a real eye are more pronounced than dark spots. If the eyes are reflecting the ground and there is a very prominent light source hitting the ground those spots reflect more in the eye than the parts in shadow.



  • my eye settings
    adjust amount of reflection on eye surface depending on lighting/envrioshere. adjust brightness of sclera to taste with the HSV node.0_1466967126471_Eye settings.jpg


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Thank you for your kind words @n-i-c-l-a-s ... It has been almost 20 years since I've drawn with Prismacolor due to my visual impairment. This is one of my pieces I'm most proud of.

    @Teyon : thank you for moving this thread ... I'm so sorry I took the bait like I did. Eyes are a "Pet project" of mine and it just bothered me.

    @James_in_3D : you have some observations here. I love what you have!

    @ghostship : That is great settings! I love it as well.

    @pumeco: If your phrasing was far more humble without absolutes and global generalizations ... I'm sure your opinions would be accepted more graciously. This is after all art and art is not a science but subjective and we all have our views.

    As for convergence. The separate ... and "circle lining up" technique is wonderful ... and I've observed some people DON"T have eyes that line up. * don't bet that's because I am blind in one eye and have nastagmas. Take a look at photos of Britney Spears ... especially her younger images ... the shape of her eye sockets make her appear slightly cross-eyed at times. But at the same time it is an engaging expression.



  • @ghostship said in Thoughts on Eyes:

    my eye settings
    adjust amount of reflection on eye surface depending on lighting/envrioshere. adjust brightness of sclera to taste with the HSV node.!

    That is a stunning result! Wow. Thank you for posting your formula! :)



  • @Boni said in Thoughts on Eyes:

    Thank you for your kind words @n-i-c-l-a-s ... It has been almost 20 years since I've drawn with Prismacolor due to my visual impairment. This is one of my pieces I'm most proud of.

    @Teyon : thank you for moving this thread ... I'm so sorry I took the bait like I did. Eyes are a "Pet project" of mine and it just bothered me.

    @James_in_3D : you have some observations here. I love what you have!

    @ghostship : That is great settings! I love it as well.

    @pumeco: If your phrasing was far more humble without absolutes and global generalizations ... I'm sure your opinions would be accepted more graciously. This is after all art and art is not a science but subjective and we all have our views.

    As for convergence. The separate ... and "circle lining up" technique is wonderful ... and I've observed some people DON"T have eyes that line up. * don't bet that's because I am blind in one eye and have nastagmas. Take a look at photos of Britney Spears ... especially her younger images ... the shape of her eye sockets make her appear slightly cross-eyed at times. But at the same time it is an engaging expression.

    Boni, that's a lovely drawing. :) I never mastered Prismacolors. Just stuck with pencil, and pen and ink. Not that I "mastered" those, either! ;)

    David Tennant is another celeb whose eyes aren't quite perfectly aligned. Hard to notice unless he's looking right at the camera, but one iris aims a bit lower than the other.



  • @pumeco said in Thoughts on Eyes:

    @Boni
    You've not taken any "bait" that wasn't worth taking. Sometimes the subtle approach doesn't work, and I'm sure you know as well as I do, that if I had been subtle and nice about it the result would still have been the same, the comments that I'm some sort of arrogant know it all would have sufaced no matter what.

    @James_in_3D
    It's because of your comment I couldn't resist replying here. You do realise that convergence changes all the time as you look at things, right? I just searched Google Images for David Tennant, his eyes look perfectly normal to me. I suppose he might have very mild Exotropia* but blimey, I would barely even put it as being noticable.

    *Useful Info Warning :

    • Exotropia = Eyes that are angled outward.
    • Esotropia = Eyes that are angled inward.
    • Hypertropia = Eyes that are angled upward/downward.

    Exotropia and Esotropia are actually very important aspects that people should be aware of and try to capture in their figures. A default figure should have neither of these, so that means you should probably play with it. Race plays a lot too. Japanese girls are a perfect example of how Esotropia can make you look cute. Exotropia can make you look cute as well. But you often have to be careful with determining whether you think a person has Esotropia, because in some races, the distance between the eyes can be considerably wider than in other races, and that can give the effect of Esotropia even when it isn't

    I had a go at creating a character inspired by Linn Berggren some years ago, mainly because I'm a real sucker for women who look like that. And I noticed in a lot of the photos of her, it looks like she has mild Esotropia. But actually, I don't think she has, I think it's the distance between her eyes that gives the impression sometimes. Having correctly aligned eyes on a character can be tricky sometimes. I learnt this the hard way when I tried doing Yutte Stensgaard. The woman is gorgeous, but getting her to look right at more than one angle was a pain in the arse for some reason, and I never did finish her but intend to have another go in the future.

    But yup, Exotropia and Esotropia are very important to get right, and even the slightest deviation can change the character of a person. A good example of a modern day celebrity with very noticable Exotropia, is Scarlett Johansson. So there's an example of how Exotropia can look attractive as well.

    Right, I'm really off this time, but I hope the eye discussions continue to the point that something actually comes of it ...

    Results!

    I didn't say he looked like Marty Feldman, now did I?

    Congratulations, you noticed about David Tennant what I noticed about David Tennant. shrug



  • I go about shaders a bit differently than most.
    What changed the way I do that, is the compound node feature that is very similar to another app I use.

    As for the cornea shader, I have found that lighting used has a dramatic effect on the cornea.
    I use HDRI lighting with SuperFly, and add lights as needed.
    Not all HDRI images are created equal, so you get different amounts of light from them.
    Many of us use different lighting techniques too, which compounds setting things up as well.
    Scene to scene there is usually something that needs tweaked accordingly, regardless of the shader setup used.
    There just isn't a one size fits all simple shader for certain things, different scenes, and the light technique used.

    So what is the easiest way to get around all of this?
    The simple answer for me, was to make nodes setups that can do an array of different things simply by adjusting settings of a single compound node.
    This node can also be used in larger node setups as well.

    Corneas are one of those areas where you get a lot of different shader setups floating around.
    If one figure has the eye modeled one way, and the next the other, a single shader setup may not always work out as intended.
    Throw the lighting differences on top of that, and the render output differences compound.
    This setup works on many different designs of eyes, with many different lighting techniques.

    Here is an example, and one of the compound nodes from my collection for you to play with.

    alt text

    This node setup is not designed to be 100% correct, it is designed to be quickly adjustable.

    Pauline only has two material zones for the eyeball itself. The diffuse surface, and the cornea.
    Here are the settings used in the above render with the compound node used on the cornea.

    alt text

    As you can see, you have access to the majority of the material settings, all in one spot.
    All from one little node snippet packed into a convenient compound node.

    Did you notice the Gemstone in the ear ring? It uses the same compound node as the cornea.
    The best part about a node setup like this, is that you can quickly set up a vast array of different things with it.
    Corena's, Glass, do odd effects with layers and masks, add it to your own node setups, etc.
    Once you learn how to set it up, it goes very quickly. It also saves a lot of space and tidies up the material room.
    There is no need to go hunting thru the library for another shader, you already have it in the scene to copy over and change the settings.
    All you have to do to get the effect I did on the gem is set it like this.

    alt text

    Is this always the best way to do it?
    No not always, if you want it to be 100 percent mathematically correct you need a node structure that is just that.
    Mathematically correct shaders, require the entire scene to be mathematically correct.
    If you want something that is fairly easy to use and offers a lot of adjustments all in one spot, I think this is the way to go.

    You can get basically the same effect out of this as you can with most cornea shader setups, accept it also can do far more.
    I do progressive spot renders to get it set up, and go from there.
    This node is for GPU rendering, but should work with many setups doing CPU as well.

    Here is the Compound Node for you to play with.
    One shader, that can do far more than just corneas.
    Rename it after you download it, and extract it from the zip.
    Put it where ever you want too in your Runtime(s).

    0_1467018636138_Adjustable Trans.zip.txt

    Enjoy.



  • Some experiences I made concerning eye reflection and positioning:

    The amount of reflection depends on what is in your scene, especially the lights and large bright objects, such as the sky or the background. If you have a studio scene with just a black void behind the camera, the eyes will only reflect the lights. In this case, I found the standard settings of EZSkin for both FF and SF very useful.

    If my character is looking at a bright background or a sky dome, I change the eye surface material to a physical shader with 100% transparency. This avoids that the eyes become milky from reflection, but you can still see the highlights.

    The SF area lights are great light sources for smooth lighting with subtle shadows. But if you make them too big and place them at the wrong angle, you get gigantic highlights in the eyes. In this case it can help to reduce the scale of the area light until the reflection looks reasonable. You may have to adjust the intensity of the light, though. The same goes for spot lights in SF.

    Eye positioning can be tricky if you want your character to look directly into the camera (which is not always desireable, by the way). Here's what I found out in 20 years of using Poser:

    • Do not trust the "point to camera" option for the eyes. In most cases, this simply does not work.
    • Always adjust the eyes from the camera view that you will be using for your final render. Sounds obvious, but it is tempting to use the face camera or zoom in for eye adjustment.
    • I usually use the direct manipulation tool to adjust the eye rotation. Select the first eye, adjust the Up-Down angle until the "equator" line is completely horizontal, then adjust the Side-Side until the arrow is directly pointing at you. Repeat for the second eye.
    • The left and right eyes can have different Side-Side angles, but their Up-Down angle is always the same. It is useful to check if that value is the same for both eyes.
    • Some characters have a wrong eyeball position within the eye openings of the head. In this case the direct manipulation tool is of no use, as the character still seems to look the other way. Here you have to change the angles until both eyes look just right. Which leads us to...
    • Trust the preview! If your character looks right at you in the preview, it will be fine in the final render most of the time.
    • All eye angles seem to be correct but your character still has a wonky look? Activate "Show hidden parameters" in the parameter menu and make sure that the Twist parameter is set to 0. This hidden little bugger often gets activated when you directly manipulate the eyes.
    • If you want your character to directly look at another person or a prop, use the face camera. Rotate and translate the face camera until you are "inside the other person's head" or sitting on the prop in question. Then position the eyes of your character so that it looks directly into the face camera.

    Just my tuppence, hope it will help somebody.