I was always not sure with eye shapes. I have heard some advices that we should not overdone the eye shapes. Bishop has quite a lot of attributes on his eyes controllers that i was not sure what i should do with them. My mentors (i had a sub mentor last term! :D) explained this matter really well to me on their critiques about how to make the eyes look more appealing. I thought i want to share the information with you all. So.. here we go! :)
We all know that our eye ball shape is not perfectly rounded. It kind of has a tiny bump in front of the iris area :
This bump will gently 'push' the eye lids, therefore this will affect the eye shape.
We can start reshaping the eye shapes by drawing a vertical line in the middle of the iris. You can see it on the picture below:
The idea is to determine where the bump is pushing the eye lids.
Eye Line and Eye Direction.
I always thought that we should never ever move the left and right eye controllers on Bishop to avoid a risk of getting the wild eye look. I did not adjust the left and right eye position at all when i did my first one person dialogue shot and as the result, i got a crossed eye direction; one was facing to the right and the other one was facing the opposite direction. This was also one of the main feedback that my mentor told me.
A tips that i got from my mentor is try to treat the eyes graphically:
I struggled a lot with adjusting an eye line as well. I think it becomes hard for us to notice this because we have spent a lot of time staring at our shot. As I'm writing this, I think we can use this very same trick to fix this eye line issue:
My mentor told me that I needed to make the lady a bit higher for this shot to fix the eye line mishap.
This is the fun part. Eye darts can give a lot for our shot and it is definitely not an easy one as well in my opinion. I remember that my mentor explained this to me on his critiques for a couple times and it was really tricky to achieve the right eye darts movement (Not that i am really good at it now! It's still very tricky!).
I often hear that we should not ease in or out the eye darts because it basically has a staccato movement. I was quite surprised when my mentor explained that we actually can give an 'ease-in' for it. However, it is not really an 'ease-in', it would be best to use a term: Cushion.
The idea is if we have an eye dart that moves from A to B, we can reduce the snappiness by adding 1 more key around 80% of the eye dart:
Once we added A', B 'becomes' the Cushion.
It took me quite awhile to process the concept. I have to say that I had to do a lot of experiment to finally understand it. I also have the eye dart keyed on every frame so that i have a better control of the eye position. One thing that helped me a lot was by framing through the camp fire scene from Tangled. I would suggest to take a look at one of the shot in this scene and check out the eye movement:
Eye Controller Attributes.
There are couple eye attributes -the inner,mid,out controllers- that we can use to tweak Bishop's eye shapes. As i carry on with my shot, i actually don't use a lot of these eye attributes if i didn't need to and i pretty much keep them in stepped or linear mode, depends on the situation. I only use them to shape the eye into the shape that i want and to layer in the tiny movement that the bump of our eyes make during eye darts. I also have them keyed on every frame. I know that it is very tiny and super subtle movement, but i feel that maybe it is a good idea to add it in and even though it can't be seen, hopefully it can be felt by the audiences.
So, i guess that is all for now. I hope this helps and if you guys have tips or ideas about this or anything else, i'd love to hear it as well! :) Huge thanks to my mentors for sharing their knowledge, they're awesome! (seriously :> )Thank you guys for reading my post! :D
Have a great week and Happy Animating! :)
Update: There was multiple images uploaded in this post, i didn't know what happened but sorry for the inconvenience!