View Full Version : How do you animate non-spherical cartoon eyes?

06-18-2013, 08:53 PM
I've created a couple characters that have rather flat faces and I've modeled the eyes as flattened spheres (Z axis is 50% of the Y and X). Any ideas on what would be the best way to animate the iris/pupil. I normally would have used bones to rotate the eyeball spheres, but that won't work with a flattened eye.

Some of my current thoughts are.

1) ditch the flat eyeball and go with a sphere (I'll need to adjust the model and be more clever with the eyelid morphs.)
2) use morphs to control the translation of the iris/pupil. (maybe even create a copy of the iris/pupil that would float over the eye. I'll need left, right, up, down morphs at least....(I think...)

Or are there any other neat tricks out there? I found an interesting article on how this could be done in Maya (don't know if there's a similar way in Lightwave that isn't astronomically complex. The article is: http://cg.tutsplus.com/tutorials/autodesk-maya/effectively-use-constraints-to-rig-non-spherical-eyes-in-maya/)


06-19-2013, 12:45 AM
I made a sphere in Layout and put a bone in its center to rotate the ball, then the ball was parented to a null and I stretched the null flat. So the result is a flat ball that is rotating but in a flattened state. That's just one approach I could think of.

06-19-2013, 12:49 AM
Also works without the bone if you're just rotating the ball directly.

06-19-2013, 05:06 AM
Pretty much what DJ says...

create your eye as a sphere, then either parent it, or the bone controling it under something else which you then stretch down in the appropriate direction. The item in this "squashed space" will maintain the same direction of squash no matter how you rotate it... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcKRcRpNQkE#t=9m00s

06-19-2013, 09:33 AM
Ah yes that totally makes sense! Thanks, DJ and RH!


08-18-2013, 01:55 AM

Thats nice, but how would I go about animating oval eyes that are tapered at the upper end (mote like a teardrop), like in Earthworm Jim or Roger Rabbitt ?

08-18-2013, 03:21 AM
You cant... or rather, you cant get them to rotate as you normally would. The standing method for doing eyes like that is to leave the eyeball static, and to instead have a separate piece of geo for the pupil which you move around over the surface, making it appear as if the eye is rotating.

08-18-2013, 10:49 AM
morph targets? also could give varying shapes for different moods/expressions

09-04-2013, 03:17 AM
I stretched the null flat.