Realistic Eye Modeling for 3D Characters

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Oct 23, 2005

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Maya Versions:

1.x, 2.x, 3.x, 4.x, 5.x, 6.x, 7.x


irix, linux, mac, windows




11. Duplicate this model and transform it in the second one: the iris, pupil and white of the eye. For that, you will flatten the camber almost completely in the previous piece. Select the edge ring in red...

12. ...connect and create a new edge loop like this:

13. Pull the vertexes (or extrude the faces) of this area, forming a hole, that is the pupil:

14. Here is the perspectvie view (the iris is ALMOST flat, but it has an area slightly deepened):

15. Here, the two pieces in the side view, wire/SubD:

16. And here, in perspective view:

17. To make the cornea shader, use the configurations posted left (MAYA) or approximate this result using MAX. Clue: for specular, choose the white color however, force to use 2 times whiter (adjusting V from HSV for 2, for instance). Use a low reflection value(0.037, in MAYA) and 1.2 value for raytrace/refraction :

18. For the other piece, modeled last, use the texture that you made using my other tutorial and a very low especular level and very "open" highlight (almost opaque). Use planar/frontal map for this texture:

19. If you want to include some volume in the veins, hide all iris layers, change image to grayscale mode (or desaturate) and use this image as the bump map:

20. You will also be able to add a self-ilum map or incandescence in the iris, using a map as this (very low value):

21. Here is the "final" version:

Final tricks:
a) use an area light to simulate window reflections;
b) for cornea, turn off the cast shadow. This will save a lot of render time in your scene.


Oct 26, 2009
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good work with few steps

Nov 19, 2009
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In step 18 you say there is another tutorial. Which tutorial is that? I am not sure how you have such a good image of the eye, and how do you make it?

Dec 11, 2009
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good one

View atmadragon's profile
Dec 26, 2009
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nice how you make it i have blender but i dont know how to use im trying to find something that will give me and the upper hand of how to make charater and stuff like what you made here but i can never find the right tool or know what to do first im kinda looking around getting knowlege from every where lol by the way how u contribute here and what tool are u useing to create this so i can find and pratice modeling

Feb 12, 2010
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It seems that this tutorial is quite reliant on the previous one you mentioned in step 18. It would be highly appreciated if you would give a link to this.

Mar 05, 2010
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May 18, 2010
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thank you for both tutorials, they helped me a lot. Since I am a noob to 3d, I managed to design the texture and model the eye, but I am lacking knowledge in shading. Can you or someone else recommend a tutorial for shading?

Aug 28, 2010
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Check his website for the other Tutorial it's all there.

View brilliand87's profile
Dec 06, 2011
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wow that eye looks really realistic well done!

Aug 08, 2012
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why cant I see any Images?

View aashianu's profile
Aug 29, 2012
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not able to view the images, plzzz help

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