Hello! Recently I’ve been working on some animations that involve characters from the Sonic franchise.
I’m trying to go for the kind of quality seen in this promotional animation.

Ah, it’s so beautiful! llama_emoji_23__shyness___v1__by_jerikuto-d6uf5oq

So one of the problems that I’ve been struggling with a while is how I should approach the eyes. At first I thought, “Simple, I’ll just use a UV image!” But this has not really worked.
What is this?! Anyway, I’m trying to figure out how I can create a material like this one below. (This is the last video I swear).

But it’s a bit tricky… Sonic’s eyes are not exactly spherical so I’m struggling to find a solution to this.
Please let me know what you think! :slight_smile:

What’s wrong with your previous thread?

Is the question about how to get a more realistic iris pattern, or about the overall look?

If it is the latter, I think you won’t get around adding another surface above the iris, being the cornea, and assign a glass material to it. I see that it is a problem, because of the requirement of flatness, but you might get away with setting the iris some distance back and maybe using some normal map trickery to make the cornea appear more curved for the purpose of glossy reflection and refraction.

Why is the asymmetry of the eyes a problem? Just deform the mesh. If it’s all UV coordinates it should be fine, no?

In fact you can use this trick :

And maybe use a real 3D model like that :

Well, I thought it would help if I posted a new thread with more context. In my previous one I also stated I only wanted to use uv images, so I wanted to start a fresh one with my more recent intentions.

Hmm… Okay, I’ll try that. I’ll be right back :slight_smile:

I’m a little confused. Could you explain what you mean by this?

You have to dig a bit on the 3d model of sonic. If you watch the video frame by frame you’ll see that the iris is a 3d model. Also the ‘white’ part of the eye(s) is not spherical.

It looks more like this.


Could you explain this? How did you create the pupils?

Photoshop. Just to explain how it is on the 3D model.

Hmm… okay, so how would you say I should go about creating that effect?

Well, at first, when you use a glass shader for the (convex curved) cornea, you get the glossy reflection, which produces the chracteristic specular highlights in the eyes in any case.

But when you look at the eye from a rather oblique angle, like on your very first image, in reality you will also see the refraction effect of the glass, showing the iris distorted and shifted in position. But for this to happen, there needs to be some distance between cornea and iris.

The glossy highlights and the distortion will only look right, though, if the cornea has the right curvature. But as you seem to need a quite flat cornea (to be consistent with the overall flatness of the character’s features), using a normal map on it might help to improve the appearance of the mentioned effects.

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Okay, but if I make the iris a separate object and give it some distance, how can I have it show through the sclera? (white part of eye)

The sclera is connected to the cornea, meaning it becomes transparent (glassy) there.

Here are two images from my collection of anatomy info:


In the top image the sclera/cornea is the outer white layer. The iris is drawn in red.

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Or if still not clear: there is no sclera in front of the iris, only the cornea and a the anterior chamber (the left grey part), which is filled with transparent liquid.

Okay, I think I finally figured it out!
I created a material with a normal I baked. I also have the actual eye texture, but I made the iris green so you could see the normals better. I need to tweak the normal map a bit, but I understand how it works now.

I only have two questions now. The second one is a much higher priority for me.

  1. How can I create a cornea over just the iris?

  2. I’m planning to use the mapping in the properties panel to “rig” my eyes.

However, Since my material has multiple textures (color, transparency, normal map, etc.), I can’t move all of the textures at once and then this happens.
image image
Is there a way I can move all of the textures for this material at once?

  1. I would disconnect the iris from the rest of the mesh. It can just float in the air. Make it a little bit wider than originally so it cannot be noticed. Then fill the hole in the outer mesh with the cornea.

  2. In the node editor you can use just one Mapping node and connect its output to all the textures.

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Has anyone tried to fake it simply by blending and normal manipulation on several shaders? It’s a toon, and unless you plan to do extreme closeups at extreme angles where parallax would become an issue, I think this could be pulled off using nothing but fakery.

It would be a messy node setup for sure, but still…

The second one would probably be better because the iris is actually another image texture on a white background.

I tried connecting a mapping node to the image textures, but now nothing appears at all.