Help and theory of modelling "beady" eyes

In many character models I see little beady eyes with geometry that’s separate from the face of a character. I like the style. Examples can be seen here (link), and here (birds).. Sometimes the eyes finish looks shiny and other times matte.

Are the eyes a separate mesh from the head of the character? Or is it a single mesh? Is it okay to use separate meshes? I’m not looking to animate but to create still images.

I’ve been approaching this problem by halving a UV sphere, scaling it and then placing it on top of a head mesh which seems to work fine.

Of course it’s ok to have separate meshes. I would say in this case it’s preferable. If you want to 3d print your character you may need it to be one mesh without intersections but for stills or animation you don’t.

Thanks Ztreem.

I agree with Ztreem. In case of the birds I only created the right eye. The left one was done by using the mirror modifier and having the body as the mirroring object. To place the eye I activated Face snapping and turned on “align rotation to target”. With these settings I could easily move the right eye and placing, rotation and mirroring was done automaticly.

hum-bee, thanks for your response and insight. I like your work. I am going to experiment and practice with the ideas you shared. A lot of learning material focus on designing objects from a single mesh but it will be much easier for me to work with separate meshes.

People get a little nerdy at times(me too and its ok) and want to make perfect looking wireframes. I did struggle alot with the same problem when I started with 3D (25 years ago). I thought that characters needed to be made of one mesh to deform right and to be considered as a real and good 3d model. Usually the result is not a 3d model but a 2D image or animation, that’s what counts. How the model looks, if it’s one mesh with optimized polygon count put in a perfect manner or 5 million polys with the worst topology doesn’t matter if the final render meets the goal. Then of course there is situations when it counts but that you learn with time.

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