How Can I Create Realistic/Natural Eye Movements in Blender?

I’ve began experimenting with different rig setups in Blender to create realistic eye movements for my characters (See videos below). These initial setups work fine when the eye is open but when the eye is closes I run into some problems with the eyelids interpenetrating. Also the movements for when the eyelid is closed aren’t as natural. For those of you wondering I use shape keys to close the eyelid. Does anyone have any advice or tutorials that cover this topic extensively?

In this version I aligned the two eyelid bones to match the main eye bone. It solves the issue of interpenetration but the movements still don’t look as good.

What really looks ‘off’, in both the open and closed eyelid versions, it that the corners of the eye moves along with the eyeball. Actually, the entire movement of the eyelid and the eye socket are not realistic.

The eyelid motion that happens when the eye moves under the thin skin of the eyelid is the movement of the bulge caused by the cornea moving around underneath the eyelid, or as much of the eyelid as covers the cornea at the time. The eyelid skin does not actually slide back and forth with the eye movement.

I’m not aware of any tutorials that cover this, but you do need to rethink the motion that you are trying to achieve. You might be able to do what you need to do by using the UV Warp modifier to slide a displacement map around the surface of your eyelid. I’ve never tried it, have no idea whether it would work, but that’s what I’d investigate first.

Good luck

I think I see what you are trying to achieve. You want the area around the eye to have some “fleshyness” when you move the eye. In order to do that, I think you need to remove that “fleshyness” from your shapekeys. What I mean is, have your eyelid shapekeys just do the mechanical open/close. Do not add any movement to your eye socket, cheek or brow.

Then you can use a lattice or a mesh deform modifier to add that “fleshyness” back into your rig.

Maybe this will help:

Good luck!

Could anyone explain me how this eyerig from the first post was made? Was it made with shape keys controlled by bones, and then some IK attached to mother bone? I’m trying to understand this.