HOW Do I make re­al­is­tic Hu­man eyes In Zbrush?

Charlie Pope, San Fran­cisco

3D World - - ARTIST Q&A - Maya Jermy replies

As an artist, I know how im­por­tant it is to have a li­brary full of as­sets ready to be used in any project I get to work on. It helps a lot when the sched­ule is tight and with a dead­line ap­proach­ing, all you want to do is fo­cus that pre­cious time and en­ergy on more be­spoke parts of the project. When­ever I find my­self be­tween client projects, I like to up­date and ex­pand my li­brary of as­sets, and this time I am fo­cus­ing on sculpt­ing a re­al­is­tic hu­man eye.

No two eyes are ex­actly the same, so un­less you have some­thing very spe­cific in mind, it does not mat­ter how per­fectly you copy the ref­er­ence ma­te­rial. As long as you un­der­stand the anatomy and get the gen­eral shape right to al­low the light to do its job, you can cre­ate just about any­thing.

Let’s sim­plify our or­gan of sight into four ar­eas: cornea, iris, pupil and sclera. A real hu­man eye con­tains a lot more than this, but we are go­ing to fo­cus on the four vis­i­ble ar­eas be­cause that is all we need to make it be­liev­able. None­the­less, it is worth know­ing how the real thing is built and how all the lit­tle com­po­nents work to­gether in or­der to en­able us to see.

The cornea is the dome-shaped clear front sur­face of the eye, which works like a cam­era lens to fo­cus light. The iris is the pig­mented cir­cu­lar struc­ture that con­trols how much light en­ters the eye by au­to­mat­i­cally ad­just­ing the size of the pupil with two mus­cles: the sphinc­ter pupil­lae to nar­row the pupil, and the dila­tor pupil­lae to widen it. We will build the iris as one ob­ject with pupil and sclera, the white part of the eye. The pupil (which is like a cam­era aper­ture) is the black hole in the iris, and con­tracts when it’s ex­posed to bright light, and ex­pands in the dark,

al­low­ing more light into the eye to help you see.

To start off, we will cre­ate two spheres. Let’s name the first one Sclera, and its du­pli­cate Cornea. Scale up the Cornea a tiny bit so it wraps around the Sclera. Make sure that the Cornea sphere is not so big it casts shad­ows on the Sclera, but big enough not to in­ter­sect. With the base pre­pared, you are ready to sculpt. Before you jump into Zbrush, look at ref­er­ence im­ages of hu­man eyes; you will see how dif­fer­ent they all are. De­cide which pat­tern you like most and fol­low the steps.

as long as you un­der­stand the anatomy and get the gen­eral shape right to al­low the light to do its job, you can cre­ate just about any­thing.

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