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1 Tutorials LightWave 3D Cartoon Eye Setup em Qui Jan 27, 2011 8:38 pm


by Jonny Gorden

There are many ways to make cartoony (oval) eyes
that can look around, and I've seen them
all, from moving textures with nulls to seperate
eye and pupil objects.

There are 2 things that are
most important for a characters eyes, that they
look great, and that they're easy to control.
If they don't look good, then the character and
it's believability suffers. If they're difficult
to control, then the animation suffers.

The following method is the
one that I believe is most convincing, and is
easy to create and easy to control.


The first thing we'll do is
to create a template object for the eyes. This
will give us a guide for tweaking the eye area
of the face, as well as creating morph targets
for the eyelids. I usually do this fairly early
in the modelling process, but I'll show it with
a finished model for this example.

Step 1: Creating the
eye template

Bring an empty layer to the
foreground, and place your head model layer in
the background.

Create a ball "Shift-o".
Use the default settings "n" except orient
it to the Z axis.

Move the ball to roughly the
center of the left eye socket, and scale it on
all axes till it's the right shape.

Rotate the eye so it fits nicely
in the eye socket.

Mirror the eye "Shift-v",
so you have reference for both sides of the face.

Now you can tweak and morph
the face using the template eyes as reference.

Step 2: Creating the
eye object

Now we need to create the actual
eyes that we'll be using.

In a new layer, with the template
eyes in the background layer, create a ball,
or alternatively copy in an eye that you've prepared
earlier as I have done here.

Move "m" the eye so its
center is in the same position as the center
of the left template eye, and Scale "Shift-h" it
so it's roughly the same width as the template

Mirror "Shift-v", to
create the right eye.

Select the polygons of the left
eye and give it a new weight "EyeL", then select
the polygons of the right eye and give it a new
weight "EyeR".

Cut "x" the eyes and
Paste "v" them into the layer with the
head model.

Step 3:

Save your object and
send it to Layout.


Step 4: Creating the

For this step I'm assuming you've
already created the skeleton for your character
by creating bones or converting skelegons.

Create a child bone "+" from
the head bone. Call the new bone "EyeL_base".

Move the bone so its pivot is
exactly at the center of the left eye and, in
the Bone Properties panel "p", set its
Rest Length so the bone is contained fully within
the eye. Set the Strength to "0".

Clone "Add/Clone Current
" the "EyeL_base" bone, and Rename "Replace/Rename
Current Item
" the clone "EyeR_base".

Set the X value of the "EyeR_base" bone
to the negative of its current value.

These are the bones that we'll
use to stretch the eyes into the right shape.
Now we need to create the bones that will rotate
the eyes to look at stuff.

Create a child of each eye bone,
calling them "EyeL_rotate" and EyeR_rotate" respectively.
Set the Z value of each bone to "0" and set the
Rest Length of each so the tip sticks out from
the eye, and the Strength to "100".

Set the Bone Weight Map for "EyeL_rotate" to
the weight "EyeL".

Set the Bone Weight Map for "EyeR_rotate" to
the weight "EyeR".

Select each of the 4 eye bones
in turn and hit "r" to activate them.

Step 5: Shaping the

Now in the Perspective view,
rotate the "EyeL_Base" bone so it's oriented
to the same angle as the template eye, including
the Bank channel.

You can see if you've got the
bone rotation right, when you select Stretch "h",
that the handles appear oriented to the template
eye's rotation.

Stretch the bone using each
of the X Y and Z handles until it's the same
shape as the template eye.

Repeat with the "EyeR_base" bone,
or copy the Rotation and Scale settings from
the "EyeL_base" bone, reversing the Heading and
Bank rotation.

Since you don't need it any
more, you can delete "-" the layer with
the template eyes.

Now you have cartoon eyes all
ready for animation. You can test them out by
rotating the EyeL_rotate or EyeR_rotate bones.
You can see that the eyes retain their shape
as they rotate.

Step 6: Setting eye

Create 3 nulls, and name them "Eye_Target", "EyeL" and "EyeR".

Parent "EyeL" and "EyeR" to "Eye_Target".

Move "EyeL" a little left, and "EyeR" a
little right of the "Eye_Target" null.

Note: If your characters
eyes are facing forwards, then move them almost
the same distance apart as the eyes. If your
characters eyes are facing outwards, as this
example, move them a little further out than
the eyes.

In the Motions Panel "m" set
the "EyeL_Rotate" bone to target the "EyeL"null,
and the "EyeR_Rotate" bone to target the "EyeR"null.

Then still in the Motions Panel,
set the "Eye_Target" null to target the head

Now you can move the "Eye_Target" around
and watch the eyes follow.

Good eye animation can really
bring a character to life. These simple steps
will ensure that you have great fun animating
your characters eyes.

To view a test animation of
this character click one of the links below. Note: To
view the windows video you may need to download
DivX 5 here.

If you have any questions, please
email me at [Você precisa estar registrado e conectado para ver este link.].


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