Thursday, December 26, 2013

Animating Eyes and Blinks

The following are notes taken at CG Con in L.A.

Much of this information was inspired by "In the Blink of an Eye" by Walter Murch

Eye Animation:

Eye animation is 90% (!?!?) of acting.

4 Types of eye movement:

1. Convergence (focus can indicate subtle cross eyed effect)
2. Saccades (eye darting = 2-3 frames)
3. Fixations (moments of focus)
4. Smooth pursuit / tracking of object

All of these things should indicate character intent.
NO movement indicates shock / intensity / character is lost in thought

Holding out thumb at arm's length will represent size of "focal window".

Pupil dilation occurs because of change in local lighting.
Enlarged pupils indicate arousal / influence of drugs / attraction


Eyes close faster than they open.
Blinks create emotion.
Blinks show change in thought process.
Always cut on a blink in terms of editing.
"We blink to cut the film that is out daily life" / Blink = natural edit
Rapid blinking may indicate switching emotions / discomfort or relief

We blink ever 2 seconds or so.
One eye's blink should be offset slightly from the other.
One eye usually blinks before the other.  Offset is 1-2 frames.

NO blinks = intense / angry / scared
Babies don't blink very much
Elderly blinks much slower

I hope this is useful to you animators out there!!

This video was recommended to me and I have to say it is VERY useful for this stuff:

Anim School Advice On Eye Animation

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