In this tutorial, You will learn how to make Eyes in the free 3D Open Source Software Blender. Give Your next 3D creation realistic eyes, just like in the movies.
Making 3D eyes in Blender is really easy and will bring all Your 3D creations to life. To start You will want to open blender. Don’t worry if You do not have Blender, You can get it for free it’s a completely open source 3D model and animation software. That can be download from Blender.org. It is currently 2.49 but a new release is in it’s beta and soon Blender will have even more great features.
Some knowledge of Blender and it’s interface will be needed to make these eyes. Good thing Blender has one the the best documentation for a free 3D software. You can read all about how to use Blenders feature here and a quick search of YouTube will reveal a wealth of knowledge into using Blender.
Ok lets start making these 3D eyes by deleting the default square in blender by right clicking and pressing delete on Your keyboard. Next You’re going to want to make a UV sphere with 8 segments and 8 rings. To do this click the space bar then click add, mesh, UV sphere. This brings up a dialog box asking how many segments, rings and the radius of the UV sphere change the default 32 in each to 8, select a radius You like and click ok.
Now we have what will be the white part of the eye, but where going to need to edit it so it’s round and smooth just like a real eye and has an opening for the other eye parts. To do this click on object mode and change it to edit mode, You can also press TAB key on Your keyboard.
Now that where in edit mode You will want to change to face select mode and turn off occlude background geometry this can be done by Ctrl Tab 3 or by selecting it in the interface, this will turn on face select mode. To turn off occlude background geometry please refer to the next photo to what to click, I am not exactly sure if it has a hot key. Turning it off will help when editing so You do not accidentally delete part of the 3D object but it also helps when working on complex 3D objects, We just do need it right now.
Now that we have turned off occlude background geometry and turned on face select mode, We need to delete some faces to create the eye opening. Select the eight smaller face at the center of the UV sphere. Do this by holding the Shift key and right clicking each face until they are all selected, then press the delete key.
Tab out of edit mode into object mode, if Your new to blender You must have realized, most actions in blender use hot keys and a corresponding button You can click. If You are having trouble figuring out what hot key to use and what does what? Go to the top of the window and click help, Hot key and mouse action reference, this will give a list of all the hot keys and buttons to click, used in blender.
Once You have deleted the faces, it’s time to make the white part of the eyes smooth and round. Make sure the object is selected by right clicking and in the Link and Materials dialogue box select set smooth. This will smooth out the object, but it will still have a rough appearance. So we will also need to add a modifier called sub surf.
Since we want the object to have the appearance of being round and smooth but have a low poly-count we will want to add a modifier called sub surf and put it up to level 2.
Your UV sphere is starting to look more and more like and eye, but there is still one more thing we need to do before we move on to the other parts of the eye. Next We will want to add a white color to the eye by selecting the shading button or (F5).
Then select Add New. This will add a texture to the 3D object. Then change the color to white by either clicking the color or changing R to 1.000. You may want to move the camera so it faces the object and move the light so it give good shadows then click F12 to get a render of what the object will look like. You may also need to rotate the object so it faces the camera, use the hot key R to rotate. Click R then X, Y or Z to get it to rotate in the direction You want. To move the objects Press the G key and again the X, Y or Z to move on that axis or in the direction You want.
Now that the white part of the eye is finished, You should have a good idea of some of the features we will be using for the rest of this tutorial, like set smooth and sub surf to adding a new texture. So lets move on to the black part of the eye. First press A this will deselect everything, You have selected, pressing it twice will select everything. Next press the space bar Add, Mesh, Circle. Make sure it has 8 Vertices’s and rotate and move it so its in front of the white part of the eye. The best way to line them up is to select the white part of the eye and click Shift S and select Cursor to Selection then select the circle and Shift S again but this time use Selection to cursor then move the circle by clicking G and either X, Y, or Z depending on which way the objects facing to the front of the white part of the eye.
With the circle selected go into edit mode by either clicking the button or pressing tab. Press A to select all the parts of the circle, now go into Vertex select mode by pressing Ctrl Tab 1 or click the button its located two over from face select mode. In Vertex mode press the E to extrude click “only edges” and then S to scale. Scale the circle down until it’s completely closed like the image below.
Next We want to set it smooth so click Tab and go into object mode and click set smooth like before. We also want to add a sub surf level so it’s round. Like before go to modifiers and add the sub surf this time keep it on the level 1 default. This will give it a round appearance with a really low poly-count. Now it’s time to add a new texture, just like before go into the shading Tab in blender by clicking or using F5 Add New. This time change the color to black, either click and select black or change the R, G and B all to 0.000 You will also want to make the black part shadeless. The Black part of the Should look like the below image.
In object mode with the black part of the eye selected press S and scale it down so it’s about the same size as the white part of the eye but a little smaller. Now move the black part so it’s inside the white part of the eye.
It’s time to move on to the color part of the eye, for this You will need and external texture, You could use any image but I will provide one for You, it will be located at the end of this tutorial as a download. But again any colorful image will work it comes done to what look You’re going for in the character Your making.
Ok lets get started, make another circle, again make sure you deselect everything by pressing A and You’re in object mode before making it. Click space bar Add, Mesh, Circle. Align it so it’s in front of the white part of the eye like the previous object We made.
Select the new circle and go into edit mode then change to vertex select mode and press A to select all. Now press E to extrude and “only edges” then S to scale the circle down, but this time only about forth of the way, like the image below.
Now go back into object mode right click the color part of the eye and set smooth, and add 1 level of sub surf. Then add a new texture by going into shading F5, the color part is also going to be shadeless. Next go into the textures button F6 it’s next to the red sphere and click Add New.
Once You Add a new texture, change the texture type to image.
Then click load, this will open a directory of files on Your computer, select the image You want as the color of Your eye, You can use Your own or You can use the one I provided at the end of the textural.
With the texture photo loaded on to the color part of the eye, it’s time to scale the color part of the eye down so its the same size as the opening in the white part of the eye, please follow the previous steps in this tutorial to do so as we have already covered how to do this. Render Your eye to see how it’s coming along “F12″ it should look like this.
Next select the color part of the eye and go into edit mode and then vertex select mode, select the inner vertex’s of the circle and S to scale them down further until You get the size You want.
The color part of the eye is finished, now it’s time to move on to the lens or clear part of the eye. First You’re going to want to make another circle by pressing space bar, add, mesh, circle. Make the circle with 32 vertices’s. With the new circle selected go into edit mode, vertex select mode, E extrude edges only S scale. Scale all the way down just like the black part of the eye. Then press a to deselect all vertices’s, then select the outer vertices’s of the circle like below.
Then press the E to extrude edges only press X, Y, or Z to extrude towards the white part of the eye this depends on which direction Your objects facing it should look like the below image.
Then press S to scale the outer ring up like the image below.
Now it’s time to go back to object mode by pressing Tab. Make sure the lens of the eye is selected and press S to scale it down to the same size of the white part of the eyes opening. Align the lens so its over the opening like the image below.
Once everything is lined up its time to texture the lens so it’s clear and transparent. Go to shading add a new texture like before with the white and black part of the eye. Change the color to white and the Alpha to 0.030.
Next Turn on Ztransp in the links and pipeline.
Then turn on ray mirror and set Raymir to .30 and Fresnel to 3.0.
Then go into shaders and set Spec to 2.000 and the Hard to 5.11.
The last thing that needs to be done is to set the lens part of the eye smooth and add a level of sub surf and render the eye with F12.
If You have done everything correctly Your eye should look like the above image, now to make another one to go with it, simply press B start at one corner of the eye and drag to the other, then press shift and D (this will copy everything selected) press G to move and now You have the two eyes ready to be used on Your next 3D Character.
Thanks for reading this rather long tutorial I hope it helps You create some really nice looking eyes, I believe the eyes are what gives a character the realistic look of being alive a soul per say.
I have 20 eye textures if You want them, this is the color part of the eye, the image we loaded on to the object in one step of the tutorial. You can download them from here.