Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Eye see what you did there...

Oohh gosh! March is over already AND I still have loads I want to explore, but alas, a new topic is upon us, starting tomorrow in fact!

So without further-a-do, here is my last eye based post for Bits of Things, I hope they have been useful to you in some form or another.

To start with, a couple of cool pictures I found.

I really liked this drawing that I came across on Pinterest, whilst searching for eyes, which, subsequently, lead me to this cool pin-up art site

by Justin Ridge

I also saw this awesome colourful piece and just had to share it with you.
by Francisco Flores

Some cool illustrations showing how the muscles surrounding the eye work, really useful for drawing and animating fo' shhhhaaaw.

Not the prettiest diagram ever but another, simple, view of the muscles surrounding the eyes

Then to finish things off, here are my studies from the month. I would have liked to have had the time to explore the patterns of the eyes more and try out some paintings using those awesome macros pictures of the iris'. Maybe I'll catch up on this at some point.

This bunch of studies came from varies links I posted in previous posts, some exploration and studying on pixelovely, and looking at some Tangled poses.

And lastly, all the links I didn't get round to mentioning, that I thought were useful too!


Crazy faces
Mini eye colouring tutorial
Some cool eye drawings
...and some more
Face Patterns by Brandon McKinney
Expressions - reference for artsists
Eye fan art for Young Mike from Monsters University
Another image of muscles around the eyes
...and another

Drum-roll please...... the Bits of Things subject for April is going to be.... HANDS! As suggested by our reader Becky, awesome suggestion, thank you!

See you in April! 

Friday, 27 March 2015

Eye don't believe it!

Here are some extra resources I came across whilst looking at eyes, it's coming to the end of the month, and it's been a rather interesting adventure, and I hope you've enjoyed following it. I learnt a lot of things, and how to approach the next subject too! I wold have liked to explore some more art with the patterns, hopefully I can squeeze that in over the coming days. I'm going to be uploading my studies at the end of the month, as well as announcing the new topic! All suggestions welcomed....

Starting off with something sciency, it talks about how they discovered that there are long cells that are essentially a pre-filter, which not only take the light to the rods and cones at the back of the eye, but enhances our daytime vision. It's an interesting read, thanks Amar for the link!

The second rather sciencey thing I wanted to share was this talk (well the first 8 minutes anyway), it explains how the muscles work around the eye, which is superbly useful, because knowing what is going on underneath not only informs your drawing, but modelling and animation too.

Neuro-Ophthalmology Lecture 1: Eye Muscles and Double Vision from Root Atlas on Vimeo.

And now for some creative stuff! :D

Lackadaisy has this great expression page, which I'd highly recommend taking some of your day to really study over this if you are interested in learning more about drawing eyes or animating them.

Pixelovely is a great place if you can't get to or afford a life drawing class, and from this month, I found out they had a facial expression section. I would also recommend during from moving images, as your more likely to get a feel for the movement, and where the form and tension has come from.

Until next time...over and out!

Sunday, 22 March 2015


Ooohh I've got lots of posts for your this week! Some researchy ones, some study ones, all sorts....

Starting with an animation based based post, I found some cool videos and reference, and got pointed in the direction of some too!

First off, this is a dooozy, I had watched this a long time ago, but re-watched it today, and it made even more sense, definitely one to keep bookmarked. This is all about the graphical simple shape of the eye, how to use the whites, and what it communicates.

What I learnt: "Use your avocado's to communicate well" ;)

Another one from Ken, which takes us back round to the eye dart information and saccades that we were talking about on facebook and earlier in the eye posts. 

My friend Amanda sent this one round the office and it's a great close up technical video on how to animate blinks and get them looking all fleshy and yummy

And another....
Here's a very cool summary by Angie Jones on animating eyes, lots of notes and very succinct :)

And to end with a bit of eye tracking, it's not the most tuneful music, but it's interesting having the eye in the corner and seeing how the eye anticipates the notes.

Thank you to all the people that made these tutorials, they are super helpful, and get us a little closer to understanding the eyes!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Last weekend I got really inspired by some images I found whilst looking around for more eye information. I really wanted to share them, as I wanted to see what you guys thought, and whether you had any of your own inspirations?


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Eye see

This past however many days I've been looking at mainly diagrams of the eye, and getting to grips with the actual anatomy. So I thought I would share some of the links and images I've found. Click any of the images to see where I found them.

I really like this image because it feels like a cross between a scientific diagram and a piece of abstract art. Really take a look at those layers, and how thick the eye lids are in comparison with the lens and rest of the eye ball.

This is a awesome break down of how to draw the eye and think of it in a structural way. I did some studies from this which I'll upload soon

I realise on my last post I said I would look at the eye movement and the body language, which I did! But as of yet, I haven't really found too many things I'd want to actually post, as I wasn't sure on the source....soOOooo if you guys have any awesome eye movement and/or body language links, be sure to share them in the comments below.

I just want to post this last image/tips page, because I really like it! It's a bit more cartoony then the stuff we've looked at so far, but I love the idea of thinking about the relationship between the eyes and eyebrows. 

Hopefully my next post will include more of what I mentioned from the laaast post, but I already have a ton of things lined up for the next post also! So stay tuned....

Also...thank you to all the people that made these resources available online

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The eye's have it!

Helllooo readers!

Well the past weekend/week so far have been rather busy! But I've managed to squeeze in some eye research of course.

Firstly, towards the end of last week, my friend Amar pointed me the direction of this video from National Geographic, Eyes: The Windows to Your Health

I love the close ups of the eyes, the patterns are so interesting, definitely something there to take away and play with.

I had seen this one a while ago, but thought it was relevant to the subject, and definitely worth a re-watch, plus, it's interesting (well to me anyway!). But another cool source for patterns!

Another friend, Chris, contacted me through twitter and mentioned how Animation Collaborative did a lecture about eye darts, but unfortunately they contacted saying nothing had been put online....yet! There's still hope!

What I took away from Chris' notes, was that the eyes are the most relateable source of contact, the windows to the soul. As humans, we look there first. I'll digress a little....but this also made me think about how I am with my cats; I know why they don't like eye contact instinctively, but it feels wrong or unnatural, from a human perspective, for this to happen. 

Anyway, so the eyes darting, or saccading (as Alex taught us about last time), help us to build an entire picture. Darts are an important visual aid too, as it signifies a thought process. We can build internal images and memories but these are also important for human's interaction and body language. On top of that, these are important details for animators, character designs, drawers, you name it, to take on board. Capturing those moments are telling tiny stories, and that's what's it's all about, isn't it?

I also started to look into animal eyes too, especially with the senses programme from the first Eye post. They are quite incredible to look at, but I do want to go into more depth about these in terms of research, instead of getting distracted by just the pretty colours....

Check out these crazy close up animal eyes too, they look like portals to other dimensions. 

Bit of a mixture of things today, I'd like to focus on the movement of the eye next and the body language too! So I'll see what that entails for the next few days.... 

I hope you enjoyed reading/looking/watching this post and was in someway helpful, or interesting.

I've started get the pen's and pencils out now, I'm rather excited to start exploring, who's with me?!

P.s thank you to all the contributors so far, you guys rock! I love getting your suggestions, links and what not. So if you have any cool links, feel free to add them below, and if you have any suggestions for topics be sure to comment with those too! If you would prefer to email me, click on the "My Email" link in the right hand column

Friday, 6 March 2015

Look into my eyes.....

Wowie! So the last couple of days have been in-sight-ful.......


Well after the last post I got a great response, and had a lot of recommendations for resources and angles to check out.

Firstly, Amanda at worked recommended I checked out Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey S01 E02. It's available on Netflix and I'm sure other places too. At about 20-22minutes in, it has a section about how the eyes evolved. In fact, I'd recommend the whole episode, as there are some quite interesting facts about evolution and about how wolves became domesticated. Anyway, I digress. The evolution of the eyeball is quite something, developing in such high definition underwater, and adapting to refraction, that when fish departed the water for the time, our eyes really weren't adapted for air, and probably why we have never had eyesight quite like those cuttlefish ;).

Then my graphic designer friend Alex got talking to me on facebook after one of my posts about the subject, telling me about how he had to study the mechanics of reading for sign writing and design, involving eye darts (saccades) and the amount of characters one can take in, in a graphical sense. Saccades seems to go into a whole other time sink on youtube, so I might save that for later in the week. But I'd love to look more into the mechanics of eye darts, and how/if/why they change, and are different for different tasks/emotions etc. So further to the original message, he stated that 60-66 characters (10 average english words) of five letters each, plus a space inbetween each word is the ideal line. He also said that that is a very booky formula, and that in the context of Newspapers, they have much fewer, as the lines are much shorter. So it's more of a guideline to start with.

A bit of a writey post, and a very exciting few days, learning things! There were a few more articles I wanted to read up on before sharing them. But here's some awesome macro images for your viewing pleasure :D

Photos from here and there are more too! More cooool are those iris'?!?

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Eye eye ;)

Wowie! I feel like I've learnt a lot already, I can't wait to delve in deeper into the subject.

Okay, so far I've done the first few basic research steps on the eyes, I've checked out a few videos and I'm going to share them with you today.

First of all I watched "Super Senses. The Secret Power of Animals" episode 1. It's a BBC programme, and if you manage to find a good link to it please share. I really recommend this episode for learning about eyesight in animals and how it compares to humans. It's really informative with loads of great examples. For instance, how the Caribou (or Reindeer) can see UV light! It helps them pin point where wolves are stalking them in the snow, as the snow reflects the UV light and the wolves coats absorb it.

Optical illusions show how we see - I found this whilst trying to find TED talks about eyes. I think colour is going to be a big exploration over the next month.

A bit of a gross one, but really interesting, not a human eye, but really cool seeing the structure. It also helps photography make more sense, The bit where she moves the lens around is awesome.

And then Antoine from work pointed my in the direction of some super slo-mo eye movement footage, which inevitably lead to a time sink, and I watched all the popular slo-eye footage. There are some great examples, but some not as clear as others. Anyway, it lead me to find this one by The Slo-Mo Guys.

Sooo did you guys find anything cool? This is just the way I work, so feel free to explore your own avenues with the subject :) 

And remember, keep inspired, whatever you do!