EYEdeas 3+ is an amazing product by Arki at Daz 3d.

I was reading the (really good!) book, Digital Lighting and Rendering, by Jeremy Birn and, when he started talking about cinematography Iris Gleam I tried using morphs that I had to get the shape of the iris that he was talking about. Having no luck, I had just finished a quick test after making my own morph for them, when Daz 3d acquired Runtime DNA, and I discovered this incredible product.

My test was a success, so I was simply going to take a bit more time with a more permanent morph for my V4 Rosie, but after seeing this just bought it and have been happy ever since.

You see, it's not just about the shape of the irides anymore. The "3+" comes from the fact that she (Arki) had updated the product to also take V4 and M4 eye maps with new UV mapping. So EYEdeas 3+ comes with a bunch of eyes to work with. We can use Arki's EYEdeas mapping, V4 or M4!

We get conforming versions for both M4 and V4 in sets of two or each individually. So beaten up pirates and creepy monsters take a lot less effort for interesting eyes! There are also individual eyes meant for parenting instead of conforming. They're still actual figures with a rig, but only their own rig - not the rest of the skeleton.

Now, with each of every option available, with 3+ we have two versions. The versions labeled "Remapped" will take V4 or M4 eye maps. The others use the original mapping that uses the awesome collection that comes with the EYEdeas 3+ as well as the jam packed collections of textures she sells for them at Daz 3d.

I must say, the product image shown at the top of this page sold me right away, knowing what I wanted to use them for (Iris Gleam), but I must say that the promo text and images don't really do this product the justice it deserves.

These eyes have a multitude of morphs for shaping the iris and pupil for each eye independently. The pupil is an actual opening behind which the lens sits. The cornea covers the irides in a realistic bulge and the whole front of the eye, including the cornea is covered by what's called the Reflective Layer, which we can use as a fluid layer.

The inside of the eyeball is mapped separately from the Sclera (eye white) and Arki includes maps for that internal tissue. It's all very cool when we really want realistic eyes - or better yet, realistic light behavior with our eyes whether we make them to be realistic or not!

EYEdeas 3+ with Genesis 1

With the Rosie hero I've used for ten years (V4), the conforming set just fits into place. I just set her original eyes to invisible. Works like a charm.

With Genesis, conforming doesn't work so great since the Daz 3D auto-fit is made to work that way. I didn't really expect it to either.

Instead we bring in the individual parent-to versions and manually set the scale to the proper size. Then we simply position them correctly, parent them to the original eyes and set the originals to invisible. Easy Peasy!

Here's my process:

  1. Set up my Character as usual

  2. When I'm finished shaping, I bring in the EYEdeas 3+ Eye for one side

  3. Select the Genesis eye in the hierarchy of the figure

  4. Measure the size of the eye in the Motion tab, top of the instances tray

  5. Copy the largest axis size to the EYEdeas 3+ Eye figure

  6. Select the Genesis Eye, then Ctrl(Cmd) select the EYEdeas 3+ Eye

  7. Ctrl(Cmd) + K (Edit > Align)

  8. Bring in the EYEdeas 3+ Eye for the other side and repeat steps 5-7 with this eye

  9. select each of the Genesis eyes and deselect visibility to make them invisible

  10. Finally, parent each EYEdeas 3+ eye to their corresponding Genesis eye

At this point the EYEdeas 3+ eyes will follow the invisible Genesis eyes. To help tidy up my optimization, I place my "Invisible" shader* onto each of the Genesis eye parts to reduce the number of shaders saved with the character.

I have to warn you in advance. These eyes are cool! It can get a bit addicting working with shaders on these things!

* My "Invisible" shader is a shader I've made where all channels are set to "None" except for Alpha, which has a value of 1-100 = 0 (zero)

Here's the thing:

Just like when I was set about to create Starry Sky for Carrara, because all advisors told me to use Hubble Images for space scenes, I was again instructed to use cheats to get iris gleam into my work. This might (might?) be acceptable for still images . Hey, if that's how you want to do it, go for it.

My main objective in All of this is to create animations. I like to observe what happens in people's faces when they're doing stuff and when they're doing nothing at all. I like to observe eyes and how they move around. I like to try to inject these behaviors into animation.

That said, I need my character's eyes to work with the light. Cheating an iris gleam using a map in the glow channel will produce a section of the iris that is gleaming - but it's not iris gleam. Iris gleam occurs naturally as the eye moves around catching, reflecting and refracting light as they interact.

With these eye figures, I can use standard cinematographer lighting methods to capture iris gleam in my animations. As it should be!

If this is all too much, yet you still want to capture iris gleam, it's not very difficult to concave the irides using the vertex modeler in Carrara (or Hexagon if you don't use Carrara). You simply need to hide the layers of the eye that are in your way first. Draw a loop selection around the pupil and, with soft selection turned on and set appropriately, gently maneuver the the pupil inward toward the back of the head.

If you're going this route, I strongly suggest making an actual morph for this rather than to just permanently adjust the geometry so that you can tweak the angle of the inner irides.

Have a Question? Just Ask!

I love to help others as best I can. This is a rather broad topic: CG Filmmaking, so my articles on any particular topic may not answer your specific question.

Most of the questions directed to me are regarding Carrara or How did I do this?

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