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in this video I'm gonna show you how to set up an eye rig in After Effects how
to animate it to look natural and add details when you need to
we're going to start with a very simple eye set up and add some more complexity and variety to
it as we go on the very minimum you need for an eye rig is the white of the eye and pupil
to create the white of the eye with our pen tool selected
we're gonna draw an almond shape
let's rename that eye white because we always label our layers
and then we're gonna create a circle with our ellipse tool change the fill
color to black and hold shift while dragging to create a perfect circle and
this is gonna be the pupil for our eye now to constrain the movements of the
people to just the white of the eye let's go over to our effects & presets
panel and type in set matte, add that effect and take the matte from the eye
white and let's rename that pupil while we're at it now it moves inside the eye
freely for now that's all the detail were adding so we can select both of
these layers duplicate them with ctrl + D and I'm gonna drag these over to the
right here we need to change the set matte on this pupil to that other eye
eye white 2, and we're going to need to rename those to right and left as well so we don't
get lost later on now i'm gonna create a new null object by going up to layer new
null object which will create in the center
and I'm gonna parent both of our pupils to that null
and call that pupil controller
now wherever I move that null the eyes will look
now you could parent want pupils straight to the other pupil
but then you would lose some ability to animate the pupils and we're
gonna want to animate this scale soon to get some dilation happening to animate a
natural look around let's keep throwing for the position of
this not bringing position up with P on our keyboard
selecting the stopwatch and then a few seconds ahead let's move these eyes to
look left and then to look right let's look those keyframes and add some
easy ease by pressing f9 and now let's see how they move
alright they are moving
but we can make this motion a lot more smoother and a lot more appealing
so first thing we're going to do is copy this middle keyframe here and paste it
so we have some time where it's just static looking at the left over here I
make the motion of the pupils a little bit faster by moving these keyframes
together cuz your pupils do tend to move pretty fast now just select these go up
into the graph editor and just adjust the speed graph of these
to make the easing a little more severe
There we are, that's looking a bit better now let's
add some arcs to that motion let's select my pen tool and hold on it till the
convert to vertex tool is available click on that and on these keyframes in
the motion path I'm gonna click and drag to bring out some Bezier handles and
make a sort of arc shape that looks like a smile
there we are
very few things in the natural world move in straight lines
so adding some slight arcs to their motion path even if it's subtle can help a lot to make them feel more natural and
less robotic now another thing I want to do is animate the whites of the eyes
moving as well subtly so I'm going to create another null object rename that
to eye white controller and pairing the whites of the eyes to that null but when
we move this now the pupils don't follow so let's parent our eye pupil
controller to our whites controller now the people controller controls the
pupils and the white controller controls everything so let's open up that nulls
position and keyframe on these same areas where our other null is keyframed
and on the middle two keyframes we're going to nudge it a bit to the left and
then on the final one a bit to the right and it's easy ease this as well I think
that easing a bit more severe in the graph editor as well so that just gives
a little bit of extra punch and exaggeration to the animations that
pupils look around as if the whole head is kind of turning slightly now we're
gonna add a blink we're gonna select our right eye and the toggle down down here
till we find its shape path and we need to keyframe that and we're gonna make it
blink just after it looks to the left so we're gonna keyframe it open and then a
few frames later gonna let's zoom in select our pen tool click on any of the
points and then just move these Bezier handles down into a blinking position
sorry this is kind of hard to see on the blue
I'm gonna close it below the halfway mark
so the upper eyelid closes a bit more than the lower lid and then we're
gonna move a few frames ahead again and copy this keyframe of the open position
now you want to make sure there's about double the length here between the eye
closed and the eye open that's because we tend to open our eyelids a lot slower
than we close them
that's much too slow overall so let's
move those both closer together there that's much better
let's select those and easy ease those with f9 now the speed of which your
character blinks is completely up to you as an acting choice your character might
blink very fast want to do a double blink or they might be opening their
eyes very slowly from a nap so feel free to adjust these based on what your scene
and character need so we've got one eye blinking and I'm gonna show you an easy
method to apply that to the other eye as well so let's go over to our second eye
open its contents shape and find its path property and then we're gonna alter
option click the stopwatch here and that's going to open up our expression
window so we're just gonna grab our pick whip here and just pickwhip that to the
path of our eye that we've already animated The bink on click enter and
now writes an expression there to take the exact same values of this other
shape path and then apply them to the shape path so when this one blinks they
both blink so now whenever you want the character to blink we just select these
keyframes copy them and paste them where we need them in the timeline which is
really nice and easy let's place them at the very beginning and delete the open
keyframe as well so it looks like it's opening his eyes at the very beginning
of the scene so this is a really simple eye rig with basic shapes but let's add
some more detail to one of our eyes a quick word about this video sponsor
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description below to explore your creativity now ideally you're not adding
any detail while you're animating you should have you know hopefully had
this approved during the design process but I wanted to show the animation set
up in its simplest form because for your style this might be all that you need
but he's had to add detail if you think it needs it afterwards
but I highly recommend designing your eyes first so we're gonna add a visible
eyelid to this right eye here so we're gonna select the white of the eye and
duplicate that layer with control D I'm gonna read neighbor my Wyatt right lid
and I'm gonna place that below I want and I'm gonna change its fill color to
be a bit darker than the background so it stands out a bit let's pick it up all
those key frames by pressing you and we can see that it still blinks as the
other eye blinks so we're just gonna select all of these key frames and
delete them so now when the eye blinks this layer is revealed let's actually
change that fill to a gradient fill as well just add a bit more depth to it
let's add an iris which is the colored part of the eye I'm just gonna do grab
this pupil rename it iris change its color over
here drop it below our pupil and then scale it up to something that looks
natural that seems right to me let's add a gradient fill to this iris as well
there we are now I'd like to add a people dilating at the start here as I
first opens so I want to open up a scale property on this pupil and keyframe it
going from Haiti where it ends up being and then increase it a fair bit it's
better 100 then Easy's that last keyframe with f9 so now as it opens that
people get smaller dilating because it's now got much more light to see and it
doesn't need to be that large this is a little touch that I like to add to my
eyes whenever we have you know a dramatic see where an eyes opening most
of the time you won't need to do this when any character is not going to be
you know extremely close up or we're gonna be focusing really on the eye but
I kind of think it looks cool but you know you don't need to do this for every
blink and let's add a gradient fill to this pupil as well you can also add some
additional stylized elements that don't really exist in the human eye as well so
if we duplicate our iris jeordy being given a stroke
remove the fill and then scale that up and now we have a little ring outside
our iris that which might be useful in your design or it might just get in the
way up to you and now let's add a realistic reflection to this eye now I
have a pre comp of a stock image that I prepared and I'm just gonna drag that in
and then I'm gonna scale it down and touch maybe
so it covers most of the eye and I'm a set of blending mode to screen I'm gonna
add it curves effect to increase the contrast and then add a hue and
saturation effect as well and desaturate it and then add the set matte effect and
take the map from hi Wyatt right and we need to make sure this layer is
continuously rasterized as well which is this button selecting over here if
you're certain that effect is looking kind of wrong and wonky it's probably
cuz both layers are continuously rasterized which is the reason why I put
this image in a pre comp in the first place now let's find a place where it
looks kind of cool on AI maybe scale it up a bit and to make it even more
realistic I'm gonna add the Bulge effect drag it Center over our the middle of
our eye here and then adjust the radius to the width of our eye and the vertical
radius up as a circle as well we're gonna see this bulges that our ad about
set Maps let's put this above set Matt in our effects deck so bulges before it
Matt's out and there's a just at bulge height as well and from here we can
reposition our image to see what suits yeah that's looking pretty good and we
just need to leave that image there and now I've got a realistic reflection
interacting with our eye so we've got one of our eyes looking nice and
detailed now but we've added a few more layers and if you wanted to add those to
the left eye we'd have to duplicate them and maybe link them all up again with
the nulls and expressions like we did before which we wouldn't need to do if
we had designed this before we animate it so definitely design first I've
included some other basic rigs for different eye shapes in the project file
which you can download for free down in the description now use that as a basis
for your own projects but I'd really encourage you if you are gonna use these
eye rigs in your own work take them and manipulate them to make them your own so
they stand out and become a part of your work I made a short playlist of some
related videos that'll think you'll enjoy if you've made it this far I'll
see you in the next video and please consider subscribing if you'd like more
of these videos every week