AR TIPS: EYE GLIMMER
I have no idea how to title this.
Eye glimmer, or the eye reflection is surprisingly important part on conveying emotion and creating immersive environment in a piece.
Or let’s be real, the entirety of the eye is very important in that, but i felt lazy so i rely on the fact people know how eyes and expressions work together (send all angry PMs to this blog if incorrect). I’m gonna go over few things that might give you the extra bling your eyes needs to look all nice stuff.
Coloring the eye itself has no real effect on the reflection. As long as you keep the effort and style consistent.
On eye and shimmer color though: Eyewhites are rarely fully white, consisting instead of yellow and red tints. Blue works too if need be. To really bring out the shimmer, keep the eyewhite in a lower tone and go all out with the shimmerlight to add contrast between them.
The basic reflection can be pretty much any shape you want, as long as it does it’s job of bringing the eye alive. Basic shimmer helps guiding the viewer, and helps showing just where exactly where the character is looking at.
Hence why, even if the iris is directed to corrected direction, putting the shimmer in wrong or into opposite sides (they should almost always be identical) looks very weird and potentially hilarious.
So experiment with the shape to find what you like most. Come up with something your own! Whatever makes it easy to you. try out gradient shimmer too, i forgot it here.
ALSO: Sometimes, giving eye no reflection works to your advance too. A character who’s had all life drained out of them, or simply in need of serious nap could have no lights at all reflection on their eyes, to make it seem like they have lost that spark in heir eyes. Works well with sinister and ominous settings too.
Shimmers also help with conveying emotions and are good to keep in mind when making expressions.
Highly emotional character could have more shimmers. As one gets very sad or otherwise teary, their eyes become more reflective thanks to it and catch more light. Try adding bright points of light to a grieving or overjoyed characters and see how much more expression it brings in.
Eyes with more lights and shimmers is often also considered more innocent, “bright-eyed”. Which, while not an emotion is a helpful view to remember in character design. Having a child character with virtually no eye light feels very ominous and conveys something isn’t right.
To go into opposite direction, drawing very intense eyes is a favorite of mine.
Character’s stare can be hardened by reducing the amount of glimmer and moving it to more center of the pupil. Small, near-center light gives great boost to a character meant to be portrayed in a dangerous or otherwise threatening/wild light. “… crazy shine in their eyes.” Usually references to this kind.
Unlike a more emotional and innocent character, the eyes of more hard individual can be like this pinpointed to a single target.
Need to note the eye on bottom right: My personal and favorite technique. A character that’s meant to be portrayed as enraged or furious, i like adding a tad of red to their eye glimmer, it brings the point of anger across very well imo.
This can be taken to further levels even: differed colors could be linked to convey certain emotions. Pure red tint go give the air of rage while pink or purple glow could convey romantic feelings. Not realistic but looks nice.
What also needs to be remembered in the glimmer is the source of it; environment.
Making the eye glimmer reflect the environment around they eye helps with immersion. If the light coming in is colored, give the glimmer color instead of being pure white. Remember that the glimmer follows the light source. Some glimmers may also take the form of a reflecting surface near the eye, such as windows or weapons.