After all the sculpting and modeling for the first set I thought is was time to enhance Ara as well and work on some remaining tasks such as the eyes.
Until now the eyes were pretty much a placeholder for the real ones. The outer geometry was there to aid in the rigging and shape key definition, but no further modeling/texturing was done.
As the eyes are said to be a mirror of the soul I wanted Ara to have eyes that could accomplish this. That meant no pixar style eyes and after browsing through a lot of eye tutorials I finally settled on the workflow of an eye tutorial from the gnomon workshop. Its for maya, but he principles are easily transferred to blender.
Well, the modeling part was quite fast, but the texturing part was a little bit more time consuming. And its also a bit too early to start the texturing, but in this case you have to texture it, other wise you cannot see the iris and thus the most important part of the eye.
During my render tests for the image you see at the beginning of this post, I soon realized that the lighting task will be very important to bring the eyes to life. I also ran into a problem with the render engine. I wanted to have raytraced refraction activated on the cornea of the eye, but if I do this, the bumps on the iris are not rendered. Right now I use simple ztransparency to get the bumps, but the eyes do not look good from the side. I also tried the standard render engine from 2.5 but got the same result. Looks like I have to find a compromise somehow 🙁
Another point I notice now that the eyes are more defined, is that I have to work on the alignment of the two eyes. Right now they seem a little off.
And for those who are wondering, yes, Ara will have red hair and green eyes 🙂