It’s not the Five Fingers Of Death… but it’s still pretty cool…

It’s the Five Pattern Eyelash Method… and it helps you create eyelashes quickly inside of ZBrush or any other Digital Sculpting program.

Have you ever sculpted eyelashes using fibermesh or just some polygon modeler and felt like they looked like crap?  No, not just crap but like someone had actual crap stuck in their eyelashes?

One of my core beliefs is that Mastery is not magic.  It’s process.  Learn the process that masters use and you get the results they get.

eyelash 1

The key, though, is being able to SEE what it is they do.  In fact, a big part of training under someone else involves training your eye to see the subtle nuances that they see…

Take a look at the image to the right and tell me… what do you notice about the eyelashes?  Do you see any patterns?  Are there any specific relationships between the parts that you can use the help you?

As artists, we use patterns and systems to help us create the illusion of life.  In most cases, realism isn’t about making something “real”. It’s about establishing the illusion of the “real”.

In the image to the right, I’ve used a trick.  I’ve create a series of patterns with the eyelashes that are complex enough to not be noticed at first glance but are simple enough to give me some control over how the eyelashes look without taking hours and hours of work.

Have you seen the patterns?

I’ll give you a hint… In fact, I’ve already given you a hint:

There are five patterns.eyelash 2

Here is another image to help you see it. See the markings below the eyelash?  No, it’s not hieroglyphics.


I’ll explain.

On the far right, there are two parallel lines.  That is one pattern.  Two parallel eyelashes. In fact, there are actually two sets of two parallel lines.

Then, there is a V shape.  This is two eyelashes that are converging towards each other at the tips.

Next, a single straight line indicates a solitary eyelash… all by itself.

After that comes three lines that are converging at the tip.

If we skip ahead to the eight pattern from the right, you’ll see something that is close to an X shape. This is two eyelashes that significantly overlap each other at the tip.

And there you go… five patterns.

The third image on the right will help you break it all down.eyelash 3

Now, why would I bother with this level of detail?

The short answer is control.

The long answer is that patterns like this are systems and these systems give me both artistic control and efficiencies in production.  They form the craft of our art and the key to our future mastery.

Check out the time lapse video of the eyelashes to see the Five Pattern Eyelash Method in action!

I hope you enjoyed this look at the craft of Character Creation For Games.

Want to learn more?  Check out my course Digital Realism: The Face via the link below.

Learn more about the two course bundle for creating realistic faces.

Digital Realism: The Face