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Wild Fandango
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1,494 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After searching on the web for awhile I decided there's no happy medium when it comes to buying eyeball props. There's really nice ones that are horribly expensive, $50-300 or more per pair. The most expensive ones are gorgeous and definitely worth the price, but it's not something you'd buy for a zombie prop you're gonna leave outside for a week. Mid range ones also have nice irises but tend to lack veins.

There are cheaper ones that look quite nice, but the iris looks fake and they have no veins. Most of them have the radial lines equidistant, so it looks a little too perfect.

There's several videos on YouTube showing how to make your own... via acrylic casting and painting, etc, etc. They produce very good results but with all the materials you need to buy, plus equipment like pressure pots for casting, it all seemed horribly expensive and complicated unless you're planning on making a business out of selling them.

Terra's tutorial here is pretty awesome and showed me that you can probably do a better job on your own rather than buying them, but I wanted more realistic sized eyes and not ping pong balls. This is my first attempt, where I learned a lot of things not to do to make the next set look better:





(I need to get better at macro photography. And get a photo account somewhere. I don't even own a digital camera since I never actually take photos. The lens/cornea is clear, but the iris reflects up inside of it)

Materials:

1" HDPE Spheres

Terra's printable irises.

Red yarn

Epoxy, both quickset and Envirotex Lite.

Once I get better at it I'll post a tutorial. Things to watch out for next time: Avoid bubbles in the lens/cornea. Make the veining go in one direction and not haphazardly coat the ball in it. Maybe learn to paint irises for higher realism (though from what I've seen, this can be a lifetime skill to learn). Don't drop the eyeball when coated in gloss epoxy. Don't wait too long to apply the gloss coat or it won't smooth out nicely (if you do it too soon it drips right off) . Maybe try Castin' Craft Resin next time. A drill press would make it easier and more accurate. I wasn't planning on buying one but I might.

Any other suggestions would be welcomed. I also plan on making them with more transparent polypropylene spheres and gently backlighting them with medium brightness warm white LEDs so the color of the eyes and veins stands out rather than the standard single bright color most lit eyes have.
 

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Hauntless
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8,374 Posts
They look fantastic! I like the glossy look you gave them a lot. Glad you mentioned the tips with the epoxy. Was considering that for the next set I'd make. Used the Castin' Craft for jewelry and it would probably work easier than what it sounds like you ran into with the epoxy so you should feel good about that option for future eyeballs.

But, these already look top notch and very realistic. Awesome work.
 

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livin Halloween every day
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1,989 Posts
Man, nice work. Looks like you plucked them out of somebody.
 
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