Hi guys,

when I am casting in foam latex, I can set my eyeballs (plastic beads) in the foam along with the armature and everything works just fine. The beads do not bond to the foam and I can animate them just fine. The foam holds them in place. All is good.

I am considering casting a head in resin and was wondering if I could still set the eyes at the time of the pour without the resin bonding to the beads. Maybe if I coat the beads with a release agent?

Anyone have experience with this? I want moveable eyeballs captured within the head as cleanly and simply as possible. My apologies if this is a newbie question.

Thanks,

Dawn Brown

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The resin won't adhere to the beads if you coat them in something like Vaseline. But I don't think that's what you want to do.  The eyes will likely have trouble moving unless the beads are perfectly round (they're not, generally) and/or you have so much Vaseline that they practically rattle in the sockets.

When casting resin heads, unless you have a fairly complicated hollow head area around the eyes, the more reliable thing to do is let the eyes be part of the casting and animate the pupils.  You can make a pupil out of latex or clay or silicone.  (I've only done this with silicone.) With latex and silicone you can make the pupil stick to the eye by putting a little Vaseline on the back of the pupil. Clay tends to be sticky enough that you don't need any help.

Thanks for the reply, Dave. That info makes perfect sense. Foam latex is so forgiving those beads can move freely and it's no trouble. The beads are not perfectly round, and that would definitely be  problematic with a rigid casting. Thanks for the advice!

When I had to make a puppet with a rigid resin head, I made it a thin hollow fibreglass shell. So only the front of the eye had a moulded socket. Well, a ring i suppose, with the middle cut out to expose the eye. At the back there was a piece of cloth with foam behind it, that gently pushed the eye bead forward and kept it in the socket. I had to give up my usual raised cornea though, or that would have stopped the eyeball rotating in the hard socket. The beads must have been round enough, because it worked.

Yeah, that sort of thing is fine - it's not too different from how they did eyes on Coraline and Paranorman.  I assumed that Dawn was going for a solid casting kinda like a solid foam head (if one can consider a foam casting "solid").

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