Hi All,

Anybody got any info about how Paranormans Eyes work and what theyre made of?

Ive watched all the featurettes I can watch and while it shows the eyes in plenty of them Im still not sure of the full workings of them. It looks like the eyelids stay in there and are hinged maybe but I cant make out how the eyeballs stay in there? it also says that the eyeballs are moved around with an exacto knife, I would have thought this would scratch the paint on the eyeballs?

If anyone knows anything about them Id love to know too!!!

Thanks,

Paul

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From the behind the scenes stuff I've seen it looks like the eyes are basically flat-backed discs no larger than the openings, and I'm guessing the pupils are stuck on with vaseline. This is pretty common, and in fact it's how eyes were animated on Coraline, so it would make sense. 

There's another similar trick I've heard of - the eyes can be made as hemispheres with steel inside and the pupils can be cut from flexible magnetic material like what refrigerator magnets are made from. This was done for Rudolph's eyes. I don't remember anymore where I heard this one, but somebody once chopped up a bunch of steel wool and packed it inside the eyes when casting them from resin for metal content, and then used refrigerator magnet material for the pupils. And when I say pupils, of course that includes the irises as well. 

You can buy magnetic sheet material (the stuff refrigerator magnets are made from) through specialty magnet suppliers online. I recall somebody had to shave it down because it was a little too thick - I think they just did that with an X-Acto knife and it ended up looking good enough. 

But the nice thing about using vaseline is it gives the surface of the eyeball a nice shiny look that gives the eyes a sense of life. 

Oh, and most likely the blade doesn't scratch the paint because it's covered with a thick drop of epoxy glue, which gives depth and shine to it and gives it that characteristic 'bump' shape of the cornea. I guess you'd need something like an X-Acto blade to grab it and slide it around. Though a pencil eraser would be something I'd try first. 

In fact - wasn't there some footage somewhere of people making the eyes? Or was that for a different movie? (Or did I dream it?)

I seem to recall seeing a table full of people and somebody was cutting out printouts of eyes and putting drops of glue on them - and maybe it was superglue rather than epoxy, I'm not sure. It seems like they got a lot of 'duds' because of oddly-shaped drops of glue, but some of them came out just about perfect. Or did I dream that or something? :)

The August 2012 issue of Stop Motion Animation shows a number of pictures of the puppet heads. This photo also shows the movable lid. As can be seen, it is a complicated mechanism that also used replacement faces,
http://stopmotionmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/SMM-Issue-...
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Are those fully spherical eyes? Maybe I was thinking of Coraline eyes and ParaNorman eyes are different? Or are they hemispheres? 

Okay guys, I have gone and done some CSI style detective work this for you ;)

All the images should enlarge to hi rez but if there are any problems I'll whack them in a zipfile or something.

So, the eyes are hemispheres and clip on to another hinge that I think also rotates.

Here you can see in the Making Norman video, the eyes are lying face down on the bottom left, revealing the clip part on the back

Then a set of clear hemispheres are clipped on top to give it the nice wet look

THEN I found these images in my geek folder that have come from a video which I know I have but I cant for the life of me remember exactly what it is. I will find that out asap. In the video you see Normans head "blowing up" revealing the mechanics. Luckily I took these screenshots.

That's all I have apart from this awesome photo. I've never been able to find a version where its not cropped but either way its great. I hope it's been of some help

Excellent work Ben!! 

Are his eyes really different sizes??!!?! I never noticed that before, but it looks that way in every one of these pictures. I thought maybe they just did that in the first one to give it that anime quizzical look, but no - it's all the pics. And I know Norman's face is asymmetrical - crooked nose etc - so quite probably they really did use different sized eyeballs. Weird. 

They did.

Great exploded drawings!



Strider said:

Excellent work Ben!! 

Are his eyes really different sizes??!!?! I never noticed that before, but it looks that way in every one of these pictures. I thought maybe they just did that in the first one to give it that anime quizzical look, but no - it's all the pics. And I know Norman's face is asymmetrical - crooked nose etc - so quite probably they really did use different sized eyeballs. Weird. 

They are indeed! In fact most of the characters have odd shaped eyes. Some have them at slight offset angles and then some have one bigger than the other. A lovely bit of design in my opinion 

Those are great blow-up pictures ... I thought I had everything there was on ParaNorman ... never occurred to me that the eyes were hollow hemispheres ... what a clever (and complicated) design.  The ParaNorman puppets are wonderful ... brilliant ... simply (hardly;-) brilliant ...   jbd

The weird thing for me is - I've actually seen these pictures before and somehow never realized the eyes are actually different sizes (or it just looked natural to me and I didn't even think to question it or something. Or maybe I saw the video, not the images, and possibly when it's all moving it's harder to tell they're different sizes?) 

Anyway, I just assumed they used same-size eyeballs but had slightly different-sized openings for each eye. Seems really weird to actually use different-sized spheres... 

But yeah, it works!! 

Just getting around to replying to this now, thanks to everyone for the input!! Special credit to Sherlock Whitehouse for tracking down every possible image!!! I think I had seen all of these at one point but seeing them all in one place is invaluable, thank you! The blowing up of Normans head parts is from the Paranorman website, I never thought to take screenshots!!! I guess I'll just have to work out that eye mech, its so hard to figure out exactly how they worked in a full range of movement for the pupil, I had thought maybe a pushfit ball joint at the back of the eyeball was the solution but this seems more complicated. Not having a bluray player means that I still havnt seen all the bonus features and I thought there might be something I was missing....

Anyway again, thanks for this, big help 

Paul :-)

I was doing some research in the web and i found this post, i know exactly how the eyes of paranorman work.  I had the original puppet to work with.  and i do have the 3D file for printing those mechanism.  So let me know how can i help you guys. THANKS!

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