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The animation of character pupils

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The animation of character pupils

This is the abstract for my research paper recently completed for a BA (honours) Design for Interactive Media.

Title: The expression of emotion through the pupils of animated character


The aim of this paper is to explore the concept of animating characters with realistic pupils. Meaning, pupils which change according to focus, light levels, level of concentration, like and dislike, along with touch and pain. Expressive pupils already exist in animation, through this research I attempt to extend upon the current level of pupil expression.

An analysis is carried out on existing animated characters, looking at character expression, and how the type of animation effects the level of realism and eye expression. To gather this information I used questionnaires aimed at viewers, character animators and also used animation guide books for reference. The main aim being to understand the current thinking and working practice of character animators in relation to character pupil expression, defining a point which I could extend upon.

The benefits and drawbacks of more expressive pupils within animation are considered, using insights gained from character animators along with knowledge gained from my research into what influences the size of our pupils, I was able to see that the realist nature of expressive pupils is particularly suited to computer generated animation (CGI).

My conclusion features a set of influences which effect pupil dilation and contraction, along with details of my future developments, these being to create animated characters using my research results.

If anyone is interested in reading further let me know.

my portfolio at

Please share. Eyes are Great Communicators. Always interested in perceptions on the hows and whys.

This is quite an interesting research paper you have there. Yes , am all ear