where the character driven industries meet

Surrounded by a pile of crumpled paper large enough to make Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout blush, I spend countless hours developing characters for children’s stories. In (almost) every case, the character design includes eyes. But which kinds of eyes are best for a character design? Is it the Winnie the Pooh, “dots for eyes” approach? Or does an illustrator follow the rules of Bugs Bunny or Bart Simpson and give the character eyes with
eyelids, pupils and the whole shebang?

This is one question a character designer will run into with practically every character he or she creates. Though I have never found a rule for such a vital design element, my curiosity led me to do a little research. Pulling out a copy of Hergè’s Tintin, I looked at every page and found a consistent design; Tintin had dots for eyes. Then, I looked at Calvin and Hobbes. Apparently, Bill Watterson has encountered this same debate. A quick flip through the Calvin and Hobbes treasury shows, from one image to the next, Calvin can go from having dots for eyes to having “Bugs Bunny” style eyes; sometimes going through this metamorphosis within the gutter of a single comic strip. Needless to say, my findings only added to my personal


When my research produced no rule, I began to wonder, “What does the rest of the world think?”. Is one kind of eye design preferred over the other? Is there a correct way to use these two techniques, or is it simply an artist’s liberty? I posted my question to the LinkedIn “Characters” discussion group and started to get some very intriguing feedback from creators all around the world. If you’re curious about what artists are saying or if you have insight of your own, I highly recommend you check out the discussion.

Steve Jubinville is a senior Character Modeler & Texture Artist for the Film and Video Game industry. He is also a traditional artist and a photographer. Steve has strong leadership skills and a good ability to plan work in complex schedules. He is devoted, enthusiastic and a team player. In Canada he taught software like Softimage and Zbrush to students and professional companies. He works very closely with the Pixologic team (Zbrush) and in the past he has also taught for Ubisoft, Hybride, Crystal Dynamics, EA, Beenox and many others.


Steve is currently based in Los Angeles. Before moving to LA, he worked on many features like 300, Journey to the Centre of the Earth 3-D, Whiteout, Shorts, Dragonball, Final Destination and Video Games like Elder Scrolls, Rift, Brink, Star Wars Unleashed 2 and many more. He also has experience in CG, double, character, creature, environment, prop and vehicle assets for film and cinema.





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