Easy Eyes : The Mask Texture


Eye Everyone ! (Okay, last time I do this one, I promise…)

Easy Eyes, my new asset, allow you to setup eyes in a quick and easy way. Because the shader itself is centered around the main texture which contains four masks as explained in my previous post, I am going to do a small tutorial on how to create this texture. First, here is a breakdown of the 4 channels :


As you can see, nothing really complicated here. The color mask is used to blend two colors over the iris mask. The heightmap is used for parallax, and the veins are used to add veins to the sclera. Before getting more in depth, I am no artist. I am a developer, and will only provide you with information about the specifications of each masks, and how I would go on producing them.

The Iris

This mask is probably the most important. This is where the style of your eye will be defined : from something realistic to something more cartoony. The texture should fill the area, and be close to a perfect circle. The pupil should be centered, and not too big, for better effect when stretching it in the shader. If you start from an iris texture with colors, if will obviously end up desaturated. Many iris have several colors, so make sure the desaturated version reduce the luminosity difference between those area. That’s pretty much it. You can find many textures of iris online, but make sure to check out the licensing. There are also some tutorial to craft them from scratch on your favorite image software, but many of them fail to really catch the subtlety of the iris.

The Color Mask

This channel will define the blend between the primary and the secondary color of the eye. White is the first color, black is the second. Levels of gray will blend the two. There isn’t much to tell about this one. The way I proceeded to craft the one of the package was like this : having a full black image, white brush, with a high spacing, shape dynamics,  scattering, and transfer. Put a few strokes around the middle of the texture, Radial blur, and repeat this a few time. Finish with a few black spot with low Radial blur. Looking at the mask, you can see it is pretty obvious, but it works quite well.

The Heightmap

Well, simple Radial Gradient. You shouldn’t have to change it too much, but by modifying it you can adjust the depth of the iris thanks to the parallax effect.

The Veins

There is two way of proceeding here : either you have some skills and can paint the veins by hand to get the best looking results with a more realistic approach. Or, like me, your artistic skills are close to none, and you totally fake it with a marble texture. Yeah… Once you are done, convert this mask to a normal map, you will need it for the shader.


So, it isn’t much, but for people who needed a more in-depth explanation about this texture, you should now have everything you need. Still, if you have any question, do not hesitate to contact me here by posting a comment, or by mail at huguenin.benjamin@gmail.com.

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