I’ve had this idea kicking around in my head for some time now, but I was never really sure how to make it work or even if I could pull it off, close-up photography of avatar details being the challenge that it is. But it kept nagging at me, and I kept worrying it over, and finally I thought, “Well, maybe.” So here we are. Of course there’s also the question of how useful it will be to you, The Reader. You’ll have to be the judge of that.
ClichÃ©: The eyes are windows to the soul. (Do SL avatars have souls? Maybe on the other side of the keyboard. That’s probably a discussion for another time.) Truth, subjective though it may be: The eyes are, or at least are perceived as, the outward expression of something inner, and definitely affect our perception of others. These are some of the eye designs that have become my favorites over time.Â Any one of these designers has more eyes than I can feature here, some of them vastly so.Â This brief overview is intended to do no more than give you a closer look at some of my personal favorites.
Eyes are generally available in a wide range of colors, and none of the eyes shown here are exceptions. However, I’m not going to try to list all the available colors and variationsÂ for each–you’ll just have to visit the shops for eyes that interest you and find out for yourself.
At top I’m wearing Natural Eyes by Miriel Enfield. These eyes are nicely realistic, with natural-looking color striations in the iris, subtle veining and a pleasant reflective gleam. A variety of styles are available; my favorites are the Blended Natural and Vivid Natural styles. The color shown hereÂ is Strong Green. You can choose a smaller or larger iris size, and notably, demos are available in the shop to help you decide. Miriel’s Natural Eyes are priced at L$50 a pair, or L$125 for packs of four colors. Available at Miriel (Nouveau 114, 201, 23).
These are Portia Sin’s Intense Eyes in Ocean / Obsidian, probably my favorite of the many colors in which I bought these eyes. I discovered after I had completed the photo shoot for this feature, while I was zipping around to confirm prices and availability,Â that Portia’s currently available line of eyes is now Intense II.Â However, her original Intense eyes are still available. Also, the new Intense II eyes appear to be a natural progression rather than a radical redesign, so I think it’s safe to say that if you like these, you’ll also like the new design. The iris and vein detailing here is subtle, with a nice gleam in the iris, while the highlighting is strong and bright. Portia’s Intense II eyes are priced at L$150, which includes three shades in the same color family, in three different sizes. Available at Sin Skins (Sin Skins 130, 131, 55).
Posy Trudeau’s Bright Eyes are shown here in the light brownish-blond Wheat color, one of the many interestingly named colors in her collection. The highlight is clear and crisp, and the iris coloring strikes a pleasing balance between even shading and realistic flecks of color. A small haze of tiny veins is barely noticeable in the corner of the eye. Posy’s Bright Eyes are priced at L$75 for a single color, which includes three iris sizes. Available at Flesh Peddlers (Scout 104, 224, 251). Also available: “Noir” black-and-white eyes (not shown here), exclusively at Flesh Peddlers in Silent (Silent 147, 179, 41).
Here you see the Random Eyes in Hazel, by Garbage Prototype. These eyes are highlighted with a bright upper reflection and a more subtle lower refraction. I think the combination works very well. There’s a delicate hint of radial striping in the iris coloration and only the barest suggestion of veining. Released without much fanfare not that long ago, this quickly becameÂ one of my favorite eye designs, and I’m happy to give them a little boost here–I wear these often. Garbage’s eyes are priced at L$50 a pair. Available at Random Fashions (The Mode 76, 145, 29).
The collections ofÂ eyes by Maddox DuPont include an impossibly wide variety of colors and styles.Â The eyes I’m wearing here are called Happy Blue Pale, and I’m surprised by how much I like this pale, barely-there blue–I tend to favor deeper, brighter colors.Â The reflection highlight here is broken by what mightÂ just be another person standing in front of the light source, which is kind of a fascinating detail.Â MADesigns eyes are priced at L$100-300 a pair, depending on the style, L$500-3000 for sets.Â Available at MADesigns Shapes (Kmadd Enterprise 185, 76, 25); eyes are on the third floor.
Zada Zenovka’s EyeFidelity Eyes have a sharply defined pupil and come in a range of colors that are more highly dramatic than naturalistic (DarkÂ Marble is shown here).Â Eyes designed for three different settings are included: indoor, outdoor and nighttime.Â The three variations make use of different highlighting and pupil sizes to suit their intended surroundings–the indoor eyes shown here have a clearly visible reflection of a sunlit paned window.Â Zada’s EyeFidelity eyes are priced at L$100 a pair (some come in double-packs), L$360 for sets.Â Available at Shapes By Zada (Talisman 82, 142, 24).Â Zada also created (in my humble opinion)Â the best-ever freebie eyes: “The Far Away” Reflection eyes.Â And they’re still available!