Hi all.

got my armature built. and going to be doing clay head with changeable faces/mouths.

but im stumped on the best way to do the eyes. i didn't really want the character to just have fixed eyes always looking forward. so was wondering if anyone knew of a technique on making eyes move on a clay head. 

Thanks everyone

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I just put an eyeball (made from a bead) in the clay, and rotate it.  You probably need a pinhole in the pupil so you can stick a pin in, to make the eyeball turn.  Especially the first time you try to move it, it will be stuck at first.  I don't usually animate with clay, but it works in the clay sculpts I do for making a mould from.

Thanks loads nick helps alot. for a head do you reckon latex is better? i only have liquid i can't do foam latex at the moment due to not have space for a oven. 

Latex is different rather than better. It looks different, and is different to animate with.  Personally, I moved on from animating clay because it didn't suit what I wanted to do at the time - detailed textures like scales and wrinkles, colour patterns on the skin - and not so much of a range of expressions needed.  (Basically, dinosaurs and monsters mainly need the mouth able to open and close, and the eyes turn.)

These days, you can do heads in silicone - like Smooth-On's Ecoflex 00-30 - which not only means you don't need an oven, it isn't prone to forming fine wrinkles on the surface.  So if you want a sculpted head that keeps all the shape and detail you sculpted into it, and doesn't need re-sculpting and smoothing as you animate, it's a good way to go.  

Liquid latex can be used for simple build-up techniques, like I do, or be a mix of build-up and casting skins in a mould, like Richard Svensson does (  https://www.youtube.com/user/bluworm  ).  He does amazing stuff with liquid latex.

But it depends on the kind of look you are after. 

But latex or silicone it can't even come close to the range of expressions you can get by re-sculpting clay as you go.  The only other way to get that is with replacement faces (or part faces), whether 3d printed or sculpted and moulded.

thanks for the input Nick as always you are a bundle of valuable information so thankyou. Bluworm is great haven't watched his videos in ages going to have a rewatch now. 

If you are working with clay puppets, Marc Spess at AnimateClay.com is doing a series of live shows on designing and building a clay puppet.  Today's show (every Wednesday night at 8 PM chicago time)  will be live on Youtube in a few minutes, and you can also see past shows.  There are supplies and info on his site too.

The link on his site:  http://www.animateclay.com/index.php/live

Direct link to the live show:  https://www.youtube.com/user/animateclay/live 

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