How to Animate Eyelids Blinking

Learn how to animate eyelids blinking from Joe Vena of the Children's Museum of the Arts in this stop motion tutorial from Howcast.

We have our clay face. We are going to animate the clay face to blink. And what we do to make the character blink is take some clay. It can be the same color as the clay you’re already using or a different color. We’re using the same color here. And I create a little series of shapes here, two half-moon shapes for the half eyelids, and then two full flat circle shapes for when the eye is fully covered with the lid. And we’ll take a few pictures of our guy just as he is. Maybe adjust an eyebrow a little bit. Adjust the mouth. It’s nice to, even if very subtly, keep your character alive. Little moves.

And now we’ll go in for the blink. And we’ll start with the half eyelid. Rather than just drop an eyelid over the top of the eye, we’ll take a moment here and let it.

Picture of the half eyelid. We’ll remove the half eyelids. We’ll go to the full eyelids. Sometimes you’ll find it’s a little bit big. You want to reduce the size of your eyelid to fit just over the eye. You don’t want to see any of that eye sticking out from the eyelid. You just want it to be covered enough. You also want to press it on so it looks to be covering the eye, but you don’t want to push it in so far that it becomes difficult to remove. Full eyelids take a moment. It will be a longer blink. We’ll remove those full lids. We’ll go back to half lids, and that one. And then we’ll go back to our fellow wide-eyed. And we’ll give him a quick little turn of his eyes after his blink. Sometimes it will take you a little while to execute something in stop motion. It does take a lot of patience and focus, but I think you’ll find it’s worth it. And there is our blink. That’s just one more wonderful thing you can do with your clay face.