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Appeal of small irises

Apr 6, 2019

    1. Hello! I've only been in the hobby for about a year now and I don't own any small irises, but am interested in some. I don't think I've ever heard/read what makes small irises so appealing so I wanted to know your personal thoughts!

      My first thought was it makes look doll look fiercer or have a piercing gaze. I still think that, but now I think it makes it [the doll] look much more realistic that big irises. >-<
      • x 2
    2. I think they look more realistic and depending on the openness of the eye you get more range for expressions
      • x 3
    3. Most people who go for them seem to be after "realism"... If you have one of those hyper-realistic, tiny-eyed, Manly McMan-Dude sculpts, that makes sense. Big-irised, anime doe-eyes would look a pretty strange on one of those guys.
      • x 5
    4. For myself, I like how flexible small irises are. As stated above, they work really well for dolls with small eyes where normal irises would look creepy/ridiculous, but even with dolls with larger eyes a small iris makes it easier to give the doll different expressions, and make it look like their gaze is focused somewhere. For a lot of my dolls, normal irises only allow for a kind of vague, brainless look I don't really care for because there's not much room to have sclera showing. Small irises also help a doll look more mature, I think, and since I mostly collect msd size but have adult characters I find they help make the face look a little less teenager-y.
      • x 5
    5. I love small irises for their realism, especially in my big guys - but they also have the added benefit of allowing you to make the doll look in a specific direction without having the majority of the iris disappear under the rim of the eye.
      • x 1
    6. They do seem to work well for the more realistic sculpts from what I've seen! I've got my first pair on preorder to try them out.
    7. They make the doll looks more realistic. Especially if the doll has small eye openings... It helps if the iris are small
    8. My doll has got narrow eyes, so normal eyes looks pretty strange for him. It shows more from the sclera, looks more natural. And yes it makes your doll less innocent.:3nodding:
    9. Some of the sculpts I like have kinda little eyes, or ones that are closed partially. The smaller iris seems more visible (oddly enough) to me in those situations. But also I like the fierce gaze! The intent expression is easier.
    10. I really like them for dolls that take say...a size 14mm eye, but actually using that size fills up almost their whole eye with the iris. Buuuut, just changing to a 12mm eye leaves gaps on the sides. So 14mm small iris it is! :thumbup
      • x 1
    11. I have a doll who -- according to the company -- takes 12-14mm eyes. This is, on the whole, a lie. If I use 14mm eyes, I get nightmare fuel and no whites are visible. 12mm aren't always as problematic, but on the whole, the irises from 10mm eyes are much better. However, 10mm eyes gap because this doll is attractive but also kind of the worst sometimes.

      So that's why, if I wanted her to look relatively lively and only a reasonable amount of terrifying, I should invest in 12mm small iris eyes. (She still scares little old ladies with the smaller iris eyes, but only because she's glaring at them.)

      Oh, another doll I could do the same with is my MYOU 30cm elf. She gaps a little with 12mm eyes, but the eye size also makes her look ageless and elf-y. If I want "cute kid", 14mm. Ageless tolkien elf, 12mm or 14mm small iris.
    12. A lot of the realistic dolls have eye holes that are not very tall, so average eyes which tend to have the iris be 1/2 the diameter of the eyeball have irises that fill up too much space which look sleepy or a little dead-eyed because what direction they are looking isn't clear if the iris takes up a lot of the eye opening.

      Putting small iris eyes into a doll with very round eye holes can make them look kind of shocked or deranged or reallllly pissy. Which can be fun for photos lol.
      • x 2
    13. They look more realistic and mature to me.
      • x 1
    14. I think they make the doll look more realistic. But it mostly depends in my opinion. I have seen big irises on realistic dolls and it still looks, well, realistic.
    15. I need the sclera to show. Many of my dolls have narrow or small eyes and using normal eyes, all I see is iris and in photos, it can make the entire eye just look dark and dead. The small iris can look more realistic, more mature, brighter and easier to move them for different expressions. In my larger eyed dolls, normal eyes are fine, and a small iris can give a bit of a Simpsons vibe in dolls with large wide eye holes! :aeyepop:
      • x 1
    16. I actually find that small iris eyes also can give dolls a more cartoony look, strangely enough! They're really great for enhancing emotional faces.

      I do think it gives dolls a slightly more intelligent and "alive" look, personally. All of my dolls have small irises, I love them so much!
    17. If you are looking for something that gives your doll a more realistic look, small irises would be an excellent choice in my opinion.
    18. Considering the majority of posters so far seem to prefer small iris eyes for their realism, I'd be interested in seeing some more examples of them in stylized dolls to enhance their expression. I remember I used to see a lot of custom Dollfie Dream heads with extreme expressions wearing small iris eyes for effect in the JP community.
    19. I have a crew of odd sized, odd shaped eyed bjds that can often be hard to do eye shopping for. Often the suggested eye size for that sculpt will come with irises that overtake much of the eye space, and sometimes going the next size down results in some annoying gapping. Small iris eyes are kind of an option that gets around that too big iris/horrible gapping issue I would otherwise deal with.

      There have been times where putting in regular sized eyes has left me with a strange feeling towards a few of my bjds. Take my Korra for example, an Impldoll Sally. [​IMG]
      Some might find that they look good here. Indeed, I love these eyes. The way they glow, the color....But the thing that really irked me about them was the fact that the iris took up so much of the eye space. It just looked so...alien. I eventually ended up making her a different pair of eyes myself with smaller irises that look worlds better to me (I haven't got any photos of her, sadly, school's been keeping me busy).

      The thing was this: I always felt like there was something off with her appearance. She really bugged me. I kept thinking it was the wig, or the sculpt, faceup, etc. But it was the eyes. Once I changed them out, she looked worlds different to me. All because the irises from the old set were too big.

      So that's my reason for often getting smaller irises. Sometimes normal sized irises fill the eye space too much and put me off. And going a size down to get a better iris size just isn't going to cut it.