I searched the archives but found very little on what I am looking for.Anyway I am starting my 3rd whitetail mount & I think one of my weakest points is setting the eyes correctly (Main question ?)is how to set the correct eye depth in the manikin?is there a simple method?
Thanks for any input!
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all you sould do is put some clay in the back of the eye and push it into place untill you here the glass eye rubbing on the form and that is all there is to it really.. hope this helps
ps the forms you buy are set so close there no need to go deeper or add more clay to build out
Depending on what form your using can determine what to do. I'll try here but no garuntees. First off level the back of the form, then take a level and looking from the front of the deer. You can see the front corner of the eyes. The next step is to level that. Hold the level on the nose and have each end on the same corner. Now you can level it up that way. Place an eye in the socket with some clay on the back of it so it holds in the socket. On the high point of the eyes place the level (the part that has the V grove in it) on that. Level it up, now the space between the glass eye and the form should be around a 1/16 to no more that a 1/8 from the form. If it's not you either have to drill out the socket or add clay to it. After that you need to level the pupil up. All I do is take a flashlight and place the level on the pupil and level it up. You should see the pupil is about 1/16" above the corner of the eye. After all that you should find the center line on the form and make sure the eye is set at 45* on most manikins. Some like Research use 33* for there eye set. That is one thing that will always be questioned. Your eyes are now set properlly.
But I'm hardly in the class of Frank either. Both Bill Yox and Ken Walker told me about "eyeballing" the eyes years ago and I've left the level on the tool board ever since.
I set the form on the armateur which is just as perpendicular as my walls would ever be and I turn it until it "looks" level. I put a small bit of clay in the eye socket and set the eyes on it. NOW, I can determine what angle I want them tipped in. With a flashlight, I stand in front of the nose and "level" the pupils, but I also establish the rotation I'm looking for with the mannikin I have at hand. Most forms have "presets" but I only use that as a stop for the front corner of the eye. The rest is done by eyesight. Then I build my brows in with Critter Clay and again check them from the front with the flashlight.
I try to keep things simple as I'm not that good at complicated matters. For years I used all the gimmicks and tools they sell to set the eyes, and TO ME, they look so much better now than they did then with using nothing but my own eyesight.
I still use a level to make sure everything is straight. I've taken a set of calipers and measure how far the eyes stick out of freshly killed deer and use that measurment to reproduce that back into "my" mounts. Not every deer has the same measurment. So I have to work accordingly to the mount. But then this is on my own personal mounts. On customer mount I use the data I have and use this with the size of deer the customer has. Then I put a small amount of clay on the back of the eye, then install it in the mannikin. Then I build up the brows With critter clay, making sure everything is the same as the reference data I have. This is the part of doing a deer head that I think is the most important. Make sure the pupils are straight and level, or in the correct position for the mount your doing. I always keep the thought in my head, That the eyes are the windows to the world. Get your eyes correct, then the rest of the mount will fall into place.
Hes asking about the depth, not the angle. For depth, I still will eyeball them like George and Ken, but theres other concerns...the height of the eye you choose. Flat profile eyes might go right into many popular form brands. Tall profile eyes like I prefer require some foam removal. The best way to set eye depth? Its really easy...build the eyelid over them out of clay, check and see where youre at, then youll know. If its too much, dont just add eyelid(clay) but pull the eye and take away more foam, to set it deeper. Like George says, 'simple' rules!
I have just been kinda practicing using a oil based clay(so that it will not dry out)just to see what kind of results that I get & Eyeing it up so to speak & I think I am getting it close to were it should be.Any way I think next time I am going to take a few extra measurements,like eye to eye - eye socket to eye socket maybe even a death mask.Maybe this is an over kill but at least until I become more experienced. thanks again for the tips & for jump starting my brain.