Ever wondered how they create the solid black eyes effect in movies and TV?
These days, your first thought might be CGI — but the answer is much more simple. Most of the time, makeup artists ask performers to wear blackout contact lenses.
All SFX makeup artists are familiar with coloured contact lenses.
They are a really fast and cost-effective way to completely transform a performer from a human into a supernatural being. Check out some of our favourite examples of solid black eyes in film and television.
While you’re here, make sure you take a look at our full collection of supernatural contacts. The creatures you can create are endless.
What do black eyes mean on screen?
There is a particular pattern seen in film and television called the ‘black eyes of evil’ trope. This means that a character who has a pair of solid black eyes, or transforms into someone with black eyes, must be evil.
If the character is redeemed, the eyes will usually return to a natural colour.
This show has been running since 2005 for a reason. You can’t have a hero without a really good villain — and Supernatural delivers.
Taunted and taken over by demons since season one — Supernatural managed to create villains that could hide in plain sight. With one small change, the demon was revealed.
Image via Supernatural Wiki.
They achieved this with the use of black contact lenses. There are some shots where the eyes transition from normal to black — CGI would have been used there.
It is much more cost-effective and accurate to have the performer wear the contacts for the rest of the scene because applying the effect to every frame in post-production will take much longer.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
If you need inspiration for your next fancy dress party, Buffy is a great place to start. There is no shortage of supernatural villains for you to cosplay.
One of our favourite moments is the appearance of Dark Willow.
After the death of her lover and an addiction to dark magic. Willow becomes Dark Willow. We see actress Alyson Hannigan pop in a pair of black contact lenses to complete her transformation into the evil alter-ego.
Every week we meet a new group of aliens for the Doctor to deal with. It was only a matter of time before we came across the black eyes TV trope.
During David Tennant’s run as the tenth Doctor, he visits the home of Queen Victoria and finds a werewolf in her barn. Right before the man transforms into the werewolf, his eyes are completely black.
In fact, you can find black eyes in most programs about werewolves. Keep an eye on the eyes — it is usually the first giveaway that a charter is about to transform.
Shop our collection of solid black eye contacts today!
Whether you are working on your own SFX project or getting ready to go to a fancy dress event, we have the perfect contacts for you.
The eyes are the window to the soul — make yours as black as night with our amazing lenses.
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