Eye Fatigue

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here, but I have another question: In an ideal scenario, when your eyes become fatigued, you can step away from the computer for X amount of time so that you can come back later and view your progress with fresh and less fatigued eyes. But, when dealing with approaching deadlines, the time for a break can decrease depending what you're client is after, or whatever the case may be. So, given that, how do you usually tackle eye fatigue when trying to gauge if the animation is feeling right when the deadline is near? Is that a stamina problem that's built on time and experience? Do you use eye drops if your eyes are dry or in pain? 20/20/20 rule of looking in the distance? Long winded, but it's certainly a concern as of late.
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  • Sascha Feider(SFE-Viz) replied

    Eye fatigue is annoying and should be taken seriously before you do damage to your eyes.

    A few tips I like to go with:

    Making sure my workspace is well lit and not just the monitor light.

    If you have a window in your workspace, look outside on a regular basis for a few seconds.

    When modelling or working on parts that aren't colour related switch blue light off on my monitor or in windows (just gotta remember to turn it back on when shading or colour is important)

    When taking screen breaks really taking screen breaks and not scrolling social or watching tv, so basically replacing screen for screen

    I hear there are now special glasses for computer work that can help with the strain, not sure if that works though. I don't like using eye drops because it's just postponing the problem and maybe making it worse without noticing. Just like a workout or a long physical work day, eyes need the rest, so I like to make sure they get it. If deadlines get in the way maybe give them a longer rest once the project is completed and take a few days off from the computer.

    2 loves
  • Omar Domenech replied

    I think you're referring not to the eye fatigue as in the physical sense, it's more like you're seen the animation so much you can't even judge if it's looking good or not. Typically as you say you would give it a day and then look at it with fresh eyes, but when the deadline is close, the client says this needs to be done by yesterday, then you have no choice but to rush it. Usually you have to hand over the job with a result you don't like because the client was bad at managing times and that's like 99.9% of the clients sadly. That's why most people can't really but professional client paying jobs on their resume, the results tend to be a disaster and something you're not proud of. 

    What I have ended up doing is, after I hand over the work, and I'm like here you go client, have at it, enjoy your undercooked work, which is all crude and yucky because of you, so after all that is set and done, I go back to work on it and spend the necessary amount of time to polish it and make it something I can call a good work so I can actually use on my portfolio. 

    2 loves
  • Wayne Dixon replied

    Hi Bruffo,

    Becoming "blind to your own work" and "eye fatigue" are 2 different things.

    If you are having physical symptoms (pain, blurred vision etc) please see an ophthalmologist and listen to Sascha's advice - it's very sound.

    If you are referring to "becoming blind" in the animation sense...

    This will always happen, but the more experience you get, the more 'stamina' you have, so to speak. (in a metaphorical sense not a physical one)

    When deadlines are approaching, a shot can only be as good as the allowed time. But you can work on multiple shots at once, so you can switch and come back while not sitting around twiddling your thumbs waiting for your brain to forget what it has seen.

    But when you do this don't spread yourself too thin or else you won't make progress fast enough.

    2 loves
  • Matt Dickun(az93) replied

    I don't think the 20/20/20 rule of looking in the distance will help, 20 seconds isn't nearly enough time. When your eyes become fatigued looking away won,t help because you are still using your eyes. I would either quit until tomorrow, or close you your eyes for at least 10 - 15 minutes.

  • Brandon Ruffin(bruffin095) replied

    SFE-Viz Thank you for your swift reply and the tips you gave. Yeah, just like you, I also try to do all of these things as well. Especially making sure that I force myself to blink so that my eyes don't dry out as bad. Interesting take on eye drops though, I hadn't considered that. Nevertheless, my doctor recommended it since I live in such a dry area.

    P.S. I do have blue light glasses

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  • Brandon Ruffin(bruffin095) replied

    Hi Omar,

    Thanks also for your reply. Well, I'm actually referring to both eye fatigue in a physical sense, as well as becoming "blind" to the animation in front of you. Apologies if I didn't make that more clear. For example, if the deadline has been approaching and your eyes are tired or in pain, trying to stare at your animation loop to make sure it looks good is tough to do, especially when your eye is being tricked. It's a conundrum really. I do like your approach at alleviating your unfinished work that had to be given to a client. I certainly have had a tough time accepting this as well when giving clients stuff. I think I will do this. Thanks again man

  • Brandon Ruffin(bruffin095) replied

    Hi Wayne,

    Thanks for your reply as well man. I guess I didn't make it very clear, but I'm mainly talking about dealing with both eye fatigue in a physical sense and becoming "blind" to your animation. The conundrum of the two really, and how to deal with that. Firstly, I agree with Sascha's advice. It's helped manage my eye fatigue and keep it from getting to a painful state. I did bring this up with my doctor, and she mentioned eye drops because I live in a dry area. Aside from that though, I think working on multiple different shots is a good idea to keep my eyes "fresh" so to speak. I'll keep that one in mind going forward. Agreed on not spreading myself too thin.

  • Brandon Ruffin(bruffin095) replied

    Thanks for your guys' replies and advice, I really appreciate it! I'll keep all of this in mind as I go forward here!

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