The Hollywood FX Master Who Painted Angelina Jolie’s Eyeballs
By Shirley Li, WIRED
1/5District 9 (2009)
To contrast with Sharlto Copley’s blue eyes as his character slowly took on alien characteristics, Patterson applied yellow paint to a scleral lens—a large lens fitting over the white of the eye. The result is a swollen, bug-like look.
Photos by Cristina Patterson
2/5The Walking Dead (2010- )
Zombie eyes mean larger, cloudier canvases. “I’m into making something look rotten,” Patterson says. “I have fun with them.”
3/5Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
For Famke Janssen’s creepy shape-shifting witch in this action-horror romp, Patterson created a hyper-stylistic “melted” effect to echo the transformations.
4/5The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Part 2 ) (2011, 2012)
The perfect vampire eye depends on the type of vampire. The Volturi’s onscreen look involved five to seven shades of red, cool tones, and flecks of yellow.
To offset the titular character’s dark attire and hint at the brittleness within her, Patterson tried to evoke the colors in a geode: at least four blues, three greens, two oranges, and one pink.
Visual effects in movies and TV usually involve more than meets the eye. But Cristina Patterson’s work is exactly what meets the eye. She hand-paints designs onto what she calls “a very, very tiny canvas”—a contact lens—to create crazy ocular looks for dozens of genre films. Without Patterson’s lenses, Angelina Jolie’s glare in Maleficent wouldn’t be nearly as menacing (nor would have Jamie Foxx’s as Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2). Here, Patterson shares insight on some of her favorite “paintings.” Don’t blink.
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