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We have a particularly fortunate situation in iris synthesis: artificial eye makers (ocularists) have developed a procedure for physical iris synthesis that results in eyes with all the important appearance characteristics of real eyes. They have refined this procedure over decades,and the performance of their products in the real world completely validates the approach. Our approach lets users (other than trained ocularists) create a realistic looking human eye, paying particular attention to the iris. We draw from domain knowledge provided by ocularists to provide a toolkit that composes a human iris by layering semitransparent textures. These textures look decidedly painted and unrealistic. The composited result, however, provides a sense of depth to the iris and takes on a level of realism that we believe others have not previously achieved. Prior work on rendering eyes has concentrated predominantly on producing geometry for facial animation or for medical applications. Some work has focused on accurately modeling the cornea. In contrast, the goal of our work is the easy creation of realistic looking irises for both the ocular prosthetics and entertainment industries.