Woman With Flowers and Bathroom Barbershop
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Woman With Flowers and Bathroom Barbershop

by michelevuong on 1 Jun 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Hello! My name is Michele Vuong and I am a 3D Artist focusing in modeling and surfacing. Here is a character and environment I created this past year!

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Woman With Flowers (Delia)

Portrait of woman wearing a flower crown inspired by fantasy portrait photography and floral magazine photoshoots.

Created using ZBrush, Maya, and Substance Painter. Rendered in Maya with Arnold.

The main goal of this project was to take a deeper dive into realistic sculpting and shading techniques. Through this process, I've learned a lot about getting accurate displacement maps, techniques for hand-painting skin, and creating believable hair with xGen. 

In the sculpting phase, I often like to do rough sketches over the model to get a base idea of what it will look like in the final image (shown above).

The eyeball consists of two parts, being the sclera and the iris. I also created a separate geometry for the caruncle (inner pink part) and waterline.

A combination of several alphas  were used for pores, wrinkles, and fingerprints.  After doing the base details, I'll break up the symmetry by adding an additional layer of alphas with greater intensity.

(Above) AOVs from left to right: AO, Diffuse Albedo, Specular, SSS, Transmission, Sheen, Coat.

All textures were hand-painted in Substance Painter. For the shirt base color, I followed a tutorial by MographPlus. It was created using a combination of aiFacingRatio, remapValue, and aiLayerRgba to achieve the shiny look. 

In order to have the red makeup not affect the subsurface on the skin, I attached the diffuse map with makeup to the base color and sss color nodes, and a diffuse map without makeup to the sss radius.

Two different descriptions were used for the head hair-- one for the base and one for the baby hairs so that they blend into the forehead. I used about three different clump and noise modifiers for more variation. Additional descriptions for the peach fuzz and arm hair were also made.  I found that the key to achieving realistic looking hair is to add more differentiation through noise, width, and length, as hair in real life is often not so uniform.

Final render shown below!

 Bathroom Barbershop

Bathroom barbershop environment day and dawn concepts.

Inspired by the story of a young man who honors his grandfather's legacy by running what is left behind of his old barbershop.

Created using Maya, Substance Painter & Designer, and Photoshop. Rendered in Maya with RenderMan.

The main goal of this project was to learn the fundamentals of Pixar's RenderMan through the creation of a simple environment. Props modeled in Maya. Wall and floor texture created in Substance Designer, with extra variation added in Substance Painter. All other props textured using Substance Painter, with the exception of alphas which were painted in Photoshop.

When deciding on assigning colors to the props, I worked mainly from a color scheme to ensure that all the small objects would end up looking cohesive in the final render. I adjusted only the saturation and lightness values of those colors.

I set the goal of hand-painting all masked images in photoshop. This includes the leaves, hair cards, labels, stickers, newspapers, and background outside the window. It was fun to create all the small designs, even though they are so small in the final image. Here are some fun hidden details:

The image of the little girl receiving a bowl cut is meant to be the barbershop owner’s daughter. The caption in the picture frame says “My first client.”

I put some personal notes on the mirror. They are appointment reminders, hair product coupons, hair care tips, and even a real recipe for a homemade conditioner bar!

Although the text is too small to read in the final image, the newspaper on the far right has a “Quote of the Day” by Thomas Jefferson saying “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” I chose this quote because I thought it fit with my barbershop concept of a man trying to make an honest living using what he can afford.

(Above) A closer look at my shading/lighting process.

For the daytime lighting, I aimed for soft, warm lighting with a haze effect inspired by what you would see from a film camera of the '90s. For the dawn lighting, I aimed for a stylized look that was purple color-heavy to portray a feeling of inspiration and ambition. 

(Below) Close up of the final renders. A more detailed writeup can be found on my website!


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