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Matteo Hu's Portfolio 2023/2024

Matteo Hu's Portfolio 2023/2024

Matteo Hu
by MatteoHu on 8 Apr 2024 for Rookie Awards 2024

Hey everyone, my name is Matteo Hu. I'm 19 years old. I'm a Chinese 3D Artist based in Italy. This is my second year in this field, and I haven't stopped studying it since.

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Snow Girl - White Elephant - Demon - Wanda Maximoff

These four works were made by me in early 2023 through March 2024, I hope you enjoy them!

Snow Girl

Concept art from Zim's《White Snow

References and Analyzing

I used PureRef to collect some reference images, and based on the concept art I chose, I chose what I thought was more than enough reference images.

I analyzed the concept art before I started, and to facilitate the production afterward, I needed to understand the various structures of the concept art and find the corresponding references.

For this concept art, I focused on getting reference images of hair that I'm not particularly skilled at.


In the sculpting stage, I used the female base model to save time, first I adjusted the model's posture according to the concept art.

After I solved the various distortion problems in the adjusted poses, I focused on sculpting the face and hands until I achieved the desired effect.

Then I used the Zbrush layer function, brushes, and alphas to incrementally refine the face and hands.

Clothes making and Retopology

I used Marvelous Designer to create the costumes.

To avoid problems in Marvelous Designer, I made some adjustments to the character model I used to import it into the software, and I realized that there didn't seem to be enough room for the arms and body, so I rotated both arms outward a bit to make room for the costume.

Since I only had a few models to retopology (just the costume). I didn't combine the various layouts of the dress when I exported it from Marvelous Designers.

I imported the costume into Maya for topping after I made the costume, and I used a retopology plugin for Maya "jQuadCloth for Maya".

All finished, all imported to Zbrush for refinement.

UVs and Refinement

After all the garments are topologized and imported into Zbrush to give thickness.

Since I didn't choose to merge the layouts when I exported the costumes from Marvelous Designer, the panel loops give the costumes a stitch-like appearance when I use them to give thickness.

At this stage I added hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows to the character in Zbrush to see the overall look, the hair could have been added earlier but in the end, it was just to make it easier to add the hair in Maya using Xgen.

Creating UVs for the model before importing it into Maya for integration is necessary. Here I used RizonmUV to create the UVs.

I gave the character several UDIMs divided into Head, Torso, Arms, Legs, and Mouth with Teeth.

For the clothing I only gave two UDIMs, but I reduced the size of the inner parts of the clothing that were not visible.

Assembly in Maya

To prepare for the texturing stage, I gave the clothing and the character two different texture spheres named them, and finally softened the edges of the model.


To draw the texture I used Substance Painter.

Creating the texture is a very important stage so I spend a lot of time on it, I go through the layers in this order of thought: base color, color change (1, 2,....), Texture (height), and I usually create a group name for the base color group.

On top of this add some, for example: all kinds of dirty stains, edge wear, and so on, to pay attention to the roughness of the changes to be made, and finally, I will create a new layer to add a variety of filters to adjust the overall effect!


Before the final render to make the hairs, here I made them in Maya via Xgen.

This stage is where I spent the most time, the first version of the effect was not at all my ideal effect, so I went back to look closely at the reference pictures and various videos about this hairstyle, well in the end, after trying several versions to finally achieve the desired effect.

Here I have divided the hair into several sections and created different descriptions to make it easier.

Final Render

For this stage of the rendering, I chose Arnold as my rendering engine.

Here I set up several light groups to fit the corresponding shots.

I didn't try to set up a complicated lighting scene, but mainly used HDRI from Substance Painter as the main source of lighting, and then added a side light and a very important eye light. Since I particularly liked the ratio of the movie shots (2.35:1) I made a point of rendering a few of them.

In the final renders, I wasn't working on color grading or post-production except for one where I was adding a snow filter.

Lighting set 1

Lighting set 2

This concludes the process.

White Elephant

This piece is inspired by the six-tusked white elephant in the famous Chinese Ming Dynasty novel, "The Enchantment of the Gods".

Concept art from Xu Tianhua ThX's 《White Elephant》


This was my first attempt at making a full character after all, so there's still a lot of room for improvement, so I'm always growing and learning new things for the rest of my work.

Concept art from Hou China's 《Demon

Wanda Maximoff

This is the third piece after Full Character, my first attempt at creating a realistic portrait at the time, and this one features my favorite actress, Elizabeth Olsen! I hope you all enjoy it! I'm always learning and honing my skills and constantly trying to push myself out of my comfort zone. I will continue to share my work in the future! Let's work together in the future!


In closing, thank you very much for taking the time to look at these works of mine.

I hope you will join me as I continue to progress in the field of 3D art! Become what you dream of!

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