Rookie Awards 2024 - Open for Entries!
The Dress of the Dragon
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The Dress of the Dragon

Arianna Smacchia
by aryas3dvision on 12 Apr 2024 for Rookie Awards 2024

Hi everyone! I'm Arianna and this is my entry to the Rookies Awards 2024 in the ''Digital Fashion'' category. I recreated the stunning dress from Heaven Gaia Spring-Summer collection of 2020

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I choose to recreate the stunning dress from Heaven Gaia Spring - Summer 2020, a Chinese brand! 

As soon as I saw this dress I fell in love: the dragon theme, the colors, the vibe are incredible, so I had to give to my render the same impact.

I created this during Skyup Academy's masterclass. I Modeled in Marvelous Designer, textured in Substance Painter, retopologized in Maya, and rendered in Vray.

I'm happy to show you a bit of the process and, at the end, you  will see the turntable!


I started, as always, by searching for references. I found some fundamental pics of the dress and some paper patterns of the bodysuit, the collar, the long plissed skirt, and the ''jacket''. 

I saw the video of the runway to capture the mood, understand the textures, and take other pics. 


I knew that making this dress was going to be really tough, but I fell too in love with it and was ready for a challenge to choose something else. After taking references, I went straight to Marvelous Designer. This was my first time using it, so I was so intrigued.

I then scuplted the medallion in Zbrush, and implemented it in Marvelous, as a button.


After studying the best way to approach this, and understanding all the different pieces and all the layers of the dress, I spent a lot of time overlapping and sewing patterns. Making every piece stiff was also a struggle!

I applied a button to the collar so the jacket couldn't open, and I fought with the belt so that it stayed in the right position. 

After coming up with something that I liked enough, I simulated a walking pose with Mixamo so that the dress could fall on the body correctly. This was the best pose for it, classic but powerful.




These are all the different layers that I used to achieve the final look.



I imported the dress in a Maya scene and I went straight to texturing!

I loved the texturing part. I painted all the designs and the little strings in Procreate, so that I could imprint the drawings in the correct spot.

 I cleaned the borders of the images directly in Substance Painter.

 I decided to make my version of the dragon but still maintaining the overall idea and some shapes.



I then imported the textures in Maya, and here's where I had to play a lot with lighting. 

To create a strong impact I had to give the right contrasts and make the colors pop while maintaining a dark and powerful vibe. 

I added a panel to the left to deviate the light and create a shadow on the background that was very much needed, otherwise it would've been too bright.

I corrected some parts that needed an extra touch, for example, to add the final stiffness to the shoulder straps.


And that's it! 


Here's the turntable!


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