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Melissa Lì Tiān Jorga
by melissalitian on 31 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

3D bust of witch character for a demo reel project.

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Here's one of my demo reel projects that I worked on, during my studies at PIXL VISN media arts academy! It's a hand painted 3D bust of my dungeons & dragons Witch character, which I based on a concept art I had painted two years ago. It was super exciting to learn 3D with a heavy focus on texturing, so I could bring one of my paintings to life!

First, I'd like to talk a little bit about the 2D concept phase.

Pictured above on the left, is the finished painting I made back in 2018. When I began working on this, I started out making a mood board and collecting inspirationals from Pinterest (pictured above on the right). I know my character has similarities to the Wicked Witch of the East, but I intended to make a green witch character for a dungeons & dragons game I was part of. Once I felt like I had collected enough references, I painted the concept art of her.

Second, I'd like to talk about my 3D process.

As I decided to use one of my own concepts, I started out by sculpting on top of a very basic head model that I got from sketchfab. The Witch's hat was super tricky, as it didn't make a lot of sense in 3D space, so I had help from Nina Klein for the hat model. I am responsible for all other aspects though. Once I was done sculpting the face and body, adding the hair strands and clothing for the bust, I unwrapped the UVs and used Substance Painter to block out the base colours for the textures. I added in the brush strokes and details with Photoshop, and did the final touches and making the textures look seamless in Mari. Back in Maya, I only used diffuse maps for the textures, but played around with aiTwoSided and opacity settings. The final render was done with Arnold.

And last but not least, I wanna credit everyone that helped me achieve this project!

Concept Art: Done by me!
Base Head model: Klockwork_Animation (
Witch's hat model: Nina Klein (
Responsible for all other aspects!

Special Thanks to Robb Innes for all the feedback and improvement suggestions during class, and all my other teachers from PIXL VISN media arts academy, for helping me achieve this project!

Thank you for reading!

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