Crown for the King of Ardra

Crown for the King of Ardra

Sissy Trani
by sissytrani on 10 Feb 2021

Hello everyone! I'm glad to share with you this new work, in which I modeled and textured an antique crown from the 17th century, with one goal in mind: photorealism.

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In this new project I wanted to replicate an antique object found in the gallery of the Rijksmuseum, in Amsterdam: a crown that was meant to be a gift for the king of Ardra, a kingdom in the West coast of Africa during the 17th century.

Despite this object looks very impressive, it is actually made of inexpensive materials: copper, glass and velvet. The English (as well as the Dutch) used such diplomatic incentives to foster the trade in enslaved Africans. The crown, however, never reached the king since Admiral Michiel de Ruyter seized it while on a mission to expel the English from the Dutch fortresses on the African coast.

One of the trickiest part has been creating the little hair with Xgen: it took effort and time to make the pouf look old and washed-up.

This project has been very challenging: I worked a lot on the textures to achieve a realistic look, despite the very poor information and pictures of this prop. But its story is so interesting and mysterious that I decided to take this opportunity and learn as much as I could during the process! I went more in depth of the Substance Painter workflow and, for the first time, I rendered with V-Ray instead of Arnold. The look development process has been longer than usual because I never approached this render engine before, but I learned so much.

Your feedbacks are welcome and really appreciated!

- Modeled in Maya and Zbrush

- Textured in Substance Painter and Substance Designer

- Hair with Xgen

- Rendered in V-ray

- Post-production in Photoshop

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