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Anya Taylor-Joy CG Hair Grooming: Technical Breakdown

Anya Taylor-Joy CG Hair Grooming: Technical Breakdown

Palm Piraban
by PalmPiraban on 20 Sep 2022

Hair Grooming, Look dev, and lighting work inspired by The queen's gambit. I practice visual storytelling skills by hair grooming using xgen and Maya during my spare time. please click here to see more detail:

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Anya Taylor-Joy CG Hair Grooming

Responsible for grooming, look development, and lighting. Software used: Maya, Xgen, Substance Painter, Redshift Prop models: Sofa, cushion, bed, and chess from Turbosquid. Character Model and Texture: Badin Wongsawat

please click here to see more breakdown on my website


I got inspiration and references from The Queen's Gambit episode (season 1, episode 3). I love this episode because it's good visual storytelling, cast, set and location is really great.


In this part, I will explain the preparation steps before grooming. After I got a model and texture from Badin Wongsawat. There are several thing to do with original model. For example, posing and detail sculpting to match the composition and light direction. please see all processes in the following steps. 

Cloth simulation 

Prop and Background modelling process


I stat to groom with an original model from Badin Wongsawat

I split guide grooms for making it easy to brush, but it is hard to make it smooth on each border.

XGEN Grooming Descriptions (Eyebrows, Eyelashes, Main Hair, Front Hair)

Regarding the model, It is an asymmetry model. So, I can not groom one side and mirror. In the guide and groom process part, I separate the guide into 4 different xgen descriptions. I start the xgen description from eyebrows, eyelashes, main hair, and front hair. The shape and volume of the hair is the reason for separating them. 

guide and hair groom in 360 views


Redshift is the renderer for this project, the main shader is RedshiftMaterial and RedshiftHair. I use several basic materials for skin, shirts, and props. I also use 2 RedshiftHair materials for eyebrows, eyelashes, and hair.

Subsurface Scattering

          I add Subsurface Scattering in this Redshift material shader. I also paint a SSS mask and use it for SSS Multiple Scattering Amount. In addition, I make a mouth displacement and connect it to the Redshift displacement

with out SSS (left) compare with SSS (right)

Mouth Mask and SSS Mask

skin shading connection

Background Texture

    For the wall, sofa, and blanket patterns, I make a mask from nuke and export it as RGB and Black and white channels. Then connect them to LayerTexture and change the color in this node. Please see the shading connection in the following images


For the lighting part, I start with indoor low contrast Studio Country Hall HDRI from The reason for using the low contrast HDRI is I need to add and control key lighting separately.


    I learn how to make a woman's hair from XGEN + Maya in this project. It's a really good project. After I got the rigged model and texture, I made a blocking scene including measuring scale, editing posture, creating a background, and finding props. Moreover, XGEN is really new for me to groom woman  hair because the shape is more complex than men's hair. After finishing a guide, I add a bunch of modifiers like clump, noise, cut, and coil. to make it close to the reference.

Finally, thank you for a great rigged model and texture from Badin Wongsawat. And a lot of helpful advice for me when dealing with xgen. I hope you guys like this work and my breakdown process

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