After finalizing the clay and hard-surface busts in ZBrush, I whipped up a few additional models: two simple plinths emblazoned with the software logos (converted to vectors and extruded) and a pair of 3D glasses. I imported the models into my previously-created test lighting scene in Maya and, while I think the overall look pops, much of the topography and detail I had worked so hard on was lost. I also used this experiment to decide upon a combination of colored shaders and colored lighting rather than uniformly-colored objects.
I ended up creating a new scene and adding in lights one by one, especially focusing on partial backlighting to skim the surface of my models and emphasize their features. I decided quickly to keep the shaders more neutral in color overall, with intense subsurface coloring to further bring out the peaks and valleys and add more color variation.
It became apparent that the 3D glasses worn ‘normally’ were obscuring far too much of the faces. I agonized over the placement of them since the two figures have detail in different places and I didn’t want to cover too much. Eventually I settled on the final placement, which I hope further drives home the loose/realistic nature of the clay sculpt as opposed to the neat, controlled hard-surface one.
My final piece: sculpted in ZBrush, composited and rendered in Maya with Arnold, and lightly post-processed in Photoshop (color tweaks and chromatic aberration effect).