Baking & More Texturing
I repeated the same retopo process that I had done on my stays for the overall gown and other undergarments, so no need to re-document that here. I then experimented with baking settings in Substance Painter – I kept running into issues where the creases of the skirt and ruffles were intersecting, as the baking distance was too far. A combination of setting baking to only the same-named object and reducing the AO distance helped resolve this, although I am still getting minor clipping on the ruffle area.
I then played around a bit more with colors and fabrics, finally settling on a pink-and-green color scheme with some purple shift color overlays created with baked lighting. I took special care to lay out my UVs in even increments so that I could tile a lace texture on top of them and have a nice transparent edge around the entire seam cuffs and ruffles.
The marble mannequin was a spontaneous choice, but I ended up really liking the effect and felt that she needed a head/feet to show the proportions of the gown. I created a quick pedestal in ZBrush to ‘mount’ the mannequin on for rendering.
I had a great time going in and adding small creases and seam wrinkles to my high-poly sculpt. I have a fairly good knowledge of where seams stretch and pull from years of fighting wrinkles in real-life fitting, so it was mainly a matter of applying some standard ZBrush brushes and some purchased seam brushes in the correct places. I also discovered what is probably an obvious but invaluable feature: the layers function. This allowed me to go hard with my detailing and then pull it back to more realistic levels.
Overall, I emphasized all of the seams, added wrinkles around the sleeves and edges of the bodice as well as along all major seams and the hem of the skirt. I also added minor texture to the bows and ruffles, which were looking too flat.
(seam brushes by Muhammad Sohail Anwar on Artstation)
To create my final renders, I pulled my textured garment from Substance Painter into Marmoset Toolbag. I had never worked with the program before so my final setup ended up being simpler than I had liked, but I think it emphasizes the design quite well and captures that museum feel (if you squint!). I’m particularly pleased with how the stays turned out, as they look like my real-life pair.
Anwar, M. (2021). Cloth Seam Brushes + 4K Alphas – ZBrush 4R8+ FREE. [online] Artstation Marketplace. Available at: https://www.artstation.com/marketplace/p/rvv27/cloth-seam-brushes-4k-alphas-zbrush-4r8-free [Accessed: 10 January 2022].