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Since I began and completed this one a little bit ago, the details on this one are a little fuzzy. Not sure why I started this one but it eventually evolved into something witch-y. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking to do with the image, so I sketched out an idea traditionally for her outfit and hair. From there, I crafted her clothing, feathers, talismans and most of the ropes in ZBrush. Her clothing went through a couple iterations before settling on what it is now. The feathers I had a vision for them from the start. Rough, broken and dirty with the stem of the feather long and sticking out in some places. I love the way they turned out.

I don’t do as many backgrounds as I should, so the background in this took quite a bit of time. The Mega Terrain: Swampland (link below) was really great as a starting point to get that marsh-like vibe I was going for. From there, it was filling out midground and framing devices and adding the hanging heads (which were a part of my starting background ideas).

The character herself was a modified Millawa texture that I had for another project that I have yet to finish (lolol). She ended up having this haunting beauty about her that I wanted to keep. I went through a lot of iterations on postwork for her face. I started off adding a lot of blood and dirt to her face but it ended up being too much. I tried to keep things subtle, down to the small amount of blood coming from her mouth, the cracked and dirty textures on the side of her face and the marks on her neck.

What also ended up being subtle was the postwork on her hair. Instead of obvious hair strands or high contrast and color, I did many low opacity layers of hair strands. It ended up giving it this subtle messy look without being over the top. I did the same thing for the feathers as well, a lot of lower opacity layers to build up a messy, disheveled look. I really liked how they both turned out and I’ll definitely be using this technique more in the future.

The beads and talismans were pretty straightforward, the latter being created in 3DS Max and ZBrush with custom textures. I thought about creating custom beads as well, but the morphing primitives by SickleYield (link below) ended up working great.

Lighting for this was pretty straight forward as well. I used what came with the Swampland set with a few additional lights to bring attention to the character’s face. I also had an extra light on the feathers to add depth.

I think one of the biggest challenges with this image was trying to get the image to pop without removing the dreary feeling of the image. In the end, dreary trumped pop but I still did manage to bring her out without ruining the initial vision I had for the image. I am very happy with how this turned out and am quite proud of it!

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