Twin Girls With A Pearl Earring
"Twin Girls With A Pearl Earring" by Rene Bui - ranked equal 4th
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Art memories after Jan Vermeer - Girl With A Pearl Earring (1665-1666).

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Long Description

After Jan Vermeer - Girl With A Pearl Earring (1665-1666).

This image is a little part of a CG project I have about art memory. When I was twenty, I virtually put some great pieces of art into my personal Pantheon. This is one of them.

In this work, I tried to remind me what feeling I got when I saw this painting for the first time. Certainly a sensation of sensuality and even erotism, a real fascination for the girl, from her eyes to her mouth, from mouth to the pearl.

I always love it for the pose which is actually modern or of all time. But also, for the Vermeer free touch. Simply alive and dynamic - is it a tronie (study) or not ? nobody knows.

Why twin girls ? One night, while I worked on the first single one, I was tired and left my chair to go out for a moment. When I came back I looked at the image from far and was fascinated by the reflect of the girl on the door glass of my room. Immediately, I found that effect was a gain because that increased the hypnotic sense I was looking for and wanted to reproduce...

Making Of

Except girl, drapes and earring modelling which were entirely hand-made from scratch within Wings 3d and took time to model, the technical aspect is quite simple but efficient enough I hope :

The scene is into a discreet HDRI environment (a bedroom with a small window on left side). Background is a box with a dark green bozo pigment. Lighting is composed by 5 area lights plus photons on the pearl. Radiosity is used with normal on.

A 'perfect' mirror is aligned with camera to get the second girl on left side. But there is a tiny difference about posture between each girl.

Also, a lot of work is in hand-made texturing (diffuse, transparent and bump map) for clothes and skin. It was a hard work due to the slow drawing-rendering process at each step. I used PSP and Painter with a small graphics tablet. For the skin texture, I started with photograph but I modified it by hand. Iris texture is a photograph uv-mapped. Some bump maps on coat and blue turban were made with 'native' textures in PSP or Painter.

My goal was to make a 'half-photorealistic half-painting' texture, particulary on turban and coat.

The pearl earring is a procedural texture.

Though the figure is 100% Wings 3d modelling, I got 'turned neck' pose with importing the low polygons figure in Poser4 where I turned it into an articulate figure. Then, I re-exported it in Wings for re-working and final tweaking before smooth it.

Tools Used

HARDWARE : - Compaq Presario S6088FR - CPU Intel celeron 2,5 Ghz - 512 Mb - video 64Mb - Monitor LCD 17 e-yama - Graphics tablet Genius - SOFTWARE : - Windows XP Family Edition (Microsoft) - Pov-Ray 3.5/MLpov 0.83 for Windows (Chris Cason and Pov-Ray Team / patch by Mael) - Wings 3d 0.98.22c (Bjorn Gustavsson and Wings3d Team) - UVMapper Classic (Stephen L.Cox - - Paint Shop Pro 8 (Jasc Software) - Painter 7 (Corel) - Poser 4 (Curious Lab) - ChamberProbe1280.hdr (kelsolaar(?)-

Supplied Files


Detail Images

Detail 1: 1600x975 @ 1051,374

Detail 2: 1600x975 @ 1227,595
Judges Comments

Top-notch Wings modelling, excellent texturing (skin, cloth, pearl). It's also really ambitious and rather successful at it. Interesting concept too. On the minus side, it's a little bit too art-conscious (the tiny differences between the left and right could have been more visible) and of course the original painting is vastly superior and has a sensuality lacking here (her lower, moist lip...).

Modelling, texturing and rendering realistic human faces is always an enormous challenge, but you have done a very good job. The image is striking, with the lighting, composition and choice of colours and finishes producing an eye-catching result that you can almost touch. Considerable effort has obviously gone into the modelling process. While the textures are very good, there are a few areas at larger rendering sizes where the additional use of procedural features could have assisted the detail and realism. For example, the skin texture does, in some areas, suffer from the smooth/plastic look that we all know is so difficult to avoid. Perhaps the use of an additional selective specular/roughness (or phong/phong_size) map to control the highlights and "dull down" certain areas would have been beneficial, or maybe even a subtle slope map to introduce the effects of micro-fine skin hair at high incidence angles. These are simply suggestions to play with later - as the image stands, the texturing, modelling and lighting combine to produce a great image!

Excellent attention to detail, both in respect to the clothe and the facial expression, I felt the lighting captured the feel of an "old master" very well. Very brave effort to try an model a person in this manner, but a successful one I think, bereft of the usual cliches that often appear in CG women.

There's a very strong artistical feeling to this image which makes it appealing. The attention to the textures is superb. However, perhaps some differences in the two figures could have been better, for example a difference in lighting (now it looks just like half of the image has been mirrored to the other half).

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