The candle and glass stand was very difficult in terms of the shader. I am very pedantic when it comes to this kind of thing, and if something isn't exactly what I want then I will continue until it's perfect - inevitably this takes much more time. The skin shader for the women was quite standard, as you can see (Fig.14).
Lighting & Rendering
I had clear idea in mind for the lighting. The main light was to be moonlight from the window; the interior light was to be much weaker - not so illuminating - to imply an intimate atmosphere. You can see that the colour of the lights were mainly warm (Fig.15).
I rendered in Mental Ray. The final image is 4220 by 6000 pixels which took about 12 hours to render using a Quad 6600 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM.
I left the hair until the end. I didn't want start to it but it actually went pretty quickly. The resulting hairstyles were done in around 10 hours (Fig.16 - 17).
I coloured them in Photoshop in order to get the desired effect and areas of light and dark. I etched into them in some places a little, too.
I made tightly curled hair - as if in rollers - for the larger lady; these "tubes" of hair were simply copied and scaled and rotated accordingly. There were around 20 in the end. Some twists of tresses were also copied according my needs, too. And it was complete!
I decided to go for dishevelled hair for the thin woman. It was an unwanted problem at first - creating nice-looking dishevelled hair is not so easy and it wasn't until my tenth try plus some sketching in Photoshop that I achieved what I wanted.
The trimming of details and repainting mistakes from the final render was the main part of the post-production process, making sure that flaw wouldn't show up in the 6k version. Some brightness and contrast and colour correction was also done here (Fig.18).
Once I was happy I then I filled in the volumetric light as I had kept in mind from the beginning. I actually tried rendering the volumetric light but it was too much harsh it didn't appear to look right, so I added it by hand instead, in Photoshop (Fig.19). For the volumetric lighting you can paint it in black and white in Photoshop, add Filter > Noise, then Filter > Motion, then Filter > Gaussian Blur, and then simply adjust according to your needs.
Thanks for reading; I hope you've enjoyed the making of 'Girl's Experience'.