LC # 41 VanitaSSS


Please enjoy reading through this thread as an archive, but it is closed to new posts. You can still download the old models and also post your entry in order to ask for feedback here

Hello to all ! So this challenge is focused on SSS. You can choose on Wax, Marble, Skull and also have fun with shell and ivory material ;). The skull model is a modified version from (CC license)

Pls download the obj here




                If posting your own rendered images or  video of this  scene      anywhere out of this thread, please credit Giorgio Luciano for the modeling (and BodyParts3D for part of the skull).Use any 3d software and techniques you would like.

note: the skull was not optimised !

[li]Changes to the scene are allowed but not required.
[/li][li]Post your work in progress by replying to this thread so you can receive feedback
[/li][li]Feel free to share any extra information or breakdowns to show your techniques or lighting set-up.
[/li][li]Ask questions and give feedback
[/li][li]Enjoy yourself!


This is my first pass for this lighting challenge, it was rendered in Blender with Cycles. Overall I think the lighting is spot on, but there are some issues with the bump maps set to high. Also the material on the pot came out awful and that will be the first thing I fix.

This is my first time working with SSS in Blender, and so far i’m pretty happy with the result. I think it just needs a little more tweaking on both the shell and Skull.

LightingChallengeStillLifeSSS by Jason McNeil, on Flickr


Getting error…cant able open obj file


Can you pls retry Amit, I’ve tried to download and uncompress and everything seemed fine. What’s exactly the error ?


I tried opening it in Maya 2015 and got the following warnings and errors:

// Warning: line 0: The renaming prefix ‘SSS-Challenge_OBJv2’ contains illegal characters. Truncating to ‘SSS_Challenge_OBJv2’. //
// Warning: line 0: Your OBJ file contains faces shared by multiple groups.
Maya cannot create multiple objects for this file.
A single mesh object will be created instead.
The OBJ group information will be captured in Maya sets. //
// Warning: line 0: Option “Use legacy vertex order” will only take effect when option “Multiple Objects” is enabled. //
// Error: line 0: OBJ file line 993241: index out of range for face creation. //
// File read in 53.5 seconds.
// Error: line 0: Error reading file. //

I successfully loaded it in other applications like Houdini and Modo but there still was some strange geometry.


I’m using Maya 2015 and i get an error about the obj file contains faces shared by multiple groups. maya cannot create multiple objects for this file. a single mesh object will be created instead. I hit OK and then I get a read error that nothing appears.


I also had an issue with the OBJ coming into Maya. I ended up having to take it into Modo, separate out some of the pieces and export it out again.


Very cool challenge.

Took a run at it to test out some SSS shaders. Still needs some refining, but its getting somewhere.


Obj file contains faces shared by multiple groups.
Maya cannot create multiple objects for this file.
A single mesh object will be created instead.
The OBJ group information will be captured in Maya sets.

// Error: Line 0. Error reading file.


This will be the lighting I have landed on for this challenge. Obviously Maya is having some normals and faceting issues that I will be working on the next couple of days and get that all set and ready to go before hitting texturing. Can’t wait to see what everyone else comes up with!



I got opening errors with the .obj file in Houdini. But after about 4 attempts, it opened for me. Works ok now.


My try :bowdown:



Eric-Harvey: Looking very realistic. I’ve kind of gone the same way, except for a camera angle and the silver object to the right of the candle, I’ve gone kind of “Jade”.

Good Work!

When I get a render done I’ll post it.


Here is my first render. Loads to do, just had to put something up before bed.


Here is my first try. I took the liberty to replace the shell model by this one (thanks muzz64) and added some flowers. I also ran a cloth simulation on the hovering cloth to see if it will arrange itself into some nice folds, which failed pretty obviously :wink:
Next step is getting some textures on the books and papers, skull etc.


Nice scene… and a really nice skull model… i gave it a try:

I refined it a bit, mainly some reflection adjustments, stronger SSS on the shell, although at this size they aren’t really translucent anymore… and the red light a bit brighter. Also higher f-stop because the DOF was a bit too strong i think:

Not that much postwork, corrected one texture error on the upper book; contrast/Color Grading/Light Bloom, some sharpening and grain.

Lightning setup in case anyone is interested: All area lights with one ambient light to get some base lightning (no GI used) also added a light fog and an HDR for some reflections from the window area. C4D and Physical Renderer. 3.5h for 4k; not too bad i think.


Ignis. Very nice. Love the little hell raiser touch with the box of laments in the back. :grinning:


Something is flunky about the OBJ.
Neither Maya 2016 nor Houdini 14 are able to open/import it.

Could someone who got it working, upload a re-exported version?



Very nice Ignis! I really like the mood.


@ragupasta, funkygfx: Thanks!
… i always wanted to use that box :wink:

@everyone with obj problems:

Exported from the c4d file, maybe this one works better… Blender opens it at least. There’s still some odd geometry, i optimized the points but not sure if thats sufficient… give it a try.