Fairy Tale Challenge: Steampunk Scheherazade

Hi everyone! I’m new to the FlippedNormals community, so this is my first challenge here. A little late to the party, but I think this will be a great chance to push my skills and learn from watching other people’s modeling process.
I’ve always loved Scheherazade from 1001 Nights. As a writer and mythology enthusiast, I can only wish I was as magical a storyteller as her, able to keep even a cold-hearted king enchanted night after night.
I decided to reimagine Scheherazade as a librarian in a steampunk Iran. For her basic design, I’m drawing inspiration from Persian and Kurdish clothing, as well as classic Victorian steampunk. Here’s some of my inspiration so far and rough costume sketches. I like to sketch out character designs in 2d first to try to figure out where I’m going with the piece.

I’m probably going with the first design (it’s actually the fourth one I did, I placed it over the actual first design that I didn’t like)
Currently I’m blocking out the rough model in 3ds Max. I prefer starting models there before sending them to zbrush because it’s easier to control my poly flow.


First Update! No idea if I’m doing this right, I think I’m just supposed to reply to my original post.
The body is roughly sculpted out, just needs to be polished. I’ve been focusing on the face first since I’m so bad at faces. I showed it to my 3d mentor, and he helped me polish it and gave me tips for how to proceed with the hair when I get there. It’s still got a couple of lumpy spots, like the ears, where the mesh subdivided weird, that I think I’ll find easier to polish after retopology. Here’s some progress pics:

Any critiques or suggestions greatly appreciated :smile:

I also took a break from the figure to mess around with the props. Assuming I have the polygon budget for it, I’d like for her to be standing on this rolling library ladder next to a bookcase.
This pic is from me testing to see if I remember basic rendering in Max from my modeling 1 class (lol nope).

I also just got Substance Painter! I know absolutely nothing about it, so I’m really looking forward to giving it a try for this project. I’m also hoping to try Marvelous Designer, so this project is really giving me a chance to try out new things.