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Behind the Scenes: Portrait of Chuu Chloe



Greetings, everyone! My name is Michio Gumi, and I am a 3D generalist currently based in Beijing, China. I’m a self-taught artist in producing CG works with a focus on architecture, anatomy, and other areas.

My journey began at a young age, with my childhood spent primarily engaged in various kinds of arts and photography, particularly on B&W/Noir-Photography.

In 2019, I discovered Blender through their 2017 short-animation "Agent-327: Operation Barbershop" and ever since then, I've been interested in learning about computer graphics. Around the same time, I was fascinated by the 3D visuals of video games like Assassin's Creed, animated movies like Resident Evil and Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy.

Over the past five years, I have been combining my passion for 3D and photography as a hobby and for various projects.


This is my recent personal portrait of Chuu Chloe.

In all honesty, I started this project as an experiment to help me increase my knowledge in areas where I struggle the most. I never planned to take this seriously, but certain life situations inspired me to keep proceeding.

Anyways, let’s get to the heart of the topic! Habitually, I use Pinterest to browse and organize references.

As for the portrait model, I specifically chose Rike, also known as Chuu Chloe, a German-Korean mixed model, because of her unique looks.

I personally believe that what we've discovered originated from curiosity. I wanted the artwork to have a similar look to “real-life close up Shot Photography.” So, blending black-and-white with dark shadows to convey the idea of Noir, or at least to capture the essence of mystery, secrecy, and curiosity.


The processes involved for the final results were:

  • Blender was used for modeling, sculpting, and lighting.
  • Photoshop was utilized to assist in the development of textures.
  • The hair cards were made using Photoshop.
  • Rendered in Eevee.

The final adjustments and modifications were made using Photoshop.

It took me about 3 and a half months to finish it, I think. Overall, the process is a lot of fun! I also shared TIPS so that you may learn from my errors—hopefully you find them helpful for your own projects!

Modeling & Sculpting

I began modeling and sculpting from scratch, concentrating mostly on the facial features. I would browse for additional references from every possible angle, and I’d just manually sculpt it from each available reference.

Modeling is the most crucial part of the process due to the fact that it is based on a real person's likeness. Therefore, the 3D model’s features must be as accurate or at least as close as possible to the reference.

TIP: Studying human anatomy thoroughly by citing articles and images online is a good practice to understand its various features, components, and aspects. Using references is also beneficial for practicing sculpting and modeling.


The same principles were applied to texturing, ensuring it is as accurate or as close as possible to the reference.

The textures were created and organized using Photoshop, and involve the following UV maps:

  • Albedo
  • Roughness
  • Displacement
  • Normal
  • Ambient Occlusion

Blender Material Nodes were applied for adjusting certain textures.

When it comes to creating organic materials such as skins, I simply want them to appear as natural and normal as possible, mostly avoiding unnecessary excessive micro-details that normally cannot be seen or spotted by the human eye.

TIP: Generally speaking, planning in advance and being well-organized are really beneficial and will contribute to making your projects much easier.

Material Shaders

SubSurface-Scattering was also taken into consideration due to the way it enhances the natural appearance of organic-like materials. Blender nodes were put into use in order to achieve the desired result.

In addition, I found the next best approach was to directly add minor details to the material. The idea was to create a sparkling or shimmering effect on the skin.


After I was satisfied with the modeling and texturing, I proceeded with the hair.

This is where things become a little difficult for me; most of the time, managing hair or fur is an area that I struggle with. To make things easier and simple, I opted for Hair-Cards, maintaining the geometry and texture approach.

The textures were entirely made with Photoshop. As you can see, there are 7 variations; each  “strand” is organized for certain parts, components, and layers.

Layer by layer, placing hair-cards simulates hair mass, with higher amounts providing the desired realistic hair appearance. Modifiers were also implemented: Solidify, Subdivision, and Triangulate.

TIP: Don't worry about making mistakes! It'll be easier to correct them afterwards.


Once it was all ready, I then rendered it on Eevee with an orthographic view, followed by a composition phase in Photoshop to add subtle effects like a few dark shadows, a minor depth of field, a vignette; and adjusting the brightness, contrast, saturation, and so on.

In a nutshell, the finalization process involves these 5 stages:

Raw-Render → Photoshop ↔ Several Attempts ↔ Retouching → Final Result

I find the editing process in Photoshop quite enjoyable as it offers several possibilities to enhance and improve the overall appearance of the rendered image.

First Result

I wasn't overly satisfied with the initial result. I'm usually a detail-oriented person and rarely re-do stuff, but there are just certain elements that bother me. Hence, I decided to add a few adjustments, as can be seen in the second attempt images below.

Second Result

I made adjustments with the hair, shadowing, and depth of field, and avoided the camera position from being too close to the portrait's face.

Once I was satisfied with how it looked, everything was ready for finalization.

Final Artwork, Full Version

After several prior attempts, I finally achieved the desired result I had been aiming for. I additionally included close-up versions, similar to the first result.

RENDER: Portrait of Chuu Chloe

Close-Up version:

Wireframes & Clay-Render

Here are some shots in wireframe:

And, here are the clay renders:

So that is all! This is an overview of my experience with this particular project! Thank you for taking the time to read the entire article, and I hope you find it interesting!

Have a great day!

About the Artist                       

Michio Gumi is a self-taught 3D generalist currently based in China, who specializes in anatomy, architecture, props/furniture, and other areas.                                                        

About the Author

Avatar image for Alina Khan
Alina Khan

A self taught 3d artist, who seeks to excel in the computer graphics field. Currently a student, freelancer and the editor for the 'Behind the Scenes' at Blender Nation.

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