I am at risk of spamming my Vimeo channel with pirate girls but I thought I would upload this test render.
Most obviously I have been playing about with the hair color and material. I switched to blonde while working on the material because it was easier to see the effects of the shadow and it kind of just stuck for now.
I managed to get the render time below two minuets a frame by doing some clever stuff with the material. I reduced the number of transparency bounces to two. I then separated out the shadow rays in the material and reduced them by 50% to offset the darker hair color the reduced bounces generated. I also reworked the skin material. I cant use SSS yet because its CPU only so I have been faking it with a translucency shader and some dirty vertex painting. But its effects were so small that I replaced it with a diffuse shader and set it to add the dirty vertex to the final output. Its effect was not much different but rendered a lot faster. Eventually though I will switch to a SSS shader when it becomes available for GPU.
I have been working on a new way to model hair with more control, so I might redo the hair at some point. I also want to bring the cloths up to the same level as the head in terms of style and detail. so I will be working on them next.
The blouse and knickerbockers and on my list. The blouse material is great and renders supper fast "its just two diffuse shaders with offset normals no glossy" but I want to push the frills pleats and lace more. Something like this:
as for the knickerbockers, I'm not sure they work, but they are very distinctive so I might have to make them work.
Anyways, this simple re-render in cycles has turned into a massive project.
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