Burning the midnight oil
As an exercise of observation, modeling, illumination and materials, Vinny Morales challenged the class and I to make a 3D version of an oil paiting: burning the midnight oil.
"There is no death in nature! Everything lives and everything moves, everything inhales and exhales, everything changes every minute", - said the French art critic Thoré-Bürger, and one of the greatest masters of still-life once stated: "Who said one paints with colors? One employs colors, but one paints with feeling".
Oil on Canvas.
I started by box modeling each piece seen in the render (you probably already noticed the missing books) in Maya.
After arranging them in place, I did the first lighting pass and once that looked good enough, I imported every object to Substance Painter. In there, every mesh was textured from scratch, even the glass. A lot of displacement and curvature maps were needed to achieve the imperfections.
Finally, I imported and networked the texture maps in Maya and, of course, a lot of light and texture tweaking until the final render in Arnold.