Barbell Earrings

I’m working on a piece that I want to put in my portfolio. I want to know what improvement can be made to this piece.


It looks very nice. I have some of suggestions to increase the realism:

  1. Try to use Pointiness to add some discoloration to the welding areas where the different shapes meet. You can also add some tiny soldering points.

  2. Nice work on the scratches, but it can be improved. It looks like if a very glossy and perfect metal suffered some scratches. Remember that jewelry is made from forged metal. Even the best pieces have micro imperfections inherent from the creation process, not from wear. If you tone down the scratches and add some subtle gloss roughness variation it’ll look more real. These forging imperfections look more like noise and less like scratches.

  3. The square part is too square. Square surfaces in real life don’t have perfectly sharp edges. You can add a small bevel (it’ll also make reflections more interesting) and maybe some subtle graininess (not only from the creation process, edges is were wear and scratches shows most).

  4. The centerpiece looks like if missing something. It has 3 flat surfaces that look like empty sockets. You can add three gems or those diamond-like chromed gems that pretend they’re black diamonds, I have no idea what’s called:

Or you can simply add some height variation (pyramid, etc) to the flat face so they don’t sit so flatly there.

  1. Do some color corrections or change the surface color. Everything is warm and gray at the moment. You can squeeze some cooler hues there and make it more visually appealing.

Keep up with the good work!

Sorry for the delay. Here’s an updated version with some of the suggestion applied

Lookin’ better! How do those rhinestones stay on though?
One way to add some color is to amp-up the saturation of the background. Or, failing that, put an overlay wash on with a color ramp in post.

You did a real good job with the scratches and stuff… but I’d feel uncomfortable wearing anything that worn. Bacteria in the crevices, eugh. Plus you wouldn’t want to showcase used barbells. Maybe make a storage case or something for them? Or put them in an evidence bag? Right now it feels like they are on display at an Apple Store, which doesn’t seem to fit the subject or the condition thereof.