So I've been inspired as of late to really push myself and create some new, better work for my demo reel. I'm planning for this project to be a still life of a tea party, based on these reference images. My key elements of focus for this project will be a tight composition and photorealistic shading.
Here is my first crack at the teacup shader. It consists of a V-Ray Blend Material to separate the gold from the porcelain areas, using a simple map I created in Mari. For the porcelain, I focused on subtle surface details, which I brought through using the reflection and bump channels. I used the composite texture inside 3DS Max to layer images of scratches and bumps with high frequency Bercon noise textures, as pictured below.
The teapot was created using the same basic material as the cup, but altered to work with the new flower pattern. Maps were again painted in Mari to separate the gold pieces with a Blend Material.