Building a scene like this involved quite a systematic approach which I haven't ventured before. Dealing with real-world scale and finding a sweet spot in movability, camera constraints and the character's relation to its environment.
I've been taking an IRL bathroom as example and inspiration, but being confronted by all the details I was missing and seeing new stuff, movement, physics, behaviour and micro-details everyday while taking a shower has spiraled into a never ending process of adding more, more and more. Which I eventually had to put to a halt when I felt the space itself was convincing enough for the narrative I had written out. The way textures came together, mixing dirt, wetness, rust, smears, condensation; Felt extremely liberating in terms of allowing freedom, luck, and surprises, all the while taking ownership of this process without having the work be a reconstruction/translation of a physical space.
I focused on enhancing the narrative through texture design, which in itself would hopefully capture the essence of spending a long time in the shower. These imperfections, stains, the accumulation of dirt and the growth of mould were the foundation of creating a convincing setting.
Some decisions were made from a time-saving and troubleshooting standpoint. The lack of movement within the body itself helped to focus purely on capturing a point in time, rather than long, animated sequences of body movement which would -in the case of its narrative- not add much. Rather I prefered to invest more time on the visual representation of a 'lived-in' shower, the clutter, 3D scanned shampoo bottles and dirt. The animated textures and water effects were a welcome addition to retrieving some of that movement. They play a major role in making the image more dynamic.
The placement of the showerhead for example, bringing it all the way down to the body solved some complex issues I ran into. Having a particle system for the water run continously throughout the shots would mean I had to simulate 6000 frames worth of thousands of particles. This would not only have killed my computer, but the impact it would have on the interaction of the environment would mean I had to rebuild the entirety of how textures interact and behave. Although a 'technical' decision, it also helped to pose the character in such a way that it would be more interesting to play with.
Going forward I'd like to continue with adding the voice-over and planning the shots accordingly. Slow some of the shots down and add new ones to allow some breathing space throughout the edit.