I think I've finished my 3D environment. After initial doubts about the simplicity of my scene I pushed on and worked more and more detail into the environment and it looks a lot better for it. I also toned down some of the hideous colours after remembering Georg warned of this and tried to keep it to a defined palette. I also added some puddles in strategic places for some nice reflections which made me happy. I have spent way too much time on this project just experimenting with rendering techniques like ambient occlusion, final gather, caustics and global illumination; which is a bit redundant seeing as we're not allowed to use them in the final submission. I did however managed to tweak certain shaders glow attribute to create a nice softening effect. The thing I most struggled to model was the bed, partly because I made the mistake of modelling it all one thing thinking this would be neater and better practice. WRONG! its a pain to texture something using faces, I havn't used UV unwrapping at all, it makes my head hurt just thinking about it. I used several components when necessary thereafter.

Here is one of the intial, and very sparse, renders using maya's renderer before I switched to mental ray
As always click to enlarge:

I wanted to portray the warmth of the light contrasted with the cold of the prison cell.
I quite like this next one just for the softness of the shading and the gradual transition into darkness:
Quite a lot further on in the process and I've added my gorgeous puddles, it took forecer to get the right balance between refelctivity and transparency and here's me getting it wrong:
Then there were numerous lengthy renders most of which turned out looking ridiculous or having no hardly any effect at all. Firstly ambient occlusion which I love, it essentially takes your model and creates darkness in the right places regardless of lighting, this makes for far more detail to be seen in the geometry. Apparently this can be textured on to save render time but I tried applying it using render layers with no success. I just love the way it brings out the three dimensionality of everything according to its shape and proximity to other objects. Plus it makes everything look like playdough.

Here are some close ups of the various props and different angles of the environment.
Light Bulb:

Door:

Bed:

Food:

Chamber Pot, Loo Roll & Puddle:

Mould:

This is the final image minus whatever tweaks I add between now and submission:

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