At this point the V-Ray scene consisted of V-Ray lights, standard spot lights (for illuminating hair only) and a HDRI placed in the V-Ray: Environment slots of the Render Setup menu. It sometimes helps to lower the gamma of your HDRI so it has more contrast, but it can cause a spotty light effect. It depends on the quality of the HDRI being used. SIBL maps were utilized for textures in the V-Ray lights so they had a natural feel. I used a soft box image from www.hdrlabs.com
The skin shader and SSS shader were very simple, as the model was going to be seen as a whole and not close up (Fig.07).
I used a linear workflow in V-Ray (just Google it, there are plenty of online tutorials) to give me more control over the final render passes. I rendered all passes as 32-bit Open EXR files so I could control the gamma in post (Fig.08).
If you look at Fig.08 you will notice that it acts in a similar way to a HDR file, allowing you to lighten or darken each render pass without blacks and whites blowing out and losing information in your image. It's very handy to have such control in post when a single render can take from 8-24 hours. This also works for rendering animations as an image sequence.
In the VFB (V-Ray Frame Buffer) I used the 'Display colors in SRGB space' to give me a preview of what the final render would look like in SRGB. It was a bit washed out, but the saturation could be adjusted in post.
This is my favorite part of the process as I get to see what all my hard work is going to look like. For this I opened all the render passes and adjusted the gamma on the passes I felt needed it. Some tips I used are in Fig.09.
I hope some of you have found this helpful and I appreciate being given the opportunity to give back to the 3D community that helped me so much to learn 3D.