Render this scene was the most complex for me because of my hardware limit (Athlon XP 2400+, 1 gig of RAM). I was compelled to render my "Masterpiece" :-) by layers. So I rendered out diffuse, skylight, direct light, specular, z-depth layers, and again the same layers with the additional reflection layer for the train, to composite it and the environment in separate way. I made this image to those people who wants to render their works by layers but doesn't know how to adjust Brazil r/s to render out every separate layer:
This is my favourite part of the creating of every image that I'm working on. So, I shutdown Max and started Photoshop. I began from collecting all layers together. Here they are:
(From left to right: diffuse, skylight, direct light, specular, train reflection, train specular).
When every layer was in it's place I started to work with the Sky, which was added for the background from this photo:
Also these birds were pasted to the sky to give some more life to the scene:
The same way I did with the trees, they were taken and traced from the photo too.
Here you can see some sequence which show how my final PSD file looks:
1st layer is a background with sky (also used "hue/saturation" and "color balance" to adjust sky color).
2nd layer are just a pictures of the trees with masked background to put them on the sky layer.
3rd is the diffuse pass with mask which hides black background of this layer.
4th is the same(diffuse) pass with "screen" blend mode and mask to lighten up only some parts of the image.
5th layer is the skylight layer switched to multiply mode.
6th layer - direct light pass with the mask.
7th layer - the same layer modified to grayscale (I used it to add little more light for some parts of the image).
8th layer - simple specular pass.
9th layer - pass with reflections of the locomotive (masked to add reflections for the headlights only).
10th layer - the same layer (masked to add more reflections for the headlights).
11th layer - the same layer to add reflections to the whole train.
12th layer - specular pass for the train.
13th layer - specular pass for foreground fence, wall under it and stairs.
When I finished with gathering all passes together, I always making some color correction and post(I used "color balance", "hue/saturation", "brightness/contrast"), adding some fog(using z-depth layer information), noise(when it's needed), glow for the most lighted parts of the image and other final touches. The most important thing in this case: NOT to overdo with all of it!
Here is the final result:
Software used: 3ds Max7, Brazil r/s 1.2.56, Photoshop CS.
Hardware: Athlon XP 2400+, 1gig of RAM.