The only real trouble I had with it was increased render times when I tried to actually have the Smooth Mesh converted at render time. This was pretty effectively handled by just converting the Smooth Mesh to polys once I was finished modeling (although, it's important to remember to keep a back up of your Smooth Mesh hidden away on a display layer, just in case you need to come back to it).
Also, the Make Live function will make your life (no pun intended) much, much easier in terms of adding new primitives to your scene. "Live" surfaces will become snappable - new objects (and even old objects you move around) will adhere to the surface. This is ridiculously useful for doing things like the details on the drill mechanism and the wires/hoses. It's useful for pretty much anything that requires you to add geometry detail to a weirdly angled surface (Fig.07 - 08).
I wanted to use this project as an opportunity to work out a cool ice material for the ground plane. I'm sort of a total geek for ground surfaces. Lots and lots and lots of ice reference photos got me on the track of doing a surface that was a bit of a composite of sculpted, smooth reflective ice as well as a snowy, chipped diffuse ice.
After sculpting out the terrain with just a really heavily subdivided polygonal Plane, I started testing out roughness and reflectance values for the ice and snow materials, adding roughness and Normal maps, and then putting it altogether with a VRayBlendMtl using a tweaked out grayscale version of the ice diffuse texture as the blending mask between the two materials (Fig.09 - 11).
(ID: 89283, pid: 0) B-Mart on Mon, 27 February 2012 7:10pm You good sir.. Are a CG Gangster..
(ID: 89262, pid: 0) Robert on Mon, 27 February 2012 4:00pm Great Work! I like how you kindly explained this was mostly 3d, but then showed how you moved to photoshop. I also tend to be a purist and normally don't ever go into post with other programs. When you said mask, do you mean black and white render layers exported... how did you apply the masks exactly? what do you export the masks as? OpenExr or TIF? I'd love to talk more about your workflow and perhaps you can help me with mine.
demo reel: http://vimeo.com/2041538
landing page website: www.robertfornof.com