The Claytubes brush was the best way to make all the dents and small details on the concrete (Fig.08). The next step was to bake a Displacement and Cavity map, which I put over the Diffuse map with opacity of 15 – 20%.
Everyone knows how birds love things like cornices, balconies and, of course, street lamps! They like to use these places a little like a public toilet! Because of this I decided to add some of this kind of detail on the lantern for more realism (Fig.09).
For this task I used ZBrush. Two subtools were created, but I offset the second one with a negative value in the Deformation tab of the Tool palette. With the Standard brush I started to paint some smudges and add more detail to them so they could be placed in different areas and look unique. I also applied some surface noise. One of the lower subdivision levels was exported, unwrapped and returned to ZBrush so I could bake Displacement and Cavity maps. For the material I used a Vraymat with the base settings and a Cavity map in the diffuse slot, but in the render it looked very dark. Blending this material with a vraylightmat solved this problem.
For the environment lighting I used a HDRI that gave a nice blue color to the scene. All the other lights were yellow with some variations. The background was lit with two spherical V-Ray lights. The windows were planes with vraylightmaps on them. Only the upper left room had a light sphere inside it.
For the lantern I used three different light sources (Fig.10). The main task was to avoid over-burning the lantern's interior. A V-Ray light sphere was placed inside the light bulb and only affected the bulb's glass, which had a dirt mask in its refraction and glossy slots. I then used omni lights for the light on the environment around the lantern. This made the lighting very easy to control.
All of the post-processing was done in After Effects because I really like the Replace Footage function. It's much easier to re-apply all of the effects to an updated render than to do it all over again in Photoshop if you find something you want to change. Everything I did was pretty regular; contrast adjusting, color correction, some glow and adding depth of field. I hope that you have found this interesting.