I always enjoy spending time on this step. At this point I used V-Ray materials, which are easily configurable and very intuitive. Then I roughly put in the main light sources, to visualize the reactions of the different materials better.
For water, the tricky part here was the refraction. Many test renders were conducted to get the desired result (a beautiful semi-transparent turquoise). So I played a lot with the intensity of the Refraction, the Fog color and Fog multiplier. Initially, to reduce the rendering time, a Noise map was placed in the bump slot, but the lack of detail quickly led to my decision to use a nice Displacement map on a VRayDisplacementMod. The detail level here was controlled with the Levels parameter of the map.
For the ice I tried a lot of different configurations with the Displacement map, which consumed a lot of rendering time. The blue/green color was generated by the refraction and translucency.
In the end, the only painted texture was the one for ducks! This was also the only object with the hemisphere, created for an environment that required UVW mapping (Fig.04 - 05).
Lighting and Rendering
The principal light source is a direct light, which simulates sunlight. I could have used a VRaySun, but I find that simple light is easier to use and without a VRaySky it is almost pointless. My sky here is the hemisphere with a VRayLightMtl and a sky texture from www.cgtextures.com. It is a good technique to create outdoor scenes and is also quite fast. Finally, I added a large VRayLight at the top of the scene to add more reflection and specularity (Fig.06).