The Material Editor can be seen in (Fig.13).
Lighting & Rendering
The lighting setup was very simple: just one main source light, one fill light and one rim light. I used a sky light and enabled Final Gather to bounce light. Soft shadows were generated by Ambient Occlusion shades itself - there was no need to add extra lights to cast softer shadows (Fig.14).
I use Mental Ray for the rendering as it's really very good at this. I find the most effective way is to render out elements separately and then composite them later in post-production (Fig.15).
Use scanline rendering for hair n fur - I believe this works better than Mental Ray!
The Photoshop layer styles are your best friend in this stage of the image creation! I took all of the layers and made some adjustments, such as colour correction, duplication, level tweaking; I sharpened up some areas, like the eyebrows, and added a little dodge and burn around the eyes to bring out the highlights a bit more. Here's the final composite and some close-ups of the details (Fig.16 - 17).
I hope you have found this tutorial helpful and can take away something useful away from it. It was a lot of fun creating this piece and I'm always keen to give something back to our very open 3D communities! Thank to all who have shared - and continue to share - their ideas and workflows, which all help to make us better artists. Please feel free to contact me at: . Thanks for reading!