To make the monster feel like it was a part of the environment I created a lot of dripping and connecting spline textures. The diffuse maps were simply grasses and grime overlaid on top of each other. Â Their displacement and opacity maps were hand painted in Photoshop.
Lighting & Rendering
When creating an image like this I usually create 5-10 cameras in angles that I think will be interesting. Â I'll render these out in low quality and compare them side by side to help pick my final composition.
After picking a final camera angle and aspect ratio I'll begin to light my image. Â All lights were Spot lights with quick falloffs.Â A few of the Spot lights had thin rectangular shapes. Â I used this to help highlight the back of the monster without bleeding too much light onto the trees behind it or the water in front of it.
In Fig08 the top left image is the one rendered in Max using Mental Ray. Â I usually render as many passes as possible such as fresnel, ambient occlusion, and a separate reflection pass. Â This helps tweak things in Photoshop which is a lot quicker than waiting for a render to complete. Â In the top right of Fig08 you can see the addition of depth of field and the various colour and lighting adjustments that are done with curves in Photoshop. Â The particulate and sun rays that you see in the bottom left of Fig08 were hand painted in Photoshop using custom brushes that scatter and rotate a shape. Â Finally, the splashing waves in the bottom right of Fig08 were overlays from waves splashing at the beach.