After a test I thought that the left side was a bit dark and added another area light, this light as the other one, doesn't affect speculars; I also reduced the intensity to 3%. I wasn't completely happy with the look I was getting and added another area light, this one is pointing straight down to our subject and is the main shadow casting light, also this light emits speculars adding that highlight to the metals in the scene and the other reflective surfaces like the girl's eyes. I brought down the intensity to 20% since I'm using radiosity I didn't have to increase the intensity of this light quite so high, Radiosity was going to help quite a bit. Radiosity also likes some ambient light so I increased it to around 10%. After a test render I decided to bring the radiosity intensity up a bit and viola I was quite happy with the result.
Due to my schedule I didn't have the time to set this scene up in layers which I normally do; instead, to save some time I just rendered everything in one pass and then tweaked some things in photoshop. Very simple since I just rendered in one pass, I also rendered the image using F-Prime so I was able to render radiosity faster. I would like to cover render layers in detail in the future.
Post & Final image
After the image was rendered I opened it in Photoshop to finish it off. I painted subtle caustics to help the viewer realize that the whole room is filled with water. I also retouched the top of the back wall and painted a subtle pattern using yet another image from the texture CD library, it almost looks like a turtle's shell pattern. I then painted 2 layers of particles which I then selectively blurred at different levels, they are subtle but they do add an extra bit to the image just like the tiny bubbles I also painted. BTW the "God rays" are also painted, since this was for just a still image I was able to paint some features that would have had to be done in either 3d or in a comp package such as Digital Fusion or After Effects. When I was happy with the comp I added a couple of Curves adjustment layers to get rid of some green and add a bit of blue to the image; I also added a screen layer of the whole image and brought the opacity down to 11%. I also added a vivid light layer set at 8% this layer added a bit of contrast and made the colors a little richer. Done!
That's pretty much it. Ever since I created this girl I wanted to create an environment for her and finally was able to make it. I really enjoyed writing this overview and I hope it has given you some ideas that you can apply to your own work. Till next time!