In order to do this, I created planes following the profile of the lamps like in the image. I assigned a V-Ray light material to these planes in order to make them surfaces capable of casting light on the hallway. This material is a really powerful feature and the result was pretty realistic.
In this case textures were not really necessary - I just needed a good metal shader that I could make dirty later in Photoshop. What I wasn't going to be able to reproduce in Photoshop were the highlights, which are critical when it comes to achieving a photoreal effect. Here are the parameters for all three of the shaders used in the scene (first three windows) and the V-Ray render settings (Fig.12 - 13).
I want to talk briefly about the render elements window. Render elements are critical when you want to make an image look photoreal, because you will be able to individually manipulate the main elements of the image in Photoshop: shadows, reflections etc. Among these render elements, one of the most relevant is the Multimatte, which creates masks capable of easily selecting the different elements of the image in Photoshop.
As you can see in V-Ray this procedure is terribly easy; you just select the render element you want to render out and it's done! Here the different render layers I created (Fig.14).
The 3D stage was finally over, and I could move on to making the image awesome in Photoshop. This part of the work was really fast as all the image needed was some tweaks and photobashing.
Note: As you can see in the future images, the hallway is flipped. I always flip the image while I'm working in order to refresh my eyes, and sometimes I understand that I can read the image better if it's flipped. This was the case with this piece.
The first thing I did was to visually separate all the background (the hangar and the ship we see outside of the window) from the hallway. In order to select all the background elements I used the Multimatte render elements I exported from Maya. I selected the different masks by just clicking Shift and clicking on the individual RGB channels. When the background was selected I filled a layer with a bluish color and just lowered the opacity. So I started to create atmosphere outside the hallway. Then I copied the layer with the lamps, the white part, duplicated them on top and used just a Gaussian blur filter to make them look like they were glowing (Fig.15).
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