I used "mr Sky Portal" lights, because they render really fast and at the same time provide a very clean and nice result. Also they give you a very soft light which was my goal from the beginning. I used a little trick for these lights. I used the "mib_cie_d" map, which is only available if you unhide it in the 3ds Max/mental ray folder. Just go to "3DMax2008\mentalray\shaders_standard\include" and open the "base.mi" file in Notepad or some other text editing software. Once you open it do a search for "mib_cie_d". Once you find it you have to scroll down and place a # sign in front of the word hidden. This will eliminate this command and the map will be visible in 3ds Max. Just restart the program and you will find it there.
I used some middle values for this map since it is working with temperature. You have to note that higher values create a red color and lower values create a blue color. So if you type in something like 6-7000 you will get somewhere in the middle, which is white. I placed four lights around the model and one at the top with a lower value for the intensity (Fig.10 - 12).
The rendering setup wasn't anything special. I rendered with mental ray and set the Aliasing values to 4 for minimum and 16 for the maximum. I also changed the Filter Type to "Lanczos".
The last thing I did for the rendering was to render out an AO pass for the post-production in the end. I recommend using an AO pass since it can add a lot of depth to your end result. I wondered if I should render a Z-Depth as well, but decided that for this scene setup it was not necessary.
For this final step I used Photoshop CS5. There wasn't much to do for the post-production. All I really did was sharpen the image a bit and add a bit more depth with the AO pass, as well as making the reflections more visible.
Also I changed the background and added a border and my logo (Fig.13).
Thank you all for reading this and also thanks to the 3DTotal team for showing an interest in our work. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that it helped you in some small way. Bye!