The past week has been quite intense, I've been trying to push my environment further in places I had already produced, as well as creating some new props and models for later shots. I've begun to render the first few shots of the environment, setting up render layers and noting what needs doing in post-production. I'm now focusing on the 'workshop' area of the animation, which still needs a lot of work. Lighting has been a bit of an issue recently, battling with render times, but I think i'm getting closer to a final set-up.
The next two weeks will be spent finalising the building, textures and lighting as well as cluttering it up, for a more realistic atmosphere as well as adding animation and effects. It will be a very busy two weeks, but I'm hoping with some care and a bit of planning, it will be close to how I envisioned it earlier in the project. I've had a fair share of problems, with Maya pulling some dodgy crashes (which in turn corrupt the scene) so I'm now safely-paranoid: saving often and backing up everyday. I think the post-production list will be pretty hefty, which I'm hoping will give the images a 'pop' and a bit of quality control with rendering should also help.
Below is the Workshop as of now, the plan is to block off the view of the machine completely until it is very close, with the camera panning past an object to finally reveal it. A lot more clutter and detail is needed in this room, as well as better shadowing to make the lighting less flat. The idea is to make it smokey, with machinery moving and clunking, in contrast to the study. I'm hoping within about a week, to have this all done, so I can focus on the last stage. I also have some more props rendered.