Hey, kitten fans! Some updates...
The whole changing-to-rendering-with-Iray thing has really taken a toll on the workload for this project (oh, for the ease and simplicity of the days when I mostly planned to do this with miniatures and filters), but the results have been visually very pleasing.
One of the main problems with this is that the virtual environments/props not designed for Iray rendering can look a little jarring, in terms of texture quality, when a character is shown using one in direct cocnjunction against something which is. It's like... Filming something in glorious HD, then splicing it with footage you've filmed with a non-HD camera. You can do it with some creative use of angles, lighting and shadows, but it's not recommended. So, for fairly obvious reasons, this has led to a lot of shifting around of story elements and such.
On the brighter side, there are some solutions which have just come up for this. Some new products which will be of enormous help, together with a completely rebolutionary way of creating entire landscapes, which is what I've become particularly happy about! This even allows for volumetric atmospheric haze, which, uh... It basically means that stuff can look dusty when it's shown far away.
it sounds relatively trivial, but it's hugely beneficial for creating an illusion of realism.
Shall try to post some non-Alien Iray stuff, so that the rest of you can see what I mean about the more realistic lighting. Some terrain, too, when I obtain that tool in a few days or so.