As I'm soon about to go into another lighting/texturing class next month(or so I hope) I wanted to post up my final renders from my first time doing shading and lighting in Maya mental ray, about 7 months ago. I learned a good bit about creating lights and render settings from this class, but I felt I could of taken more from the texturing aspect of it. They only had us using a few shaders (for good reason too) I'm still a bit confused by what all the different settings do. I usually just keep tweaking things here and there until it looks good, but not always knowing what I'm doing. I'm glad they are giving us a second run through on this stuff needless to say.
My final project render, dinosaur in a museum.
I liked how this one turned out ; minus the strange grey streaks on the floor I couldn't figure out how to get rid of.
Everything with lights is pretty much taken from common sense, the texture stuff was more important to touch on in my opinion. Z lot of what makes models look good is faking detail with bump maps and normal maps etc. All the models in these renders were provided for us.