Final Post-production: Low Resolution Mock-up
All the basic, low-res work was done now and you can see the final mock-up in Fig.07.
You should notice a stronger emphasis on color composition here. I made an adjustment layer in Photoshop emphasizing the blue of the sky but desaturating other parts of the image. At this stage I knew that I wanted something stark and red in the foreground to complement the blue. I knew I wanted some cloth and that it wouldn't be wise to obscure half the shot with this, so toyed with the idea of little flags that you see in such towns.
The two large monolithic cathedral towers were still a bit of a mystery at this stage. I "greebled" some boxes for some implied detail and imagined that they would be like Tudor mutations reaching to the sky, full of window boxes and beams. That's as much as I knew at this stage. Time to render out a high res background plate to work on!
In Fig.08 you can see the raw render without any post-processing. I fancied that the two towers would be like enormous cathedrals, reaching the sky.
I cast some shadows on those towers so the sun only hit them in places. We have a cloudy sky that has gaps to the left and that's where our sun is. We can imagine that the sun is breaking through and hitting our buildings but it can't just go without interruption on those large objects. Some clouds would be present to cast shadows. So I placed a few planes between the buildings and the sun with cloud textures (Fig.09) on them and opacity maps. It took a lot of playing around to position them correctly, but eventually the shadows worked.
Fig.10 - 12 are much the same as the previous texturing steps, but with a lot more attention to detail. Each render contained a Z-Depth pass for atmospheric perspective and you can see how that works by comparing Fig.08 to Fig.10, but much more fog was required and this was painted in by hand.