A showcase piece for my skills, this piece underwent about three major revisions before being finalized as shown.
I used Daz Studio v4.5 to place and pose the base warrior and dragon, as well as a pre-built 3D set called The Alchemy Chasm.
The armor on the fighter is from a completed set, and there are 4 texture sets avaiable (ranging from bright and shiny to battered and rusted). Close inspection will reveal that it is fully realistic, complete with chain mail where the plate armor is open.
The entire set was then exported as an .OBJ file to Bryce 7 where all light sources were added. There is one infinite white light shining through the tower door, which illuminates the stone walkway and is basically the bright outside light from the sun. There is also a lowered-down radial light bathing reddish-yellow for the fires down below (the fire is an intricate and costly volumetric material that affects how the lighting is done). And a third radial is placed a bit above center to illuminate the base scene and make everything pop.
The smoke is a volumetric, and slightly costly, material that actually interacts with the dragon and flames – nothing that you see here is just flat textures, but actual fully-3D materials.
The fiery licks of flame from the dragon’s mouth were done via a special effects brush in Corel Painter v11.
It was rendered at 1,716 × 1,206 with 96dpi, anti-aliased, and took 4 hours to render.
The small scene that you can see outside the burning tower is a simpler scene, comprised of 2D and 3D elements (the waterfalls were taken from a stock waterfall photograph), the 3D buildings are 3D flat-shaded governmental buildings, and there is a simple fractal terrain to ground the entire view.