We like doing big scene projects, and this one was a nice challenge being set mostly at sea and needing cloud motion and wind. For these reasons, we used a mix of Studio Max for the detailed rendering, which needed to show the all-important 7mm tether of the AP3, and Lumion for the enormous vast expanse of cloudy-windy seascapes.
Working from really exact client requirements, we animated several mini-scenes for this project, to encapsulate the whole story of the AP3 at sea. Careful and intricate planning was necessary to bring it all together for a final edit. Voice and on-screen text came later to give the 3-minute and 2-minute versions we produced for our client.
Using some tricks to render part-scenes in Mental Ray as transparent png sequences and then compositing them onto the ocean scenes rendered in Lumion, we managed to get the effect we wanted. Notice the opening scene; for example, the shadow of the platform appears using the 'matt shadow' trick.