Wow, it's been a while since I posted. Guess I should document what's been going on. I finished the 1st attempt of Juggles for my final semester at CMU. I played it for the first time for a mass audience for our final presentation. I think it was pretty well received! 5 months of work paid off, I guess. Since then I've kind of been off it, doing other stuff I suppose. I just started back into working on it about a month ago in hopes of getting it into Siggraph for 2007.
I spent much of last month working on lighting solutions. I know it's pretty simple as it is -- it's just a boy and a mirror. I want to light it as best as I can though. The previous solution was straight up Maya 3 point setup. No GI, no final gather. Simple shaders. I'm still sticking with the simple shaders for the most part, though. Lamberts for the clothes, and I'm pretty happy with the hair. I'm rerendering in Mental Ray though, and it has a wonderful shader for skin that looks like it'll be a viable alternative to what I'm currently using.
I looked into GI, but it won't work correctly with the fast skin shader, so Final Gather with HDRI is going to have to be the solution. And I can't complain -- it's a vast improvement over what I was using before.
Anyway, hopefully this will be done soon. And with any luck, I'll get some original music to go along with it for the Siggraph submission.