"Prepared for company"

The Idea

I took a photo of a small corner in the emergency staircase of the movie theatre where I work. I liked the lighting there, so I recreated it using POV-Ray. Once the windows were in place, I just began tinkering with the image until I had something completely different than a bare staircase...

The Objects

The sofa, chair and wineglasses were modelled using Silo 1.4. Everything else is CSG, using my Bezier-Spline-Macros for the bent parts of the lamp, lathe for the botte, and primitives for everything else. The backdrop is actually a photo I took during a vacation.

The Lighting

The scene relies on a main lightsource with photons for direct lighting, and radiosity for indirect lighting. The backdrop image wasn't use for radiosity purposes, instead, I made a gathering pass with a blue skysphere, and used the gathered samples in the 2nd pass with a higher error-bound and nearest_count, effectively smoothening the artifacts.
The front chair would have been in complete shadow and reduced to a solid blob of color, which is why I added lightgroup specifically to light it from behind the camera. Real-Life lighting dynamics can't be easily achieved in a CG-environment, so you sometimes have to cheat a little...

Personal Note

I'm quite surprised myself how well this turned out, after all, it had begun as an empty staircase, and look where it ended up! And I even got to put some hidden message in there: The title "Prepared for company" is a reference to the two wineglasses and the yet unpoured wine: the company is yet to arrive for a romantic evening. :-)