This project was inspired by cartoony and animated underwater tales such as Finding Nemo, and Spongebob SquarePants.
Additional objects and assets:
After sketching out all of the characters and making their color palettes, I made a rough draft in Photoshop of what I wanted the scene to look like.
WIP #1: The initial sketch of the party room was just the foundation of what I wanted the scene to resemble. I decided to play around with the orientation of everything to see if I could make the scene more interesting than the sketch.
WIP #2: Added more characters, background objects, details, and reworked some textures. I found a more interesting angle for the scene that showed all of my characters and detail better.
WIP #3: Switched around some characters, added a few more characters in, adjusted more textures, rescaled some characters, and focused on fixing the lighting.
This is the (beauty pass) final render right out of Maya without any touch ups or adjustments. I darkened the scene just a bit more and added a caustics effect to get that underwater feel.
Ambient Occlusion Pass
This is the final result of the project. I combined my AO pass, beauty pass, and refined the details in Photoshop to achieve this result. I also added a ZDepth pass to get the blurred out effect in the background of the scene.