HDR LightingBelow are the renders from creating an HDR dome using a composition of five images at different exposures. After cleaning up and unfolding them to create a map they were assigned to a dome and a reflective NURBs sphere used to reflect the dome. Unfortunately there is some puckering in the final render.
Displacement MapsBelow are the various renders of a dinosaur head using displacement maps, transitioning between Mudbox and Maya.
Here is another example of displacement mapping, using a toadstool.
Below are three variants of Ambient occlusion. The first process involved the node being plugged into all the shaders in the scene.
The second involved plugging in the Ambient node into an area light, firing the Occlusion all around the scene. (Far less time consuming than the first method)
The third and final method was to create a simple Ambient occlusion render pass to be composited later in Photoshop.