So far, this project has furthered my understanding of creating an environment. My environment consists of a foreground, middle ground and background. Each of these elements displays different variations of detail. The foreground displays the most amount of detail, which is due to the fact that this element is closest to the viewer. As the viewer looks further back, the objects have less and less detail. Below is an image of the environment so far. It is a working progress that will soon include a movie material for the middle ground plane and mental ray proxies for the trees.
In order to solve some rendering issues, I am in the process of creating mental ray proxies for my painted trees. The image below is a painted stroke that I will create a proxy of and instance several times throughout the scene to create a full environment.