My approach has been to let the 3D modeling software handle the character, makeup, wardrobe, pose, and lighting. By rendering as a .png image file, I end up with a perfect cutout of the character. At that point, the cutout may be combined with the desired background as I do with normal composite images. I have been "stealing" (acquiring?) backgrounds from the Web so sometimes the lighting on my character does not match the environment. But it is common to add studio lighting when shooting on location, so really, anything goes. Besides, I am not the only artist using ambiguous lighting in his work -- anyone familiar with Thomas Kinkade? These images are some of my first attempts at this form of digital illustration. I am not certain that this is an art or not, but they do allow me to tell stories that would be difficult to get in real life.
Keywords:3D, Fantasy, Model, Simulation