I got an academic copy of LightWave  for Xmas, so I've gotta pull my finger out and start practicing using it more.
Here's an image I made at the request of one of my online colleagues; a promo shot of one of the ships that'll be appearing in his upcoming online Star Trek based machinima series. Such a shame you only get to see it for about 30 seconds in the first episode before it gets blown up. Hehe
I'm pretty proud on how the ship itself turned out, but I think next time, I'll have to work on refining the Earth model. Main concern is getting ahold of a better cloud image map.
Well I recently had the pleasure of meeting a matte artist who works at Industrial Light + Magic, and he offered a few tips on what is needed to make 3D look realistic.
One thing of obvious mention is the ambient occlusion render pass (where basically, there's shading around every bit of detail). I was sort of familiar with that, but I never really tried to employ it in any 3D shots of mine.
So, I made this picture as a bit of a test-bed for this. I've just discovered a more efficient method of generating occlusion passes now, so I'll be looking into adding these into my production pipeline.
Set-up and rendered in LightWave 
Passes composited in Adobe Photoshop
Any detail-sensitive pedantic and boring Star Trek "canon" expert would hurl and point out every single flaw they see instead of appreciating the good humor.
This picture represents the concept of canon blown out the airlock.
"Kirk to everybody, GET READY TO RUMBLE!, SCREW CANON. LETS ALL FIGHT IN ONE GIANT FRAKSTORM!"
BG by Yacuzza Vor'cha by Ash Defiant, Reboot Spacedock and Donuts by Fahres BSG by Mike Kelvin and Farragut by Amateur ISD from SWmod Hutet and Random Green Ship by Dan1025 Borg by darkdrone Warbird by Neon Bird of Prey and Galaxy by Rick Knox Garuda and Red Racer by Terradhyne Excalibur from AFC