I have done the lighting and compositing in this sci-fi futuristic city. The models and textures are by Sara Tarr. I also made any necessary adjustments to the asset layout and camera positioning in order to make an appealing composition. Each emission map of the windows and signs was also painted. They were painted to add variation to the value and color.
I wanted to create major contrast between the main luxurious buildings (as seen in the background) and the poorer outskirts of the city (closer to the foreground).
Here are some references I used to study how the sun spills light onto the city and how the city lights look at a distance.
It has been amazing learning new things for this outdoor lighting. When the sun is closer to the horizon line, it appears more red because of the pollutants in the city air. Hence, I have made the sun in my scene more red.
The challenge was to also make the city appear vast and alive. Adding aerial fog makes a huge difference. The varying sizes and color of lights also help to give the city life.
The following is the progression of compositing the sci-fi scene.