This is the splash image for www.quadspinner.com, and as such our goal was to create it with our top two technologies: Helios for Vue, and GeoGlyph for World Machine.
The archipelago was generated using Archipelago, a generator device, for World Machine in our GeoGlyph suite of plugins.
For such a large scale scene, where we had the advantage of distance, we use GeoGlyph's EcoBumps modifier to simulate a dense rainforest on the island. By forgoing EcoSystems or instancing of any kind, we saved a lot of time in rendering the image. The island uses a special shader in Vue that we developed to highlight such 'physical' ecologies.
The entire scene was set up, lit, and render in Vue 2014 Infinite. The clouds are a combination of Cu and Cb class clouds from the Helios cloud library. The main low cumulus cloudfield was created with two intermingling layers, and the large Cumulonimbus forming in the distance were individual Cb clouds placed manually at each location. Finally, a thin Stratus was added for realistic effect.
Our QuadSpinner MDK water materials (ShimmerWind) was used for creating the tropical waters, and Materia for the reefs underneath.
The image rendered in 40 minutes at 1080p. The entire scene took about 3 hours from concept to render. Very special thanks to my partner Cynthia Najim for critical art direction.
You can see more images at QuadSpinner.com