The full environment for scene one of DCR.3 is done and running. 29 panels, 2-4 assembly renders and one main render for each, a predicted worst-case of three hours per main render and 3.5-4.5 total CG rendering and setup time for each panel... add in plenty of real life slosh and we're looking at roughly a week to ten days to grind it all out. Dropping final gather and global illumination from 250 samples to 200 seems to have given this thing the kick it needs - the first panel of 3.05 is way bigger than the main render the last panel of 3.04 was built from and rendered in roughly 2/3 the time. While it's still longer than I'd like, I'll still be rendering a lot faster than I can draw, given that I can render while sleeping, render while editing video, render while showering.... render while I'm otherwise occupied.
Rendering is fire-and-forget. Actual page assembly - once the renders are plugged in - averages 6-8 hours, depending. My printer's about out of ink and may make it through this scene - that's the only potential production hiccup outside of my work schedule.
Renders are go, pages will follow - I aim to bust out at least one this weekend; we'll see how quickly the rest follow.