Wanting to experiment with Maya's mental ray renderer, I started with a concept of light shining through a stained glass window. Well, several forks in the road later, we arrive at an entirely different scene.
What is so abundantly clear to me is not necessarily clear to anyone else; so here is a possible interpretation.
We have a man dreaming, hence the dreamscape where the "walls" come down into an expansive view of the dream leaving the bookshelf, mirror, and calendar to remind us of the walls that have dissolved. The man has his back towards us to remind us of the unconscious (what is behind us cannot be seen). The tree with red leaves is suggestive of the unreality of the dream. We have light coming from the viewer's angle suggesting an open door as we look upon the dreamer and the dream. So far, so good.
The foot (soul) of the dreamer scrunches the hat (conscious thought) as when we dream. The radiance is from a dimensional gate (as when higher deminsions are compressed into two). Now we are stretching.
The tombstone and death theme were an excuse for including the blue fog light.
Final gathering (FG) is turned on, but global illumination (GI) is not. Without walls, GI would help illminate the area between the floor and bed but not much else. Bounce panels (out of view) to bounce photons back were somewhat successful, but a seemingly intractable shadow problem with GI caused me to turn off GI.
No Photoshop tweaks, 42 min render on a P4 2GHz . Tree from Onyx, man from Poser, plant from a site on the net.
Poser objects and materials were exported using the Wavefront obj/mtl format. When using obj/mtl, I recommend you export each object and perhaps even body part seperately since Maya 6 merges everything from an obj/mtl export into a single mesh (loosing any polygon grouping). 3DS export keeps polygon groupings. The drawback is that 3DS Mesh export from Poser results in sharply faceted meshes unlike the much smoother and more pleasing obj/mtl exports.
Poser's problems include overlapping meshes in extreme poses - arms, chest, and back purtrude through the shirt in places, inner legs occupy the same space, severe mesh distortions in creased area's like the buttocks.