New project: Volcano eruption

Currently i’m working on multiple rendering/vfx shots regarding a huge volcano eruption.
This is quite some work. Below you will find some preliminary renderings from the first shot, where the camera rises above the crater, gently looking down into the crater. This is already a quite massive scene as there are at least 100.000.000 (yes that’s right 100 million) polygons in the scene.

The biggest part of the polys is spent by the trees around the crater. Each tree has about 32.000 polygons.
Why such high poly trees, you might ask? Well, i tried the scene with low poly trees, but it’s just not the same. They don’t look realistic enough. Especially not at the resolution of 1280×720!

All renderings and compositing are Blender internal.

But enough babbling, here are the first shots:

And last but not least a clay rendering of the scene: