In case you are curious, the scenes above were rendered on Easy 09 overnight. Here is Scene 2, daytime version, ZERO POST PRO.
Rendered on Alternative AA setting in under 3 hours: 02c. Low_AA3(fine)TRICKS FOR FAST RENDER?!
In order to do this, metals were changed to Chrome pure reflection (blurry reflections add to render times), fake emitter material instead of actual emitting material and supplemented with spot or point lights (they are much, MUCH faster), for some of the lights where it was not essential "casting shadows" was disabled.
It was rendered on a firstname.lastname@example.orgGhz. Each machine's performance may vary. When you see someone say "I rendered this in 60hours" or "I rendered this in 5 minutes" remember that there are hundreds of factors that can effect these times. This is why we are sharing some actual scenes
for you to test directly on your system
. That said, we admit this machine is a fast machine... but it is affordable. Equivalent or even better systems can be bought today for less than $1000USD.