The group thought it would be nice to have the intro scene open up with a sunrise. The sunrise symbolises the dawn of a new day and new life!
Thinking about how we could pull off this effect I decided to jump into maya. I had the idea of using a dim sky dome light with a blue tint to resemble the night, I then added a directional light that was parented to a locator which would rotate. This in result would rotate the directional life around the scene resembling how the sun lights up our planet at different times of the day.
Here is my first rough draft testing out my lighting.
I think this was a pretty successful attempt at creating the day/night cycle effect. Obviously this cycle was very quick but I will try it again on one of my scenes at a slower rate.
In this video I tried the lighting effect again but at a much slower rate to give the affect of a sun rise. I used it on one of my rough draft concept models for our environment.
I think using the dim blue sky dome combined with the rotating directional light works very effectively.