This is an exploded view rendering of a Napa Gold oil filter used for point of purchase and other sales visuals. This is the clean version without all the infographic callouts. Modeled in 3ds Max, rendered in Maxwell, composited in Photoshop. As far as time was concerned, this took about seven days straight of work to complete, and a total rendering time of eighteen hours with dual quad core processors.
I use as many lighting passes as I can to get the final image to look exactly as I want, and this can be a very time consuming process. I create some basic passes with some general rim lighting, and I begin to composite more passes in Photoshop. Where I see more lighting definition needed, I create a pass that fills the need. Building on top of one another while increasing and decreasing selected passes gives you huge amounts of lighting control. I used almost twenty passes, and because I screwed up the red silicone drain valve, I rendered that as a different piece.
The lighting that I used was a single HDR on a square plane. It looked like a blue and white concentric circle with some mild blurring, which was built in Photoshop.
This wireframe view (below) shows the different systems of the model, valves, springs, rubber rings, drainback valves, etc.