I found a link to a great article by one of the guys who worked on Battlestar Galactica. very good regarding rendering break outs of scenes, multiple composition etc.
mini update. I'm working on a new model of an x-wing at the moment which needs completely re-texturing. anyone who's done 3D will tell you that texturing takes a bunch of time. still, things are going well. the 3D work is now much much better and it will enable me to broaden the number of shots I'm thinking about replacing/redoing.
y-wing has also been reworked with new more accurate canopy and textures as well.