This scene is one of my attempts at non-realtime rendering and was realized entirely in 3D Studio Max taking inspiration from a photo took in a Cistercian Abbey in south France. The scene is roughly 7.000.000 polygons and was rendered in Mental Ray.
While modeling the architectural elements I decided to add some grunge elements like falling stucco pieces and vegetation taking over the building to increase visual interest. Adding the vegetation was also a little challenge as it required an extensive use of proxies to be able to keep rendering time and memory consumption low.
All the plants were modeled in 3D Studio Max, imported in the scene as proxies and scattered on the ground using the Advanced Painter script. The technique is described in detail by Peter Guthrie (for VRay) in his excellent VRay grass tutorial.
The image was rendered in multiple passes and assembled again in Adobe Photoshop which I also used to do all the post processing work.