(Astana was a hurried video project where a camera flies through 1300 acres of property. Now, to answer my question, "what if we'd been given more time," I'm enhancing the entire neighborhood.)
anti-aliasing, global illumination maps, and shader interpolation, if the settings aren't just right.
After a few early tests, I abandoned my HD-res goal. HD, while beautiful in its degree of detail, can take 8 times as long to render as NTSC, and I simply don't have the computing power to crunch those numbers expeditiously. However, HD is the industry standard, so its hurdles can't be avoided forever.
This project has been valuable instruction for rendering gigantic scenes in a timely manner. I learned - for videos longer than 30 seconds - to render backgrounds and moving objects separately and composite them afterward. This will result in speedier renderings, higher-quality video, and greater control in post.
I also learned - for longer videos - to avoid global illumination (GI). This is particularly obvious in the wake of the HD standard. Two of the goals of my next video project will be GI alternatives and fast HD renders.
Below is a lower-res version of the video so far. This one contains audio, so adjust your speakers if necessary.