Click on any of the images to enlarge.
step 1: lighting & shader adjustment
before & after lighting adjustment
The first thing I did was to calm the artificial light sources, which were overblown and over-saturated (above left).
step 2: conversion to linear workflow
before & after gamma correction
I've recently begun to use a linear workflow, so I converted this scene, as well. For my purposes, linear workflow creates greater lighting distribution - which means the elimination of hot spots and dark corners - and better color accuracy, so the texture colors are less distorted.
step 3: multi-pass assembly
Render passes are used to create post effects, some of which would be time-prohibitive to render directly in the 3D program. They also allow precise adjustments of the separate lighting elements, after you've spent weeks rendering a sequence and don't have time to re-render. I'm still working on my compositing formula. What I've figured out, so far, is represented below.
The foundation layer is the diffuse pass: the objects' colors and textures, without any lighting effects.