Story idea is good and well plotted out. Models are good and there is enough to give a sense of the world. Things to improve are the glass textures, they need to be reflective as well as transparent. Just making them transparent gives them an unreal distracting feel. People notice they don't look right and shifts their focus to them. Next is a big one, lighting is the make or break of 3D. You can have the best scene in the world, awesome models, flawless textures and totally ruin it with shoddy lighting.
Above you used enviromental lighting it looks like. It's awful, great for building the scene, but that is it. It makes everything flat and washed out. Do some searches on three point lighting set ups and dramatic lighting. Trust me this will push this from good and well done into the realm of awesome.
Keep working as this has lots of potential.
I'm glad you left a critique. You're the first person that has.
For most of my renders I've used 3Delight, but these were done using Luxrender, and that's an entirely different beast.
Why? When I first put this together I was going to use cel-shading, but the textures of the set just didn't work with the shading method I was using. The straightest line between there and something renderable was to convert using Reality and run it in Luxrender.
Glass is the absolute devil in Luxrender. Those bottles would have been nice and shiny someday... with enough rendering. I don't use Lux that often, but when I do my renders are usually mostly noise free somewhere between 500 S/p and 1000 S/p. I ran these renders up over 2000 S/p and those bottles were still no where near ready to converge. At some point you just have to say next time will be better, especially when the issue isn't the main focus of the work.
Environmental is a good description for this lighting. The light consisted of sun and sky shining in through eleven windows & a skylight plus a mesh light set to medsoft shadows to simulate a single strong light in the room. Where are all the shadows then? The light from the windows and all the bounce overpowered them. If I had gone for night sky, the lighting would have been more like what you expected. Maybe.
Three point lighting wasn't the way to go here. In Lux the lights have to physically be in the set. If I wanted a backlight in that first panel, for instance, there would have to be something like a fireplace or lamp visible. In 3Delight I could just throw in a spotlight and only the backlight effect would be visible.
I'm not going to completely rule out using Luxrender, but it just takes too long on the computer I currently use. As everyone probably already knows, the next version of DS is going to include an Iray render engine! In the past couple of days I've fiddled with the beta a bit and it's a much better fit for me than Lux. In Lux it may take up to eight hours before the image has settled enough to see if there's anything wrong, but with Iray you can see right away, maybe a half hour at most, so you can halt and correct before it gets too far.
I had originally envisioned doing my comics in stylized cel-shading, but I can't ignore that this first comic is getting lots of views, so I'm still going to explore doing more comics in this fumetti style.
Instead of a sun try using square spot lamps shining through the windows and sky light (Just make them all the same angle) you are trying to use realistic lighting but for art work you don't use what is real, you use what looks best. When I got into photography and film making I was shocked to discover just how much light is faked and controlled for even simple scenes. Natural realistic light is not good for beautiful art. What you want to do is make the lighting fit the mood you want to project regardless of how realistic it is. This sound counter to making a realistic scene but you need remember that humans do not see with their eyes, they see with their minds. Novice photographers learn this quickly what you see is NOT what the camera sees. When doing art you have to paint what you want the mind to see. If you are going to do fantasy style try studying the lighting used by Boris Vallejo he does very dramatic and interesting scenes that use non-realistic lighting that your mind is willing to accept as real.