All animation done within Maya and rendered in Vray. Any compositing was done with After Effects.
The entire film was done by me, the character (Rigged, textured animated) and the background as well.
The character herself is completely made out of geometry and contains no alpha maps on her. The character was largely made within Zbrush and texture painted in Mudbox. The background was also largely done with Zbrush and texturing was also done within Mudbox. Maya was mostly used to create the UVs.
I kept the rendering fairly simple by only using diffuse as my only material, excluding the eyes on the character which used glossy (Diffuse was the only material used for the backgrounds as well). The entire film was rendered without global illumination, I substituted the bounce light by using a reverse ambient occlusion pass that is coloured a bluish along with just a regular ambient occlusion pass for some small details. My backgrounds needed quite a bit of lights as well to help fake the bounce. This was done in order to try and get a different look into my film and at the same time saved me on render times.
Effects were done by running lights along my character and putting material wrappers over everything and rendering the lights hitting the character and the ground (for this process I needed to use global illumination as there wasn't sufficient light without it and it would have been too complex to substitute the bounce with more animated lights). The particle effects and the fire were completely done in After Effects.
The film required a lot of compositing as I had to make the character have her own render layer and the backgrounds needed two separated layers (for the foreground and background combined). However, largest time consuming part was making the backgrounds look the way they do and having the character fit into them, this was largely a organizational challenge with the amount of layers I needed to use in order to get the desired effects.