I chose to work a bit on lighting again yesterday to revisit my options. I tried another method of creating light rays and fog in mental ray, however it still resulted in a very long render time. Right now I think I need to compromise between smoothing my models and trying to use light fog using Maya software, risk a long render time which I really would rather not do because I don't want to cut it close, or just add some rays and fog in post production using After Effects even if the result isn't as great as I'd like. I'm unsure, I'm going to keep exploring my options. Last night I also began to texture my models, once I get one done the others should go faster since they're all almost the same shape so I can copy and morph them around then add some variation.