So it's been a couple of weeks since the last update but things have advanced quite a bit. I'm still working on 'Shot 2' but the tracks have been laid out, rendering tests have been done and shading has started.
One of the first things I did was set up the track which was simple enough and just meant scaling the imported (from the other scene) track so everything was roughly the correct size and then match it to the geometry I had already built that represents the buildings. You can also see the support struts that I've made which 'hold up' the building, because it's not like it would end up pulling down the building or anything...
This was also a chance to quickly test the motion/vector blur which was done after the render in the compositor and doesn't look too bad. Of course, to get vector blur there has to be some movement so I very roughly animated the carriages along the track. One issue I noticed during the render tests was not the speed of the render, which wasn't bad at all, but the time it took to load all the geometry into memory. It took a good while to load everything so I optimised the track by animating the 'count' property in the arrays so that as the camera pans the track extends, but before it's needed it isn't visible. I think I can take this further with more geometry being invisible/not rendered until it's needed.
Although you might not notice it (but you'd notice if it wasn't there) I've also added a slight bevel to the blue blocks that the struts connect to and a few other objects, they were looking a bit sharp but I was thinking that they would be covered in thick paint; the bevel gives a slight highlight along the edge.