In todays afternoon tutorial with Simon I asked him for some advice/help on how I would go about modeling some of my buildings in Maya, as they are rather complicated, and about the water Maya vs matte issue. He helped me out a lot and showed me a really easy way to get a quick base shape down for one of the structures, which I can then go into and edit individual spines. He also showed me Mudbox, which allows you to paint onto the 3D model and bring it back into Maya, which will be really useful and a lot quicker/easier than creating a UV map for the intricate structures. Also we went over methods for creating non-generic water in Maya. In the top image what has happened is the models are duplicated and inverted, with a textured translucent plane between the mirrored models, creating the water diffused colour effect. This is very basic at the moment obviously and would be improved upon my adding lights to the scene and more/different shaders. He then suggested I could take that and paint water effects eg ripples/waves etc over the top. This looks a lot better than the generic auto generated water in Maya.