Whenever we’re in an interior situation – or an exterior one, to be honest – I always tend to prefer when I’m given the ability to render the entire scene rather than just the characters. It simply provides so much more freedom in how to frame shots, what angles to use and doesn’t add a ton of extra work trying to line up renders with backdrops in a way that won’t just look utterly wrong.
Of course, there are downsides.. such as putting an entire scene into a rendering environment is actually quite a bit of work. I spent nearly my entire saturday nose-deep in 3D just to get this particular scene done on time. Secondly, lighting never quite works the way you want it to – it’s easy to figure you’ll just place a few lights as if it was a real place and it’ll all be right as rain. And yet there will always be places where it’s way too dark, or way too bright, and I always seem to end up having to place “cheat” point lights in the scene to make sure faces are lit properly without trying to light up the actual building lest it becomes far too bright.