Here is what I do.... Hopefully this will help in some way... What is the dome for??? Well in most cases you can just hide the dome, and not worry about it. Thats what I usually do. It shows you the ground color and sky color, if you don't delete it or at least hide it, it will show up in your reflections, unless you Go into attributes and turn off visable in reflections. Its also good for trying out HDRI reflections and lighting... Hmmm, hopefully this will get you started... To get good results, you usually have to use 64 lights on top (sorry). Usually at the default settings when you first start GI_Joe, it gives you a really strong blue for the skylight, and a really strong orange, for the gound light, I usually tone these down quite a bit, try to make them a little more white. However, if you have a ground plane, you want to try to match the color of the ground lights to the color of the ground plane as much as possible. THis (kind of) gives you the impression of color bleeding, same goes for the sky lights. I also leave the shadows off for the ground lights as well.. I try to make the intensity, at about .1 on sky lights and .05 on the ground lights, and then add one point light to the scene (to simulate sun light, so give it a slightly yellow color), usually with an intensity of about .8, with a depthmap shadow with the resolution of about 1200. You can also give it ray trace shadows, witch is what I like to do, but really increases you render time if you have to turn on raytracing... So... This should at least get you off to a good start. 640X480 is aslo a good resolution to start at. And as far as I know IPR works with GI_Joe... There are a couple of other tricks I have up my sleve, but it wouldn't be fun if I told you everything.
Best way to learn is to Kepp trying over and over again to see what works best for you. If you have any other questions, feel free to send me a PM. Thanks,