Ah, Kurt, you flatter me:love: hehe...
For the "infinite plane" Kurt said it right.
Try making a dome and adding a eviroment sky to it.
Here is the Maya docs link to how to use the Env Sky node under RENDERING:
C:\Program Files\AliasWavefront\Maya4.5\docs\en_US\html\UserG uide\Rendering\EnvirTextures12.html
For your islands issue, could you render out a pic so we can see the "roughness"?
One way to kill the roughness would be to add a planar projection to your island geometry, map it with a ramp in the transparency slot, and just fade it out at the edges so it "blends" better with your sea plane.
Hope Kurt and I have helped you a bit
PS: Here is a pic of what I mean about the island transparency:
Israel "Izzy" Long
Motion and Title Design for Broadcast-Film-DS