Originally posted by NeoStrider well, a three-point lighting setup is typical in showcasing single models. you use a key light, around 45 degrees from the front of your model with shadows turned on. then on the opposite side, a fill light with a lower intensity with no shadows turned on. then directly behind your model, a backlight, to create a rim (which helps to define the shape of your model against the black background). these should be spotlights or point lights. stray away from directional or area lights for this lighting setup.
at the same time, you could just go into the attribute editor of your camera, under the environment tab change the background color, and then render in mental ray with final gather turned on.
SimplyMaya specialises in Maya tutorials. We offer over 1,000 individual Maya training videos, ranging from basic Maya tutorials through to intermediate Maya tutorials. Our tutorials are created by instructors with industry experience and are designed to get you up and running in Maya quickly without making it seem like hard work.