While wiping up a quick shot to answer some questions such as where and how large the mini map can be, I ended up experimenting with the black ground texture. This was primarily to see what looked right with the world but also a small concern over render time. When I first started the rendering it surprised me that it was almost taking 3 minuets (rather than the one to two minuets at uni) to render even though the is very little in this shot. While hunting for a texture I kept note of the render times. In the end I believe the render times are longer due to it being from my lap top rather than the computers at uni which seem to go faster. Something I will have to check later on.
This one sparks my interest the most. It reflectiveness and shine which shows the colour of the backdrop gives it a nice feel. However I am not sure on the ground it self as I am not sure if the ball sits nicely on top, or if it stands out to much.
I am not so keen on this one as to me its to flat for the world.
I applied the same rubber texture of the ball to the ground and spikes which I like to some degree. Its a little grey and can still be made blacker but I do like the solidness of the texture.
Here I simply lowered the ground to give a little more head room as i left with the others it was a little to high.
Here I have blacked out the rubber texture and it looks very similar to the Blinn. I quite like the darkness compared to the lighter texture above.