I guess it's my turn to do a sketchbook,
I will start with this concept sculpted (4 hours) and textured (2 hours) 100% in Zbrush from a cube.
I then use a mid-res arround 100 000 polys with a normal map, rendered in 3ds max 9 with mental ray.
I've also made a timelapse movie
I combined 2 displacements 1 cavity map (made in zbrush) and an ambiant occlusion map (Xnormal) to create a detailed base for my diffuse (I will then combine my polypainted texture with it)