Thanks loads for your comments, although now i can't look at the image without wondering if i could actually make a cake that looks like that :-), hmm, need to go food shopping. The image was excepted well by the Tutor who set the brief.
1)I started with a cube3d, played with the initialize settings to make the bas shape. Whilst in edit mode i selected the top plane using ctrl/shift and then divided a few times to get plenty of resolution to work with.
2) using a variety of alphas, standard and move, i got a rough idea of some shape and decided to draw the image on the canvas with some perspective selected (from the draw pallet). I thought at this stage it was looking rather like an ant hill.
3)I played around with the shape some more and added some other lumps on the plane to start working out where i might like some rocks and hills.
4) Using the distortion pallet i added some noise, with a little extra noise to the side of the volcano and then inflated it a little. This gave me the beginning of the land slide section.
5)Using the hook brush i pulled up some of the plane to get an idea of some trees and bushes, also adding the lava flow area, by masking and smoothing.
6)I hid most of the sculpt and played with the main shape of the volcano, trying to give it better structure and get away from the ant hill look. This was done just my using 'move' and pulling it about.
Finally I added 6 to a previously saved 5, plus an original base block to produce the final sculpt. The base block was needed again as I deleted it along the way to free up some processor (with not enough power, it really feels like i am trying to cut the lawn with a spoon sometimes :-)
here are a couple of angles to show where this is going:
I then added a grey texture to the model and a material that had low specularity, set the light to the top left and dropped it on the canvas. I added trees which were made from a combination of distorted Spheres with noise and inflate added, and also used the fibre brush. I added lots of small rocks by distorting a sphere, and then used spray stroke to apply them, changing the size as I went along:
I painted some colours on using imported textures and sprayed them on. Made a lava material and then added colour and texture to the lava area. I then exported to PS to play with the colours further and put the lava in place:
I got some rock textures and within PS put them together in strips to make a texture ready to import into ZB. I used a 3d plane and then divided it, made an mask using the texture and inflated from within the deformation pallet. This gave me the cut through rocks and stone. Then within PS I created a new layer which I added the cut through rock, some further cut through ash for the volcano and also some lava which was was painted in PS and then taken into ZB on a 3dplane to give it some form:
Finally I added the lava bombs, eruption, sky and clouds in PS. Also making a few small changes using the rubber stamp tool to add some more rocks here and there.