I think I can offer a few words regarding your workflow.
You say that you can not render the animation. It would be a good idea to try and find a way to render lower resolution sample scenes. Also start out with not the entire scene with motion blur and textures but a simple scene just to work on the timing and other factors of the animation.
Seems like you are trying to do all of it at once.
As for rendering, turn on your machine when you sleep and render at night. No lost time that way.
In short, take the thing in simple steps, find a way to work with what you have, and post the animation here so you can get help to work out the various problems you run into.
As far as lighting and textures and so on. Think of each of these things in separate stages of complexity. The scene can start out with simple objects and no real lighting with just the camera moves and animation. Then gradually progress. Next start on what seems logical. For some that may be just the textures and shading. For others maybe just the lighting next then textures. Maybe you can get ahold of some production blogs and study the sequence and see what makes sense for you.
When you get to each of these stages, study them in some detail first. Take a look at what other people do in productions you like and work to implement it in your production. There is a lot to learn about lighting all in itself. Basically you want to try and paint with light. Don’t just turn on AO or light the scene evenly. Try to control parts of the scene that get more attention and others that are not lit as well to give the viewer something to focus on rather than an even bland scene. Just some quick tips. But study it for yourself and it will pay off.