This deserves a headline here at BlenderNation.com for sure! Tim Ellis (also known as â€œsonixâ€ on the forums) has done an incredibly photorealistic image for the Maxwell Rendering Contest. It was modelled in Blender, and rendered with the widely acclaimed Maxwell renderer. Competition was tough, many great entries were submitted, but Tim Ellis came out on top. He landed on no less than a clear 1st place!
The goal was to get as close to a reference photo as possible. Through incredible attention to detail, and carefully re-creating what seems like every single atom of the scene, Tim Ellis succeeded in getting a true-to-life result.
Looking behind the scenes, the modeling of the scene itself is just as, if not more, astonishing than the rendered image. Tim Ellis appears in Maxwell Magazine with a very comprehensive tutorial covering the modelling process â€“ all done in Blender. The Maxwell Magazine can be downloaded in .pdf format here. Tim Ellis' tutorial is pages 18-113. As mentioned, it's very comprehensive!
If you still can't get enough of Tim Ellis' entry image, visit this thread at the BlenderArtists.org forums for a wide selection of interesting downloads. The actual .blend scene (!) and amazing multi-light animations are among these. There should be enough here to keep a determined Blender learner active for a long time!
Congratulations from BlenderNation.com, Mr. Ellis! Very well done!