I was fascinated by a post by Google’s SketchUp blog, which announced a contest based on rendering scenes with Maxwell rendering software. There are many free/paid solutions, but out of the few that I tried, the free version of Maxwell seems to offer the least amount of fuss as far as installation and setup. The full version is only $99, so it’s a steal compared to some of the other professional solutions available. Here is my first attempt at rendering [this].
Disclaimer: I still have very little idea of what 90% of the settings are actually for. One day I plan to dig deep into the documentation to learn what I am actually manipulating.