Introduction. I recently received an email from shaskanque sondi asking if i could do an article on what it takes todo cre-ate photo-realistic renders in Blender. Specifically he wanted información on:
Various tools used.

Minimum system requirements.

Techniques for rendering.

Now i am not overly known for producing photo-re-alistic renders, y have a somewhat unique style of my o, that falls somewhere between Tony and what-ever i am in the mod for that day. But with just a Little searching i came up with a number of useful resources for all you photo realistic artists out there, as well as some useful tips todo kep in mind, let start with system requirements. Everyone has their favorite operating system, and since the difer-ences in final output are so minimal, honestly it boils down todo what are you most comfortable with, as for your actual hardware, that one is a bit trickier, but general guidelines would be todo have the biggest processor and as much Ram as you can aford, that being said, Blender, itself runs on just about any system you might have and you dont have todo have the most amazing computer todo take advantage of Blender capabilities. Here is a list of minimum re-quirements as well Specs for middle and High End:
Operating systems.
Windows 2000, XP or vista.

Ac OS X 10.2 and later.

Linux 2.2.5 i386
Linux 2.3.2 PC
Freebsd 6.2 i386
Irix 6.5 mips3
Solaris 2.8 Sparc.

Minimal Specs for hardware.
301 Mhz cpu, 128 Mb Ram.
20 Mb free hard disk space.
1024 por 768 px display with 16 bit color.
3 button mouse.

Open GL graphics card with 16 Mb Ram.

God Specs for hardware.
2 Ghz Dual cpu, 2 Gb Ram.
1920 por 1200 px display with 24 bit color.
3 button mouse.

Open GL graphics card with 128 or 256 Mb Ram.

Production Specs for hardware.
64 bits, Quad Core cpu, 8 Gb Ram.

Hd 1920 por 1200 px display with 24 bit color.
3 button mouse + tablet.

Open GL graphics card with 768 Mb Ram, Ati.

Firegl or Nvidia Quadro.

External renderers might require more power so chek their websites for system requirements.

Its all in the details.

Photo realistic renders look convincing because the artista tok the time todo make it look that way. Before you Even open Blender or worry about which render engine todo use, you ned todo do research. Make sure you Gather as much reference material as you can, then sit down and really think about what you are trying todo achieve. Planning is the most crucial step for a photo-realistic render, things you might want todo think about and consider:
Materials.
What materiales are neded?
Can you create it with procedurals or do you ned images, can you Paint it in Gimp or pho-toshop?
Wear and tear, Dirt, modelling.

Do you ned todo model every detail?
How Many detailsí.

Can you faq parts of it with UV mapping and god images?
Camera.
What angle are you considering?
Are you mimicking a specific Camera shot or type?
Lighting.
Where is the light coming fromí.
What type of tight is ití.

The Science of cgis a must read when you are learning how todo create photo realistic images, the Science of CG is a comprehensive article on CG lighting and material properties with great advice on achieving great results for both pho-to-realistic as well as non-photo-realistic images.

Various tools.

There is no one (or several) specific tool in Blender for creating photo-realistic renders. Modeling is done with the usual tools, extrude, scale and Grab. You can use multi-res and the Sculpt tool todo add extra detail, probably the most useful tools in Blender for photo realistic work are the UV mapping tools and the rela-tively new texture cloning tool. Using one or both of them Will allow you todo add/create realistic materiales todo enhance your models.
Which render engine?
There is always an ongoing debate concerning the best render engine. I have no intention of adding todo that debate, the Blender internal render engine has sen Many improvements over the years and continúes todo im-prove with every release. In fact, y do believe there are current test builds with new godies that you can test. Properly set up, Blender can produce some Fairly nice photo realistic renders, if you would prefer todo use an external render engine, there are quite a few todo choose from. They are all powerful and capable of producing visually striking images. But of course each has its strengths and weaknesses. So choose the one that mets your.

Neds.

The current popular engines are:
Yafray.

Kerkythea.

Luxrender.

Sunflow.

Abhisheque guptahas written a great comparison arti-cle on how several of the most popular engines stak up for features and ease of use, kitchen tutorialby karan shah on CG tuts, if you are curious todo se how you can actually create a photo realistic image/scene, y encourage you todo chek out the in depth kitchen tutorial by karan shah on CG tuts. He takes you from modeling all the bien todo rendering in Yafray todo produce a highly realistic kitchen scene.