So I’ve added a HDRI environment, after a few issues (the mapping wasn’t working correctly in certain camera positions - but appears to be working for me now). I’ve added a big fat emission plan on the RH side.
I also realised that if clamping works effectively in the opposite way to how I expected… I thought it was too powerful in the example online at 0.5 so I tried 0.3, but seemingly was still too powerful… it wasn’t until I cranked it right down to 0.01 that I realised that smaller is stronger. Using clamping is useful for noise reduction though (if you are inept at setting up lighting correctly like me!) and thus I have left it at 0.95.
I’ve added some depth of focus, which I think adds something to this scene (and hides my poor attempt at texturing bread into a blur!)
I also got fed up with trying to make an image plane background look realistic in the background, and attempted just to make a warm glow - but using emitter planes seemed to mess with my lighting set-up, so I thought 'hey, i’ll just make it a night scene…" - however I’ve learnt that BLACK does not equal NIGHT realism…
I also increased the bounces for the glass back up to min 4 max 8 which helped, and implemented what Derek said about not having two planes in the same place for glass/fluid and just have glass on the outside and fluid on the inside…
So out of that comes a couple of questions:
- How do you make a plane look like a background for a night scene - does it need lighting? should I just use a night time image to texture or is there a better procedural way?
- When modelling glass, is it better to use single-thickness planes rather than modelling them in true 3d - which appears to lead to it being dark?
Anyway, thanks for your help, and I hope I didn’t miss any of the suggestions made in your comments - and that you can see a noticeable (positive!) difference.