Pile of Pills for stock imagery

This is a swarm of pill capsules intended to uploaded to a stock art site. The ultimate product will be an animation showing these flowing in a jumble, but for critique I would like to consider only a typical frame such as this. The aim is strong photorealism and simplicity of subject matter - just pills and nothing else, suitable to use as an element for video/film compositing or as background.

Using Cycles, 300 samples, OptiX denoising, depth of focus with f/1.5 and plenty of light sources to make reflections and emphasize the capsule form. The background is flat black for easy compositing by users of this image. Color management is Filmic, medium high contrast. I adjusted gamma to 0.98 for what seemed like a better overall look.

Does this look realistic? Is there anything annoying or obviously cheesy about this? Any obvious improvements I’m overlooking?


Are the pills modelled at real world 1:1 scale or are they much larger? I tried a quick test render of roughly pill sized objects (about 15mm long). This render was at f/4 and you can see the depth of field is pretty pronounced. Going to f/1.4 would make the depth of field even more shallow in this type of shot.

Arbitrary scale. There being no other objects in the scene, I didn’t give the issue of geometric scale much thought.

most capsule pills are almost twice as long, these are too stubby.

For photorealism, you might have to consider scaling everything to real world sizes. Otherwise effects like depth of field and focal length will be off and if nothing else, people who know anything about photography and what lenses can and cannot do will spot it as CGI a mile off. This might include people using stock websites.

And as @Photox mentioned, usually this style of medication is longer. Here’s a typical example from a stock photograph site

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I didn’t think of the DOF issue, but good point if it was a close up photo. They did seem too chubby though, as has been said a few times. And the colored part usually “overwraps” the plain part. Didn’t notice it at first but the real fine grain on the white part - might lessen that a little. And there is one black hole in the upper right; at the top it’s fine but I would plug that up with a pill.

I don’t think they have to be as long as the blue pills (red pills all the way!), but I like how that image shows the overwrap of the colored part. But in that blue image, the one pill looks like it’s floating.