how do I change the light on the back plane to not be so pixely? http://www.pbase.com/dawg47/image/42207668
Change the blur settings of the photons (make them larger). This will blend them into a smooth caustics effect…
These are the settings anywhere that are Photon Radius size, either in the render settings, or light settings. You might also want to tweak the mix size, in the render windows…
I suppose you want to get quality of caustics close to this?
Sorry. There is no longer img at brasil.com i wanted to compare direct yafray with.
Anyway. If you’re using yable/yablex scripts for exporting scene, change maximum value of photons in the *.py script to 1000 000. Another method is to edit your exported *.XML file with basic text editor [simpler=faster, f.e. Vi, Nano, Emacs].
Try to set up better light. F.e. for nice soft shadows use softlight, and for lighting Spotlight with shadows off. Set photonlight samples value to min 16. Also you can try it with higher value of ray samples.
As i see you need rather bigger tutorial, how to set lighting for your scene.