Here are some lovely renders using reflection occlusion. Most digital lighters know of ambient occlusion, but reflection occlusion is lesser known, so for those who haven't used it here's an introduction.
|Two digital renders. On the left is has no reflection occlusion, on the right has reflection occlusion|
Here's a tip for the day:
When you are trying to solve a problem: Divide and Conquer!
Narrow it down so you can isolate where the problem is. It is much easier to find a needle in a small handful of hay than in a haystack.
To isolate the problem in a digital render, I often make whatever I'm working on some crazy color so I can see it better. My favorite crazy color for debugging is magenta. Here's an image with the ambient occlusion turned to magenta so I can see it better.
|Egg render on the left (lighting by Howard Ross, a student in my lighting class. nice eggs, Howard!), egg render being debugged for occlusion on the right (did anyone think those were real eggs?)|