I have a serious love/hate relationship with photo-realistic rendering. I'm completely intrigued by the drop-dead gorgeous images I come across every day, but I'm terrified by the prospect of ever having to produce any myself. Simply put, rendering seems hard – so hard that I don't even know where I'd begin. There are so many options...
I found this SketchUp/Maxwell rendering on Ronen Bekerman's Flickr photostream.
I've heard lots of good things about Maxwell Render. When they sent me an email about a new series of Getting Started videos for their SketchUp plugin, I clicked on the link; I'm a total sucker for sexy renderings. I spent about 45 minutes watching the first four tutorials, and I have to say, I'm hooked.
If you've ever wondered about Maxwell, here's your chance. Clear an hour from your schedule, pour yourself some coffee, and find a comfy chair. I think it'll be worth your while.