This project is one of my first attempts at photorealistic visualization. The scene was modeled using Cinema 4D and rendered with Octane for C4D.
I've been working with Octane Render for about two weeks now and I like how simple it is to use and how quickly it renders realistic results. Seeing materials and lighting updating on the screen while I'm working is inspiring and makes me put in more effort to create a better image.
Modeling was fairly strait forward but I painted myself into a corner several times with the window frame and vase and had to start over. I tried modeling the decorative flowers from the reference image but after several failed attempts I grabbed some wiring from a model pack of mechanical parts and retextured with an Octane Specular material (why isn't it called Refractive?) to give it a glass-like appearance. The model wouldn't cooperate with being spread apart like the flowers, so I added a second vase at the top for the wires to travel into, implying that there's something "happening" between the two vases.
I experimented with HDRI lighting, but went with an area light instead because it gave me a bit more control over the positioning and shadows. With Octane, the size of the light is directly related to the softness of the shadows, so I made the area light the same width and height as the room itself (basically a wall sized softbox) and it created nice soft shadows that resemble sunlight on an overcast day.
I've always enjoy seeing other artist's project files and how they organize their scenes so I've attached a screenshot below of the render settings used in Octane and expanded the object hierarchy to show how I built the scene. The render time was around 40 minutes, but I don't think it really needed 2000 samples. I could have gotten away with around 500 and some noise reduction in post. I decided to set it higher because I wasn't in rush and wanted to see what it would look like cranked up.
Below are the reference images I used from West Elm.