Because I'm not planning to give another FMX talk this year I started showing some screenshots of my current rendering research/tests on my render forum:
In this case I took a Radiance scene and imported it with my own Radiance importer into Blender, exported it with my own Blender to Arnold (BtoA) exporter to Arnold's .ass scene description, and imported it with my custom Maya translator (import and export) into Maya (on OS X).
The second screenshot shows the same pipeline (import into Blender, export to .ass, import into Maya). If re-exported from Maya you will end up with exactly the same picture rendered by Arnold but as you can see the new Cycles renderer (shipping with the latest Blender releases) matches already very well the output of Arnold (if color correction etc. is handled correctly and some pitfalls are avoided). The full post can be found here.
At some point my experiments will go into a direction where I can store a scene and materials independently of the renderer(s) being used and to switch between different renderers (and algorithms) on the fly.
Blochi's book is out. Get a copy if you do photography or CG images. It will explain all you need to know about High-Dynamic-Range-Imaging, software to manipulate and view those kind of images and explain the results you can expect ... http://www.hdrlabs.com/book/index.html
Once announced I hope to get some guest or users who share their experience with various renderers and make scenes public available for download, so that someone else can take the geometry, apply shaders, and render with his/her favourite renderer.
I will be one of the speakers at the Blender Conference 2012 this year and will focus a bit more on the Blender side of my render tests. Basically I will show similar stuff to the talk I gave at the FMX 2012 but include Cycles and talk a bit about the integration of renderers into Blender and how to import/export different file formats or use render APIs.
Windows and Lighting Program Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Berkeley, California
This model was created over a period of three weeks by painstaking measurements and many vi editing sessions. The real conference room looks very similar to the Radiance renderings as a consequence, and we would be interested to compare results to other rendering techniques if you have them.
Please do not use this model for any purpose without giving proper credit.
I started to import the geometry of this scene into Blender (using my own Radiance importer from my BitBucket repository) and will soon publish the first results of rendering the same scene with other renderers here.