at my fingertips. Having said that, perhaps if I'd had all the answers back then I wouldn't have written the tutorials that led to me publishing the book. So I suppose it wasn't so bad.
Crafting 3D Photorealism
will fast track users/readers to understanding the many intricacies behind creating materials, shaders, lighting and producing convincing photorealistic renders, in a step-by-step manner. The content of this book is the culmination of many years of experience, through trial and error, and some useful tips taken from my peers!
Who is your book aimed at and what can they expect to be able to achieve by reading it?
The book is aimed at intermediate and advanced users with key interests in texturing, creating shaders, lighting, rendering with V-Ray/mental ray, and post-production, for real projects. Readers will come away with a wealth of knowledge that you'd usually have to read more than one book to find.
In your opinion, what have the main advances been in recent years in regards to lighting?
Apart from the multi-lighting system, the single advancement that will soon massively change the manner in which users preview the lighting, shading, texturing and rendering, is the real-time GPU-based rendering system (un-biased). While very promising, the current available hardware is still not 100% in tune with some of the shaders used to render the lights and other elements (e.g., there are a few restrictions, incompatibilities, artifacts, etc). In addition, the current market price of GPU hardware is out of reach of most companies and artists.