I talked about it a bit in another thread a few weeks back, but it’s pretty basic really. One main light, which is an area light, and a spotlight putting the highlight on the wall. Nothing fancy about the glass settings, but I do always make sure to use low reflectivity values for glass and liquid objects sometimes even zero with a Fresnel value to drive up reflectivity at the edges. The Fresnel value to me is important.
I posted the project above, so you’re welcome to download it and poke around.
It might seem like I have the raytrace recursions really high, but it needs to be high considering that I have four overlapping transparent objects.
One thing EI could use is some transparency absorption controls. Volume transparency doesn’t give the same effect, unfortunately.
But I love the look of EI’s renders. I have this same scene in modo, but modo’s renders, while very realistic, always seem to lack warmth and magic, if you get my meaning. Plus modo’s anti-aliasing is just terrible. I’m constantly fighting with it and always end up with ugly artifacts in transparent objects. The EI render just looks so lush and warm and seems to have weight to it, and the anti-aliasing is nearly flawless. Very nice.