This is my first experience with any type of digital rendering, so please forgive me if this is a stupid question: How do I achieve photorealism? A lot of video tutorials, posts, books, and courses are centered around getting as photorealistic in real-time, but time is not a factor for my work: I want to make static 2D backdrops for photos. Atmospheric lighting, depth of field blur, and resolution matter for me, but I don’t mind if it takes weeks to render on a cloud server I spun up (I am not limited by real-time or hardware constraints).
So far I’ve learned that my “poly count” should be as high as possible
I should maximize the ray tracing or path tracing to get realistic light
My assets should be high-resolution
I should not attempt to make realistic animals
I should avoid detailed, reflective surfaces as much as possible
Does anyone have a book, YouTube tutorial, or website suggestion that can help me get started along that path?