Here is my first attempt at photo realism:
This was a tough project for a newbie. If my gingerbread man was a 1 out of 10 in terms of difficulty, then this was a 3 or 4.
Although I’m not completely satisfied with my result, this was a good project to develop some of my modeling and texturing skills. Notably I had to do some soft body displacement to give the orange an organic shape and then create a uv map.
As you might tell, I had some distortion problems at the edge of the skin, and the displacement map I created to depress the pulpy part of the orange probably needs some adjustment because it makes the fleshy part look rough and plasticy instead of smooth and wet like it should.
Despite my shabby result I think this was a successful exercise and am ready to move on to my next project which will be a hot cup of coffee. I think that will be a good introduction to the fluid and particle simulator.
Here is the tutorial so you can try for yourself: http://cgcookie.com/blender/2011/10/31/creating-an-orange/ The video is about an hour, but it took me closer to 4 or 5 hours in real time to follow along.