I've optimized macrea once again (v0.12b) and the results feel more and more correct. This is again just an "image save" out of sculptris with no modifications elsewhere. Of course it still can't produce shadows in any way, which is sorta sad, as ambient occlusion alone would really make this thing nearly perfect, but with the shadow in the background image it actually works quite well already.
The major improvement in v0.12b is the way I recompute the reflection image as you diffuse it (with "R" turned on). It's almost accurate now.
Eheh, thanks, Piz! This morning I went on my patio with a chrome-knob I took off our bathroom cupboard. I took some pictures all around including this on our table out there. A few rounds through MaCrea v0.14 and this is the result... Again, straight out of Sculptris...
Haha, if I write something here now, that'll make it more informative than what I wrote in the post you refer to? The light probe stuff I'm still planning on supporting at some point. I'm however doing something along those lines already, I guess. MaCrea is really just Material Creation at this point. The "render" is...sculptris. (read original post!)