Some quick tests of the old water glass using MegaPOV HDRI lighting. I used both my kitchen map and Paul Debevec one, and also an old scene of mine with a fireplace, wich I resurrected just to generate the probe (see below).
For the realistic refractions, I used not only the correct IOR for the interior of each object (1.5 for the glass, 1.333 for the water and 1.309 for the ice), but had also to cut the icecubes shape from the water object (difference). Of course, fresnel reflections were used, wich automatically take IOR into account. As I was not able to use photons, rendering time was not too long, just some minutes for the first pass and almost an hour for the second.
The icecubes where also old blob objects, but I never used them before on a public scene. I just added a granite normal to make them look less round. To get clean glass, water, and ice textures, I used 2 bounces on the radiosity and a max trace level of 128 for the final pass. I used the 2-pass radiosity technique, avoiding reflections and refractions on the first pass.
The image maps for the stones and marbles on the table top where donwloaded from www.mayang.com.
Finally, as the theme for the IRTC was Fire & Ice while I was doing the tests, I was inspired enough to do a related pic (see last WIP), but not to finish and submit anything.