I am working with 3D software for about 5 years. Mostly Autodesk 3DS Max and Inventor.
The model it-self is not so good. The head is way too big. Other than that the rest of it looks quite good If you can make more renders it will help me see other parts in it.
Also , I mostly learned about rendering over the years. I do not know what engine you used ... but it looks okay to me I will not say it is realistic ... as there is more work need to be done. Rendering is a big area and very hard to learn. So do not take it personally or something ... It is just hard to get a realistic 3D image
I will reccommend learning about V-ray. One of the best render engines out there.
Thanks for sharing it with us ! After all it is a nice work :beer:
Like it was already said, the beam needs a lot of work, host itself isn't that bad, through you'd need to lose the corner smoothing at the very top of the crown.
Problem with the beam is that the picture of the beam is actually horribly unrealistic depiction (as weird as it sounds). So you need to decide either to go for actual realistic look, or photorealistic look.
Both need a bit deeper understanding of how we/cameras perceive light, how is it flawed, and how to replicate flaws in otherwise pixel-perfect flawless rendering software.
Yes Vray is expensive ... but if you are just working with it for fun ... you can download a cracked version of it. Of course if you will use it for work .. you should pay for it
I have a i7 with 6 cores too. It does take time. But the thing about Vray is that you need to learn how to use it and customize it. With correct settings you can acheive good results not in a long time. long render time does not mean that the image will be good.
However , good photo relistic renders do take a few hours to render for just one frame. In order to do a serious movie for example , like Pixar's movies ... you will need a network of high end computers and it will still take a lot of time to finish it.