Eureka - Cool Shadows
This is almost better than a RL "good hair day". I finally have cool shadows and sharp focus with a little depth of field thrown in for good measure. If you can be cool with blood red hair and a super bright goldenrod sweater, I am guessing you can be cool in anything *wink*. (This updated photo has been airbrushed to erase white alpha lines. To solve this problem you can photograph against solid walls.) See the original photo at the bottom of this post.
This is a completely unretouched screenshot. No desaturation needed.
So it can be done using Imprudence (1.4). It can be done on an older computer (mine is pushing four years and wasn't that spiffy to start with). It simply CAN be done. It took me a very long time to get here even though I understood Windlight well. I refined the settings a bit at a time over many days, slowly moving toward the effect I wanted.
Now we know.
And to the viewer who wrote the other day about shadows across the face, I am not going over to the dark side. I just wanted to show the effect in the most dramatic way I could :D.
After a comment by a reader I replaced the original top photo with a more finished one. The only changes are some slight airbrushing at the edges of hair. The thin white lines do appear sometimes -- even on body parts such as hands.
There is an alpha issue and will hopefully be fixed in the future. Using prim eyes might be a better idea also. I will give that a try soon. Still I am thrilled to have accomplished this :D. This is the originally published lead photo. Click for a larger view.