Cinerender has a quick preview render window that shows the changes, perhaps this is helpful.
We do not have AC25 out yet in NL, so can't tell you if there are changes there in the 3D window (openGL) settings to manipulate textures.
The sunlight settings also have a big impact on how the 3D window looks. It is possible to have things look dark and murky or light and washed out if the settings for ambient light are too low or high.
Personally I see the 3D window more as a workspace with the textures more as a visual clue for patterns and Cinerender as my output.
Depending on your hardware, you can definitely make quick renders at lower resolution to get a feel for tone and look. Rendering marquee areas is also great for this.
Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architectenwww.leloup.nl
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