So, despite having the Octane plugin since its release, I still struggle horribly with lighting when not using the included 'Daylight' or HDRI options. I'm attaching a scene, and I really need advice on how to best light it.
This image was rendered to 16k Ms/px in 3 hrs. 30 min on a GTX 680. The scene is a closed off room, so no HDRI or daylight options will work. The room is currently being lit solely by mesh emitters. I have a few half cylinders lighting the areas behind the walls and above the roof. These half cylinders are only 5 polys each, as I remember reading here that the fewer polys that make up an emitter, the better the lighting will be. So, there are two behind the far wall where the television is, two overhead above the dropped roof, and two (out of frame) behind the wall that juts out where the wall speakers are installed.
Overhead, there is a set of track lighting with six lights total. Each of these six mesh emitters has about 200 polys (they're all tris, and part of the actual lamp from the prop itself). They are shaped like a cornea; basically a convex circular plane.
I am asking for any and all advice anyone can provide for optimal settings to light this room and get rid of all the hotpixels and noise. I dialed down the hotpixel from 1.0 in increments of 0.1, and as the hotpixels vanished, the dark areas became more muddled with black splotches. Using caustic blur yielded the same result. What I'd really love to see is for this to look as realistic as possible, as I've seen renders of rooms with no windows on these forums look fantastic, and I'd like to duplicate that approach. I am rendering with the pathtracing kernel but will switch to whatever gets the best results.