I would like to model a strawberry:
- Create base shape.
- Select vertices where seeds should be and add them to Vertex Group.
- Create seed model and use it in Particle System with Density from Vertex Group.
- Bake AO map.
- Use AO as a Displacement.
You can create base shape using any method you want. The important thing here is that we will use vertices for seed placement so you should have this in mind. Unwrap this mesh.
Seeds Vertex Group.
Select all vertices, than deselect the top and bottom one (if you have triangle fan there as I am). After that choose Select > Checker Deselect.
Select/deselect more vertices especially at the top and bottom to have a little bit realistic result.
Add your selection to Vertex Group and check how many you have there.
Add Particle System to your mesh. For Emission > Number use the number of vertices from previous step.
Use your seed model as Object and make it bigger than you will want them finally (it's for AO Bake). You can use Size > Random to have some variations.
Check Rotation for better seed placement. I've added a little bit random there.
Tweak Emitter Geometry > Normal so seeds would hover over the mesh.
Create new texture for AO Map. I've used 4096x4096 32Bit.
Bake AO for this texture. Use Sampling > Samples > Render with high value to remove noise. I've used 500 samples but it is too low number.
Add Subdivision Modifier and set it to 4-5.
Add Displacement Modifier and use baked map as Displacement Texture. Use Texture Coordinates > UV.
Tweak Strength and Midlevel as you like.
You can also tweak texture in Texture tab using Contrast/Brightness values to get smoother/harder result and set Filter Size to 5 (check Minimum Filter Size) to get texture blurred.
In Particle System you can now lower seeds size and correct Emitter Geometry > Normal if needed.
You can use baked AO Map as Bump Map to emphasize indents.
As a bonus, here is material setup from final render:
Well I guess it all depends on how close the camera is going to be to the strawberries. If you want it as close as the picture you provided, I am afraid there is no quick method for this. If its going to be further away from the camera I would suggest something like Alex Pensotti's answer.
But for the tedious, up close way, you could do this.
Then go to sculpt mode and choose the blob brush with subtract selected. Make the brush the size of the holes you want to create by hitting "F" and dragging mouse, then manually punch in all the holes you will need.
This was the best way I could think to do it. Maybe someone else has a more automatic way of doing it with particles or something.
I guess you don't have to subdivide and you could use dynotopo instead, but after adding all those holes I'm afraid your topology will be so bad that it would be better do just subdivide it, so you get nicer reflections.
You could always find a strawberry texture that comes with a bump map or normal map and apply it to the shape. However with a normal map it won't physically be bumpy it wont effect the shape of the model with bump maps you can create the bumps where the seeds go and maybe model seeds and place them in the recessed areas created by the bump map.