There are lots of good Q/A on the Blender Stack exchange about this stuff, but none of it has so far informed my decisions on the best way to do this, so apologies for any redundancy (I did look through all the recommended existing questions before posting!
I'm fairly new to Blender and pushing myself to learn by taking a simple subject and layering on complexity as I slowly begin to grasp Blender's capabilities. My first project to push through was to try to make photo-realistic M&Ms. It's been really fun and SO MANY lights have come on for me! Ok on to it...
My M&Ms start as cubes, get subsurf mod 3x, subsurf is APPLIED, then "Transfrom > To Sphere". After this textures are applied, etc. (This step is probably not the most efficient but I'll work on that eventually).
I then duplicate the Object 5x, apply the five different M&M colors, then duplicate the Objects to create my composition on a plane.
All the M&M mesh objects are perfect squished spheres with no irregularities. This is CLOSE to what I want but real M&Ms have subtle irregularities in shape.
I don't know how to approach:
What would be the best way to apply a defomration to a small mesh object with a heavily subdivided topology?
If my composition has many of these objects (with many of them having different textures applied) is there a way to apply the subtle deformation to ALL of them?
If there is a way to choose a subtle deformation method, then apply to all of them, how then could I randomize it so all the mesh objects don't have the same subtle deformation?
I have a bunch of small heavily subdivided mesh objects with different materials applied. How can I subtly deform each one to give photo-realism?
Here's the latest version of the image I'm practicing on and the .Blend file. Thanks to a few of you who have already helped me get where I am! Thanks in advance to anyone who knows how I can tackle the next steps.
If anything I've done so far is a "rookie" way to do it and there's a better way, I am open and eager to learning the better way and changing my composition (or even starting over for practice)