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I've been trying to make pretty much exactly this crystal: http://wallpapersus.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/abstract-crystal-digital-art-3d.jpg

enter image description here

Now, the only thing I've used is Photoshop CS5, and it doesn't seem to be quite capable for that sort of work. I'm by no means a 3D artist either.

Still, I'm willing to pick up some 3D software to achieve this. What are the bare basics I require to render this sort of image? What software should I be using, if my main and only interest is on rendering something like that?

I've made simple models before, but never something with this sort of crystalline effect.

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This might be a starting point: design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/… –  Benteh Apr 13 at 0:14
    
Unfortunately, I don't know of any real shortcuts to this. The ideal method would be to invest in a decent modeler, with built-in rendering package. Personally, I use Rhino and 3ds Max. I've had some students that were able to get decent rendering results using Sketchup and KeyShot. If you're not concerned with realism, and simply like the angularity and contrasting gradients; it may be possible to produce this sort of image in Photoshop. This will take a lot of time and care to pull off effectively, but it can be done using the Polygonal lasso, layered gradients, and lots of masking. –  jwarton Apr 13 at 0:39

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