Beautiful skyscapes here in Houston this past week. It's fun to watch such giant forms drift across the blue.
So, here is an image from a while back that addresses some aspects of the floating form.
A simple modeled form, textured, lit, and rendered in Modo. One of the benefits of working with a good 3D program is the incredible array of image outputs one can generate. This image makes use of a series of images composited with each other. Image types include: normal map, occlusion map, "regular" render, alpha map, and others.