From my Notebook >
I’ve put together a simple template for easily creating wallpaper scenes with Art of Illusion, a free, open-source 3D graphics package.
The scene includes an isometric camera, ensuring a perfect, perspective-free top-down desktop view. This makes things like straight grid lines possible. There is also a vignette lamp and the scene is bundled with several pre-made textures for you to experiment with (see how-to video below).
Art of Illusion is capable of making some really, really cool stuff. Some people compare it with Blender and say it comes up short on the features list, but as a professional designer and illustrator, I have always found Art of Illusion a useful tool in my toolbox.
You might also find the Art of Illusion manual helpful, especially the part about making your own procedural textures.
Here’s the tutorial video: