Here's a shot of 3D Mail Effects, an email notification program I recently
As you can see, one of the "notification effects" that it produces is a
rotating, floating 3D object that is overlaid on your desktop. This is a
lot trickier than it sounds, because Windows (especially Windows95) was
never meant to do this.
Because of my lame modelling skills, the object you're looking at is over
4,000 polygons. Also, the object is software rendered, because my target
audience includes a lot of people that have never heard of DirectX or
OpenGL, and may very well not have a 3D card. So to that end, I decided it
would be best to stick with a very simple and elegant effect.
You might also notice the application is skinnable (kudos to Alex "Foper"
Tchernychov for his artwork in the two default skins that ship with the
program.) Skinning an application is not very difficult and is a lot of
fun, especially if you have cool skins to play with.
You can download the trial version from http://www.FluidStudios.com/3dme/
If you're only interested in checking out the effect, the trial version is
sufficient. When the effect is running, right-click on it for options.