Render in XSI Mental Ray... A little test.. but I thought it looks pretty, so I share it...
SPhere is easy to make:
1. Select Sphere tool and create polymesh.
2. Draw Polymesh Sphere, select checkerboard texture.
3. Mask with alpha intensity
4. hide points
5. delete hidden points
6. store morph target
7. inflate a bit
8. create diff
9. select & draw diff-sphere
10. Deformation-Twist and voila a twisted and frgmented sphere.
Experiment with different Alphas! Fun results!