A previous tutorial showed how to make gemstones using the ‘Extra Objects’ add on. This tutorial uses gemstones for experimenting with the Glass surface that is part of the Cycles Render system. It is makes it easy to create realistic glass and other transparent materials (e.g. diamond).
HDR Photograph was from the following site –
An alternative method of mapping a photograph to a plane is to use the ‘Import Images as Planes’ add on, which can be added by clicking –
File – User Preferences — Addons — Import-Export and tick ‘Import Images as Planes’
It is a useful add on that automates opening an image, mapping it to a plane and setting up the material.