There are many 3D Software packages for both Windows and Mac operating systems. To list them all and their available features would be like listing the various features found in automobiles. This is best for you, depends on your needs as assessed by such questions as:
1. What do you intend to use the software for-
For 2D modeling?
For 3D modeling?
Is it for interactive game development?
2. How important is realism in modeling your objects?
3. What do you expect for support, tutorials and mastery?
4. What is your skillset and how manageable do you demand the interface?
5. What is your desired industry as some of these are leaders in specific industries?
6. What is your price point?
There are a number of 3D Programs readily available on the market. Of course, there are generally trade-offs. Those which yield some of the most advanced capabilities are not mastered readily and are rather expensive for the entry level animator. “Free” programs seem to pop up daily but often do not have mature abilities and provide limited or no support. Our preference for the initiate is those in the mid-range bracket for more developed interfaces and abilities and attractive entry price points.
High End-Industry specific or favored:
As with most things, you generally get what you pay for. There are a number of well-known industry leaders such as Maya, 3D Studio Max and Poser Pro which are well known to industry experts. These boast a large variety of features and modeling abilities. These are undoubtedly industry leaders should you be considering these professionally and we recommend you confirm against the requirements and acceptance of your own industry. Though the prices of these programs has come down considerably in past years, these are generally entry prices are generally prohibitive to the beginning animator. Interfaces for these programs are not easily managed by other than the most skilled. However, if you are interested in becoming an industry expert, these are undoubtedly the way to go.
“Free” or Share-ware programs:
There are a number of “free” or share-ware 3D packages available. These have gained significant traction over recent years. Often they have reduced modeling capacities and more minimal support and training. Due to the increasing popularity of this field, some of these have developed online support communities. Depending on your needs and skill level, one of these solutions could be adequate.
Mid-poised for ease of use and competitive pricing:
One category that we have been following with increasing interest is the middle level- those 3D packages which boast an attractive entry level price with the capabilities that would boost an entry level animator beyond the amateur level. One of these is Strata 3D CX and the other we were favorably impressed by was Blender. Both of these are quite powerful programs with features for all but the really high end user. Blender was exemplary for its use of interface, its entry level price and its clear tutorials.
Source by Randy Stuart