No matter how talented you are, you will need a good 3D Animation Software to create 3D animation (duh). Just like a top notch chef won't be able to cook out of the thin-air, he/she will need some pans! A digital artist can not create images or animation without the proper software.
There are hundreds of 3D animation softwares out there, their functions ranging from complete 3D kits to simple gif animator, price ranging from free shareware to thousands of dollars. Which one should you use? Well, you must ask yourself this question - What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to design a simple logo, animate some stick figures or create detailed video game character, maybe even Hollywood level special effects? It's very important to get the answer to this question before investing in any animation software.
If your goals are to create simple stuff like a logo or a very simple 3D models, there are plenty of free softwares out there that can do it. Since they are free, there isn't really any risk in trying them out (except your time). Just go out there and try a few, chances are, you will find something you like.
However, if you are trying to create something more complicated - for example, a 3D animation or a detailed environment, you will need a 3D animation software that is much more powerful and comprehensive. And these softwares will not come for free. Here is an advice, pick the one that has the lowest price yet powerful enough to complete your task. Leading brand like Maya or 3DS Max cost $3,500, which is ridiculously high in my opinion. The only reason they can sell it at that price is because most of their clients are big studios, school or other business. Those clients are rich!
Unless you are as rich as Hollywood Studios, I suggest you skip Maya or 3Ds Max and go for something more reasonable. I highly recommend a 3D animation software called illusionMage. To be honest with you, it's just as powerful as Maya and it's much easier to use than Maya. Ok, how much is it going to cost? $47! $47 vs $3500, I'd take $47 any day. Also, it comes with complete video training tutorials to get you started.
Why waste your money on Maya or 3Ds Max when you can get the same thing for a much much lower price ?
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