I'd like to get myself a decent 3D modeling/rendering program, preferably freeware/open source.
I've tried Blender, but it seems a bit hard to use and there's no documentation. A friend recommended a trial copy of Maya... I'd like to know what software is out there, what it can/can't do, and what YOU think of it.
I've used several programs, and I highly recommend Cinema 4D if you want to do some simple things and don't like Blender. Maya and 3Ds Max are great programs, but they can get complicated.
Actually, blender should not be hard to learn.
As it is most used the sub-division tech.
So, if you are the master of it then, be a experienced blender user should not be an issues.
I have only tried blender so far and once you follow 1 or 2 documents its really easy to do basic stuff. The interface might scare people at first but its not that hard.
I use Blender, but not on a periodic or continuous basis. Anyway, the really really steep learning curve of Blender became imminent when I first used it. However, with a lot of help from the Documentation and Video Tutorials (yes, there are a lot of them!), I have been able to somehow learn and do something pretty spectacular with Blender. Of course, I have only learned the basics because that is as far as the video tutorials can help you. Also, I think that once you learn the ropes and get the grips on the "newbie unfriendly" user interface of Blender, you will be able to do a lot of amazing stuff. Just take a look at the Orange open movie project (Elephant's Dream), and now, the upcoming Apricot project. Just my two cents and some experience with Blender.