in order to have a single list rather than few threads, here is our list of different 3D modeling packages. We try to update the list whenever new stuff appears, so every user can share new links and impressions, and we will add them to the list.
We focus more on indy style development which usually requires a package to be free or rather cheap in compare with high packages. Also mention any student or indy licenses
First Update 26.02.11
Blender (Win, Linux, Mac)
Most popular is Blender, with is the biggest open source 3D Software you can get. It is a little different in navigating and handling compared to 3dsMax or Maya but still a fully featured 3D Software for free, there will be no better.
Truespace was comercial but ended 2009 as freeware, so its having nice features like modeling, uv, rigging, animation etc, so all you need.
Seems only available on Windows, the only bad thing i guess.
http://www.caligari.com/Products/trueSp ... /Intro.asp
Wings 3D (Win,Linux,Mac)
One of my favorits in the old days, and its open source. Very powerful in modeling based on the legendary first SubDiv modeling software Nendo/Mirai
Workflow is a bit different but very flexible and powerful !
K-3D (Win, Linux)
This one is quite good for modeling and animation, yet again completly free. It gives access to poly and nurbs modeling, although you should never use nurbs objects as export (not working for almost any game engine), but you can convert it into a poly object.
Google SketchUp (Win, Mac)
Freeware, Pro Version 495€
Yes after all Sketchup is a good way of modelling without having to know all about modeling. Besides its quite simple and fun to use, but texturing/uv is rather rudimental/nonexistent. Still not bad for concept/prototyping. Again base version is free
A 3D Editor providing a good way of creating levels and models as it seems, its also open source with a wide userbase and plugins.
K3d Surf (Win,Linux, Mac)
Want some exotic stuff ?
K3d Surf is a surface generator based on math equations, if you can handle that its quite some fun and allows for some terrible, complex surfaces that would be quite painful to model traditional.
MilkShape 3D (Win)
Shareware, Pro Version 25-35€
A low-polygon modeler that can read and write a great number of file formats. It is worthwhile because it can be used as a converter if you happen to have models in exotic formats that Cafu doesn't support natively.
Shareware with 30 days test period, registration fee is 35 US$ or 25€.
Mesh Creator (Win)
Another software for creating meshes, any feedback on this ?
Looks new, but feels quite retro, and is currently under development so lots of updates might change the overall feeling.
Silo (Win, Mac)
Comercial, Core 99$ and Pro 159$
An exellent software for modeling uv editing, pro version adds scultping,retopologizing and advanced uv editing. I like the ability to fully customize workflow and icons.