Spaghetti and I were talking about 3d modelers. The programs, not the people pushing the pixels. He's a little bit Maya, I'm a little bit 3D Studio MAX.
A program that I've been playing with is SketchUp. It's a CAD/Rapid Prototyping/visual design/architecture/whatever application of which I've really grown fond. But what's this? It's interface isn't as f'ed up as Maya. It's modeler doesn't have the options of MAX's modeler. It's renderer doesn't look as good as Lightwave or Mental Ray. Wait - it doesn't even have a renderer.
So why do I like it so much? The interface is clean and I can work very quickly in it. To me, modeling in it is very intuitive. I'm nowhere near Stephen in it, who is actually using it to make money, but I'm getting there.
Google "recently" bought SketchUp, presumably to speed the generation of 3d content to the Google Earth plugin, and being Google, they've released a free version. It's basically stripped down version, but for what I do (model, export to jpg), it's fine. Try it here.
I've attached a few things I've done. I mainly use it for patent artwork, and some stuff I can't post yet, but here are some tidbits.
This is for a front page of a patent presentation I gave our group in Singapore.
This is a work in progress for our photo printer.
Here is when I was fiddling around with the skeleton for the playscape that we are building for our boys. The parts are all to spec re: actual lumber measurments.