3D Graphics: Help Me to Decide

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I would like to start my adventure with 3d graphics, however I don't know much about it for the time being. Therefore, I'd like to ask fellow summoners who are in the know to help me decide among 3ds Max, Maya, and Blender. Which of these three would you recommend and why?

I don't expect a lot of feedback, but any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


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I'd start out with Google SketchUp and then move on to Blender3D. SketchUp is free and very easy to get in to. It is less powerful that the others but it has the lowest barrier to entry and will let you start to learn about workflow and thinking in 3D without struggling to learn a complex interface. I can't speak to Maya as I've never used it, but between 3DSM and Blender, I much prefer Blender. One reason being that it is free and open source, the second reason being that its not an Autodesk product (as an architect I use a lot of Autodesk products and have issues with the company). Blender's interface can be very daunting when you are first starting out, but it is a very powerful program and as you start to get the hang of it, you'll start to see the genius (mad though it may be) of how it is designed.