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Blender

Blender, an open-source 3D graphics program, constitutes a viable alternative to the likes of 3D Max and Maya. The fact that it’s free only extend its appeal to amateurs as well. In short, it is more than capable of filling in the basic roles that proprietary software accomplish, which spans from 3D modeling, texturing, simulation to that of CG effects creation and animation. But it doesn’t stop there, you may also use Blender to create 3D games or whole films from scratch if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. While it may not have the most intuitive user interface around (none does, really), by virtue of price and a relatively powerful feature-set, Blender easily trumps the competition in accessibility and general-purpose use. Though, before you do go experimenting in the dark, be warned that Blender is not (yet) suitable for professional use for its lack of adherence to proprietary and industry-standard formats, and the fact that it would take weeks or sometimes months before you can nail down the basics.

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