My introduction to 3D Modeling was way
back in the days of Swivel-3D™ in the early '90s. From there,
it progressed to other applications such as Specular Infini-D, Strata
3D, Form-Z, Strata Studio Pro, Bryce and LightWave™
from NewTek. More recently, I have been using a low-cost alternative 3D application called Cheetah 3D. It's a surprisingly robust application that is affordable for any budget.
Although the tools may have changed over the
years... the underlying principals of modeling, surfacing, lighting,
animating and rendering a scene have not. The same understanding
of each facet can easily translate to a new tool or a new User Interface.