3D Graphics creations are often perceived as requiring costly software. Well, this is not always the case because the internet is really a place loaded with free goodies waiting to be utilized. With the relevant skill, a designer or artist can produce works (using these free tools) that are comparable to what professional tools can do.
I will show you how to start a professional 3D graphic design studio using only free software. To produce credible 3D graphics, the tools must be able to perform the various functions namely:
4. Image editing
5. Texture creation
Well, we need to substitute commercial tools with their free and or open source equivalents.
The following is a reference to the various free 3D and graphics related resources that can be downloaded from the net.
For 3D modelling, rendering and animation there are at least 2 excellent free alternatives. They are Blender 3D and Truespace 3.2. You can get Blender 3D from http://www.blender3d.com. Truespace 3.2 can be downloaded from http://www.caligari.com which is the homepage of Truespace’s maker.
For purely dedicated 3D modeling, Wing3D is an easy to use yet very powerful tool. You can get this 3D modeling software from http://www.wings3d.com. What you need to do, is to model your stuffs on this software and then export then to either Blender3D or Truespace. File formats such as 3D Studio (3DS) , Wavefront (OBJ) and VRML (WRL) are all supported by Wings3D and can be used for exporting 3D models (created in Wings3D) to other 3D programs such as Blender3D and Truespace.
For image editing and texture creation, Gimp is a most excellent tool. This is a very powerful image editing tool. It supports layers like most professional image editors. Its many filters are excellent for creating textures and image maps for 3D models. Gimp can be downloaded from http://www.gimp.org.
Less well-known than Gimp but very delightful to use is Pixia. This is a Japanese software. Fortunately there is an English version. This tool is excellent for painting and is thus useful for creating image maps for 3D models. Pixia can be downloaded from [http://park18.wakwak.com/~pixia/].
Well, these are the free equivalents that can perform the work of commercial tools. Commercial software may be more convenient and easier to use, nevertheless these free tools can get the job done too. So, if you are on a tight budget, this may be the route to go.