If you're new to 3D modeling and don't have the money or patience for the big commercial apps, Wings 3D may be of interest to you. Wings 3D is basically a subdivision modeler in which you can assign materials, vertex colors, UV coordinates and textures.
You can design your own 3D models from scratch or you can import them from programs such as 3D Studio, Adobe Illustrator and LightWave. Wings 3D then allows you to turn them into polygon meshes and further refine them by subdividing them into other polygons. Wings 3D is probably a very good option for those who already have an intermediate level of modelling experience or want to learn the basics of 3D modelling without getting bogged-down in complicated 3D modelling concepts and interfaces.
When it comes to more advanced modeling such as rendering complex polygons, you may find that it struggles although it is definitely possible. At the same time, even advanced users may find that you can whip-up an object in half the time it would take on a complex 3D modeling app such as Maya.
If you're new to 3D modeling and want an easy starting point or don't need all the advanced features (and expense) of an advanced modeling app, then Wings 3D is a solid starting point.
- * Major rewrite of Tweak to integrate it into the Wings core. The new Tweak features improved performance, additional tools, and more flexibility.
- * Lots of new tools:
- o Plane Cut and Slice for cutting objects or face selections
- o Rotate Unconstrained for multi-axis rotations
- o Sculpt Mode lets you push, pull, inflate, pinch, and smooth your model
- o Face|Bridge now connects any two face regions
- o Body|Weld now manages neighbouring faces
- o View Along Nearest Axis (use 1 hotkey instead of 6)
- * Interface improvements:
- o Asian font support for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean
- o Rollup windows into their titlebars
- o Right-Click menus now sport a Menu Toolbar
- o Folders and new icons for the Geometry Graph
- o Four color themes to choose from in the Edit menu
- o Save and load Preference Subsets from the File menu
- o Automatic menu clipping for long menus
- o Tweak Palette for selecting Tweak tools, magnets, and axis constraints
- o Fix to properly restore the maximized Wings layout on Windows
- * Many bugfixes and improvements