[quote name='Chris941' timestamp='1340878688' post='4953605']
Thanks to everyone for the info! I contacted Autodesk last week but never got a reply, don't know what that's about.... If I have time I'll download cinema4d but I'll check out Blender first! What program has the least steep learning curve? Or all they all like that?
Let me try to explain it to you from my experience. First thing, there are many aspects to working in CG. You have modeling, animating and rendering to begin with, but each of those have sub-disciplines, if you will. Modeling can involve "box modeling" (Wings, Aniim8or, blender), "sculpting" (Sculptris, Curvy3D, zBrush, blender etc.) and also such techniques as NURBs and CSG, which aren't used as much in games/pre-viz. Animating can involve posing of rigged figures (which is a discipline in itself), motion capture, physical simulations (hard body, soft body, cloth, fluids, etc.). Rendering includes working with materials (as does modeling and animating), as well as lighting, and compositing. Of course it's also good to have some familiarity with paint tools, and video editors, as you will be using both eventually.
Without getting into specifics of UIs and workflows, consider one simple rule regarding a program's learning curve. The more it does, the harder it will be to learn all of it. Sculptris and Curvy are the easiest of the sculpting programs to learn, while Wings3D and Anim8or are probably among the easiest modelers to learn. There is a learning curve for each program, and there is a learning curve for CG in general. You may prefer having a powerful and versatile tool like blender that can do most all of the things I have mentioned, or you may feel intimated by the features you aren't familiar with or confused by having too many tools without an understanding of what they are for. What you learn in one program may work differently in another, but the more you understand how CG works the easier it will be to learn other programs.
I use Wings for modeling (I've thought about using Hexagon or SIlo but neither are supported to my liking). I use Poser for rendering, because I have it and am used to it. I picked up Daz Studio Pro for free, so I'd have a way to export figures to iClone. I can model in Wings, rig in Poser, and export via Daz, at least in theory. That same workflow should also work for Unity. In your case I'd substitute blender or Daz Studio for Poser, if spending the least money is important. I think I'm one of those people who wished they liked blender but I just can't get comfortable in it whenever I try using it.