Cool Macworld Product: SketchUp
Subject:   Not as easy to use but free
Date:   2006-01-18 02:45:40
From:   stottmj
There is always Blender which is a free 3D modeling and animation tool. It's not the same thing as SketchUp which appears to make modeling extremely fast and easy. But you can say, scan a sketch you made on paper and display it in Blender so you can trace the sketch scan and model on it.

Blender is comparable to Maya

Some consider the GUI to have a steep learning curve but it really is more productive once you understand it. Designed to keep your hand on a 3 button mouse and the other on the keyboard, it's extremely powerful and efficient.

Blender is more of a modeling and animation tool and SketchUp is something new. Their targets are entirely two different groups of users. Blender is more for animators (people trying to do what Pixar does) and SketchUp is more a CAD application.