Having a go at 3D modeling generally comes with a headache steep learning curve and an unintuitive process. The top-of-the-line applications (and even the free ones) are notoriously convoluted; even attempting to generate a rendered primitive like a cube or sphere with a single light source seems to take an unnecessarily long amount of time due to the many steps involved. I recently stumbled across a new (at least to me) kind of 3D application that does away with much of the nightmare tedium that 3D modeling usually entails. It's almost like 3D for 2D people.
GroBoto makes 3D modeling intuitive and fun - two words you never hear mentioned in the same sentence with other 3D apps unless preceded by the word 'not'. Upon installing a free trial, I was immediately able to create some primitives and any number of preset objects without even once reading any documentation. I applied some textures, changed the light source, moved some things around the 3D plane, set a background gradient, and added some stars.
I win at 3D:
Now, I'm a smart cookie, but in every single other 3D application I've used, I've never been able to do a thing without reading any documentation. That speaks volumes for what the GroBoto people have accomplished.
I didn't delve into any animation, but I'm willing to bet it follows the same paradigm of intuitive user experience.
Anyone who has a need for quick 3D modeling should at least check out the free trial. The program is limited in scope - it has to be - and hardcore 3D folks will probably scoff at the limiting simplicity of the thing. For the rest of us, we may indulge in this gem of modeling software.
I envision a designer rendering something 3D and loading it into their 2D software to manipulate it. I can also see a designer creating their own textures and applying them in 3D and producing animations for clients. If nothing else, it's at least fun to mess around with. :)
Example of GroBoto Animation Capabilities: