In my case, I learnt Maya first in Animation class. Then I learned Blender a year later. When I first heard about Blender, and I learned what open source meant.
I was not to sure if Blender would be worth learning. Like alot of people, I thought to myself, "this Blender program must be some sort of casual cheap dud thingy! But I always knew not to judge things.
So I gave Blender a shot. And after learning Blender well, I almost never went back to Maya. Because Blender sped up and solved alot of problems that I and alot of other graphic designers had in Maya.
Even my 3d animation teacher who worked in the video game industry years back, was slightly pissed off, and laughing at the same time, when we demonstrated to him, Blenders capabilities and easiness. And he saw, how much easier it was to do "certain," things in Blender in comparison to Maya etc. Blender is just as capable as any other open source or paid for commercial 3d software.
The only problem with Blender like all other open source projects is that they don't have a ton of money and resources to pay people to improve it.
Or put in more options sooner. So new features and things, take a while to be implemented. Maya and 3dmax are nice softwares too. If you want to learn them, go ahead. For my work, Blender is more suited for my game design and 3D art work stuff. But at the end of the day it's up to the user, not the software.
But Autodesk is going to pull the plug on it next year. Lot's of angry XSI users on Facebook. I don't blame those XSI users. That software is pretty cool!
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