Probably the best known 3D modeling and animation application is 3DS Max (that used to be called 3D Studio Max). But if you aren't willing to pay the expensive license for that application, and you need a good 3D modeling solution, we offer you Wings 3D.
Wings 3D is a free open source application focused on the construction of 3D models, that makes use of the subdivision of polygons technique, that allows the user to start with very few polygons, to finish by applying a transformation that multiplies the polygons, smoothing the texture of the object's surface.
- 3D modeling based on the subdivision of polygons technique.
- Easy to use by means of context menus, that unfurl when we click the right button of the mouse.
- Great amount of tools to assign materials and textures.
- Export to several formats, among which you'll find: Nendo, 3D Studio, VRML, Povray, Collada, ...
- Import several formats, including NDO, 3DS, OBJ, AI, etc.
To sum up, Wings 3D is an excellent utility to start modeling 3D objects and get used to the basic tools, by means of simple context menus.