The issue with Blender is that it just isn't at the level of the professional tools we use in the industry.
Have fun playing with it, sure. But if you are a student on his way to approaching the professional market, there is only Maya (film, games) and LightWave (film, tv, games) left still standing in a meaningful way. A few of the major companies (Pixar, ILM) use a lot of internal software, but generally that is written around the Maya or LightWave APIs.
Everything else (3dstudio Max, Cinema 4d, SoftImage) has passed by the wayside and you can count the numbers of companies still using these packages on one hand - and none of them are major players.
But if you are just having FUN, to see if this is something you'd like to do, there are LOTS of free programs and GREAT student discounts on the pro packages.
LightWave, for example, runs in DEMO mode if you don't own a license. And that's more than enough to accomplish a great deal.
Good luck in your quest!
This is utter nonsense. use the program you feel would help you get familiar with 3d space easier. Once you're used to working in 3d space, any package is easy to learn within a week. Max is still the most widely used package out. i don't know where he's getting his stats about maya. XSI is becoming mor eand more popular amongst artists in the industry. Companies that use max include, Rockstar games, Blizzard, Bioware. and many other small startups, Companies that use Maya solely... In gaming that hasn't been heavily modified with custom scripts to help the artists. I can't think of any Maybe Ubisoft, but they don't use maya only. Of course you'll get your small studios, but players like EA have heavily modified Maya. So as an artist working for EA you'll be alearning something new anyways. Softimage. Players that use this include Ubisoft, Ironclad, Krysoft, Valve.
Then we go into Movie houses. I know a lot of people in the film industry, the use everything from maya, to lightwave to Softimage, Mudbox and zbrush. There is no one package that dominates them all. I know for one that ILM uses Softimage a lot in their modeling departments.
Anyway, I get annoyed when I hear people talking about how maya is teh answer to all 3d needs. The truth is, it's not. A 3d Package is only as good as an artist, and as the way things are going. There are plenty studios out there that'll give you a choice. If you want to get a professional level software package that is easy to learn and get used to, I'd pick suggest you get the xsi mod tool. it's free and softimage has tutorials on their website.
When it comes to modeling, it's all just points in space with polygons connecting them. How you draw them is your call, not the software package.
Maya isn't better than Max or Softimage
Softimage issn't better than max or Maya
Max isnt better than Maya or Softimage.
If you get a job in this field and you only know one package, you'll have to learn another one some day. So just get familiar. DOn't listen to people that just suggest one, they're talking nonsence