Any Free Software for beginner?

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  10 October 2010
Any Free Software for beginner?


For a poster i'm designing, I'd like to convert a logo into 3D (add an extrusion) and 'place' it into a stock image photo through the magic of Photoshop. I can do the photoshop part perfectly fine, and I tried using the 3D features in CS5, but I'm finding that the lighting system doesn't help make it look any bit realistic (e.g. no highlights, poor shadow rendering, can't add a drop shadow). Though I do admit that I may not be using the 3D features in Photoshop properly.

I don't need photo realism, but 'just enough' lighting details/touches where it doesn't immeidately look obvious that the image was Photoshopped in (this is a poster for the general public).

My only prior 3D experience is using Infini-D (year 2000-ish) so it's been a while. Also I'd be only interested in using free software due to no budget (no Maya for me). The perfect software would be something very simple with decent quality results.

I'm thinking all I want to do is:
- import my logo file (Adobe Illustrator)
- add depth/extrusion
- place my spotlights
- maybe alter a very basic array of material and light settings to fit it into the stock image background better
- export a TIFF (or something) with transparency
- place into Photoshop

Thank you!
  10 October 2010

But it isn't a fast learning program.
  10 October 2010
I second that. Blender is free and awesome.
Large learning curve, but worth it.
  10 October 2010
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