Software and approach to creating magical landscapes with a little animation?


Hi all,
I’m new to the world of CG and would like a little help to be put on the right track.

I’m very fond of the ambience videos on youtube and would like to create one or two myself. I’ve researched into the subject and have come across a number of software (Maya, 3DS, Blender, After Effects, Photoshop, Unreal, Megascans, Nuke, Final Cut Pro, etc…) but I am yet to narrow down what it is that I actually need.

I do not intend to build characters or computer games. I would like to build a landscape with a little animation. For example, maybe a wooden hut in the foreground with dense forest as the background - that would be the landscape. The animation part would be some raining falling and obviously the sound of rain too.

With this being a trial run, I would like ALL the needed software to be free for me to use. If I do a good job, it may become a possibility that I may sell my creations (not sure how) but I would need the software to also be free for commercial use. I may even published to youtube for feedback and if I rack up views then I may earn a couple of dollars. Essentially I would like to be able to create, post online and sell my creation with no copyright infringement or be breaking the law in any way.

Please can someone narrow down/suggest suitable software for me goals?

Many thanks.


Maybe take a look at Unreal Engine.
Looking only at free options limits your choice.
On a larger scale, I don’t think anything exists which can easily create complex worlds in a couple of clicks. Except for game engines, but you will be limited with built-in models, if you don’t want to create it externally.



Thank you mister3d and moogaloonie for your replies.