I am new to unreal. I want to start making characters for games. What software is ideal for good graphics and rendered character making? Preferable cheap or open source. I am willing to learn any complexity level.
Blender is the first 3d asset creaton program that i know are Opensource and pretty complex, other thent hat you got Maya LT witch is kinda expansivo but great for Indie dev stuff, then there is Scupltris that are more of a sculping program made by the people behind zBrush but free and alot lighter program… Thats the ones i can think of first as good tools for 3d
When starting out try to stay with FOSS (Blender)…
Over the likes of Autodesk products like Max/Maya…
Otherwise be prepared to sacrifice your first born…
BTW: Do take a look at Houdini, what a ~product~ …
I use Blender 100% for modeling and Animation. If you are just getting started it is a jack of all trades software that includes everything you need to build a model, texture a model, rig and skin a model, sculpt a model, and bake normal maps. I highly recommend it.
My current workflow is:
Sculpt high res model in ZBrush
Build game Model in Blender
Rigging in Blender
Animation in Blender
UV Layout in Blender
Bake Normals in XNormal or Substance Painter
Texture Paint in Substance Painter
However all of this you can do in Blender with decent equal quality, the additional programs in my workflow offer some improved performance and functionalities over Blender, but I could accomplish the same results in Blender with a bit more time and effort. Best of all Blender is Free with a very active community. The ONLY Catch is the way Blender Handles Bones is very different from 3Ds Max and Maya which leads to some difficulties using stock Animations if you do not setup things correctly. However, I will say I use Blender 100% for animation so if you are building your own animations there is no problem.
Maya and 3Ds Max are more industry Standards but I will stand by Blender is becoming more a recognizable competitor. With some studios adopting it for work. Problem is Full versions of Maya and 3Ds Max will set you back 4000 bucks or 180 bucks a month if you go subscription or 30 bucks for Maya LT. So with the exception of Maya LT, not exactly Indy or newbie friendly in my opinion.