I consider myself to be on the first level of a never ending learning campaign in the CG universe.BIO My first exposure to 3D came around the mid 1980's when I first saw an animation done on the Amiga 500 called the juggler. Although some versions were 2d sprites, the original version was a 3D rendered character made out of simple spheres, juggling glass spheres that were raytraced realistically. The ground was the now classic tiled perspective.
The effect this animation had on me changed the way I looked at computer graphics and computer art. I then wanted to learn and see all I could on this subject. I tried many programs at the time, like Calagari and several others that I don't remember the names of. I could not understand or learn to use these very complex programs.
It was around 1988 that I got into a program for making realistic landscapes at the time. Even the oceans and lakes looked very real. This was done with a fractal landscape program that textured the 3D landscapes with realistic colors. By 1990, the Amiga was THE platform for making 3D graphics and animations and I had collected many, many disks full of 3D rendered pictures created on the Amiga. the Amiga would also be behind shows such as Babylon 5, and Sea Quest. In 1992, I used a program called Vista Pro also on the Amiga, which allowed animation and very realistic sunsets. In 1993 I purchased a new Amiga, the 1200 which had phenomenal graphics power for it's time, and moved to a software called Scenery Animator. This program was very powerful, yet easy to use. It was one of the first Landscape Generators to allow the import of 3D objects. I made several fly by animations and morphing landscapes with relative ease. At that point I switched to a PC and Purchased Vista Pro 3.0, which had several more features, and was even easier to make very realistic 3D animations of landscapes. Well that was more then 10 years ago, but feels like yesterday.
Today I use an Apple Power Mac G5 I have several 3D apps including:
Carrara Studio 3.0
Artmatic Pro 3.6 (Not really 3D, but close...)
Artmatic Voyager 1.2
I am the master of NONE of them. My goal is to learn most of them inside out. I am most fluent with Carrara and Artmatic Voyager at this point. They all sort of compliment each other. Vue, MojoWorld, and Artmatic Voyager are great landscape packages. ArtMatic is a neat gem that is a great texture creator and animation maker. Carrara is the 3D program that is great at making it easier to model and texture.
Art is unique, as it is interpreted differently by each person. I think everyone can be artistic with the right tools and the patience to learn. I am hoping someday to refer to myself as a artist, but right now I am happy to be an apprentice in a lifetime learning system.
Learning is an adventure all its own.