A co-worker recently introduced me to Google SketchUp, a 3d modeling tool designed for ease of use so anyone off the street can create 3d models. I haven’t got into it too far, but what I’ve done I really like. It’s definitely not up to the high standards of 3ds Max or Maya, but it is fun to play around with, and a really good artist could probably make static 3d models up to their standards. One benefit of SketchUp is the 3d Warehouse Google maintains. Just about anything you can think of can be found in the 3d Warehouse, each model created by users and downloadable for free.
I’ve been playing with it modeling a house plan I designed a couple of years ago. It’s fun to see the 2d blueprints take shape and turn into a real 3d model. When I am finished, I will post a couple of different angles on the 3d page of my Web site.