3d animation software allows you to animate objects and characters in a realistic, three dimensional, computer generated space.
If you're not sure what that is, this article will give you an idea on how computer animation works.
Please make the distinction between 3d animation that you see on a normal screen, and the stereoscopic experience that you get while wearing the polarized or Red-Blue glasses.
You can create both with the same type of animation software, but the rendering process and projection are different.
Creating 3D animation requires a strong computer with a good graphic accelerator. Rendering it might take several workstations, working full time for many days.
Most 3D software are made for PC.
Some have a Mac version, but the system requirements make the computer itself much more expensive. Also, the Mac is a "closed box". You can't change the graphics card, for example, if you wanted to maximize the compatibility of your machine.
A full featured 3d computer animation software includes a long line of features that handles all the aspects of 3d animation production. Still, you will usually want specialized software for rendering, composting and sound.
A free 3d software will not have it all, and you will see the features drop out one by one the smaller the software becomes.
Some of the animation software listed here have it all, and give you full creative abilities. Others are not really an "animation software" in the usual sense, but rather a game-like environment, where everything is ready-made, simple to use, and it's more like moving computer puppets.
Choose the tool that suits your needs:
As it is the labour of love of one person it is a constant work in progress.
Considered by many as a worthy rival of the industry standard monsters.
Modeling yes, Animation - no, not really.
OK, so some animators sneer at this, but if you need a 3D modeling tool, this is a great choice.
Because you don't need to know anything, just drag and drop.
If you wanted to model with, say, 3DMAX, a wonderful program, you will have to actually know MAX.
But with the SketchUp, you really can simply jump in.