Wish list for ‘copious’ spare time – 3D modelling and animation

What would I do, if I had 3 more hours a day free? I would learn 3D modelling and animation.

This used to be the skill that only a limited number of people needed and the tools were difficult and expensive. With computer power not that long ago, even having the skills was not very useful as those skills could only be applied for high-end imaging, movie and computer game making.

This has all changed in the last year or so, though not too many people outside of the field noticed.

Computers are now fast enough to do small projects at home. Software is free, like the excellent open-source Blender package. Even commercial packages are becoming ever cheaper (e.g. current promotion of Bryce 6 for $6) Companies such as Pixel Corps give VPN access to multiple-thousands worth of high-end software to its members for about $50 a month.

And applications for 3D are ever growing. Animators and 3D modellers within SecondLife are making enough virtual currency that it converts into good supplemental or even primary income. And more and more games (and pseudo-games like IMVU) allow users to create and incorporate their own models and artwork into the game for money or (less excitingly) credits.

I don’t happen to have any ‘copious’ spare time, but to anybody who does and is not afraid of computers, I would advise to look into this area very seriously.