At first Blender‘s interface might look a little scary (like most 3D software^^) with all its buttons everywhere, and the behavior quite weird (a little bit like if you met Rainman for the first time), but if you give it a chance then you might never leave it…
It is really ergonomic once accustomed to it and you can customize almost everything you want making yourself at home. Getting efficient is a really fast process, and the learning curve is exponential, moreover there are lots of really nice tutorials out there helping you doing that!!
Blender can deal with many common 3D files and images formats. It packages powerful and intuitive modeling modes and tools (checkout the sculpt mode it works amazingly well with multires models):
It has a flexible and powerful rigging / skinning system and animation management:
an image / UV editor with once again great tools to manipulate UVs:
3D painting tools improved in this new version check this video, the particle system can be deeply tweaked, several type of actor can be added to the simulation and you can even edit the result at any frame for maximum control:
game engine to simulate all kind of physics effects and much more, fur/hair tools, nice raytracer (you can make use of external renderers as well).
It also includes a Video Sequence Editor and the Compositor to tweak your scene rendering pipeline efficiently. You can also use / make Python scripts to do almost anything, but it require though some 3D understanding and programming skills to do one yourself, however there are plenty of them ready to be used on the Internet.
There are several other features that I didn’t talked about here and I encourage you to checkout the official site for more details. The last crazy thing about it: it is totally free!!!
The only downside in my opinion is that Blender in its 64 bits version doesn’t support my SpaceNavigator :/
Hail to Blender’s developers and community!
PS: Coming soon, a few basic tutorials on Blender.