If you have a little bit of money, say abotu $99 U.S. you could get the dvGarage (http://www.dvgarage.com
) 3d Toolkit -- it gives you a full working version of ElectricImage 3d (my favorite 3d application) that is totally unhindered (unlike Maya PLE which will watermark your entire picture all to heck) with one tiny exception: you cannot use 3rd part plug-ins.
It runs on OS X, 9 and has a nifty little tool that can import fonts and allow you to control bevels, extrusions, etc. You can even colour, add textures and a whole lot more.
Modeling/Animation for $99 US -- not too shabby... and it includes TONS of tutorials to get you started!
(There are tons of other learning products that are quite awesome.)
But, if you're a little leery about spending money (or would rather spend LESS money). I have the first version of the toolkit that works only in OS 9 -- I could sell it to you for $50 (no codes or transaction fees required) or trade for whatever software/games you have for Mac/PS2. And no, it's not an illegal copy in case anyone was wondering.
I'm flexible. The offer is there if you're interested.
P.S. The little biplane I use for my avatar was created in ElectricImage:
As well as the logo I am going to use for my web site (which you can't tell from this perspective, but the text is extruded as well as various portions of the manhole cover):
[ August 01, 2003, 09:18 AM: Message edited by: mannyp ]