For those of us who do not like or want to use blender (It is awesome software, and I have tried but I just want something super simple.) There is a free 3d modeler Ive used since 2003 or so. It was created by a Nvidia engineer and he runs the forum and answers any questions in about a day. Usually 5am central USA time. For example I needed a script to auto rotate my model to cardinal directions for export and and he whipped one up for me.
The only drawback is the gui is from pre vista days. But it is updated current and Steve the owner will usually implement or create scripts if you have a specific need. Exports obj, 3ds, and with plugin collaeda. I use it for mainly low poly work. I dont need huge program. Fully programmable with script editing.
For some reason he doesnt put these announcement up on the webpage but in the forum
It has a really simple animation method that has been taken and used by many other engines over the years. Originally created as a 3d movie maker in 1999, it is a very small program. For example my rabbits in my projects.
So anyway I think there is a place in the world for small editors like this and he could use more exposure.
Some models I did for a mini sci fi rts in animator: