These are the big applications, they have modelling, animation, rigging, texturing, rendering etc etc.
Throw in a video editing app and a silly amount of computing power and you could make a cg film with all of these.
Hard to learn, big, complicated but the skillsets are basically transferable so time spent in one will carry over to another once you learn the basics.
These days, they can all do pretty much everything.
ZBrush- more of an "icing on the cake" deal, typically used to sculpt detail onto a poly model made in something else.
Think of it as a really complicated plugin for your main app..
Still images, video games or animation? -- Vehicles, Weapons, Environments, Characters?
Be precise as it matters a great deal -- also what render engine do you have in mind?
ZBrush is really at its best as a modifier for other products instead of a complete package on it's own.
Also, have you looked at Modo? Modo has a great all-around toolset... as close as I've seen to a true all-in-one package.
If you truly know nothing about 3D maybe you should start with Sketchup -- easy to use/learn and free... if after working in 3d awhile you find you want/need more then you at least have a better idea of your particular needs.
Thank you Flake i will also check out that website
Well the reason i want to start learning 3d is because there seem to be more and more demand for it, and every concept artist i read about seems to also know how to use 3d software.
My goal would be more towards video games, but i really have no idea what a render engine might be. I thought that comes with the software i mentioned above. Is this a "game" engine like Unreal or Cry engine or something?