I was on TheForce.net, and looked at software on CGI for their fan films. (Do remember that, back then, I liked the Star Wars series. Oh, and a “fan film” is a film made by fans of Star Wars.) I saw 3D Studio Max, and Lightwave, and this Blender. Since it said that it was free, I downloaded 1.80 (there was 2.04, but I wasn’t interested in games yet) later that day. Next day, used it, got totally confused, and ignored it. Thankfully, I didn’t delete it.
Later, after finding Blendermania’s tutorials, I learned the ropes of Blender. My first picture (that I can remember) is this weird creature. It didn’t look very good, though: The wings didn’t look the same, everything was vertex painted (I couldn’t figure out how to get multiple materials then), and worst of all, everything has that blocky look to it (this was before I learned about Set Smooth). My first better render was one of the Titan. (You know, “Titan AE,” has anyone seen that? I wish I knew where that tape was!) it still looked blocky, but back then I thought that was pretty good. I don’t remember what my first extremely good render was (one that used Set Smooth).