ConceptArt.org a mix of both 3D,traditional,digital, artists as well as animators
Game Artisans a community of both novice and industry professionals improving their skills in 3D
Recommended tools and starter suggestions
1.Wacom tablet(for making textures and modeling in z-brush or mudbox) 2.Drawing tools( for roughing out character designs can also be done with photoshop with a tablet) 3. References are important whether your modeling something,texturing, or need examples of walk cycles for animations keep a folder or bookmarks for them.
Free 3D Software
Interested? or want to get into 3D and but can't afford 3D max,maya,cinema 4D etc? here is a link to a list of free ones [link] .