Can i work with unreal like i could with maya?

I want to create 3D Visuals. Not to work for a company, but for private use.
Build 3D-Models, give them color and texture, animate them and spice things up with a few effects.
Like a field with an object and a statue is crashing on it.

Whenever i look up for the right software, i see that people use Maya, Max, 4D and Unreal. But as a beginner, i don't understand what part is done with i.e. Maya and what part is done with Unreal.

I am able to use Maya for free as a student. But i actually have no idea if i could export all my work without limitations.

I know that Blender is free but just for the sake of understanding the environment:
Could i make an environment with moving objects and a detailed character just with unreal or do i need other software too?
There must be a reason why people spend hundreds of dollars for the software and not use the free unreal or blender.

An artist i asked about his software said that he, and all his friends, use Cinema 4D which costs around 3500€.
Maya isn't cheap aswell. So i am wondering what all the people out there use, when they create stuff without a job in the industry.

I know that those beginner-questions are annoying and you think that i just could look that up. But honestly i am confused and don't understand everything right now. I am producing music, and when i started i was also confused why some use Ableton for a lot of cash, some use Logic for a lot of cash and "nobody" is using Fruity Loops or Magix. And after years of using like all the software and spending a lot of money for nothing in the end, i could answer at least that question. I would like to know the answer for 3D-Software too, but without buying all of them to test them out.


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