I want to learn a 3D app to compliment my motion graphics work in After Effects. Is Cinema 4D the way to go? What about Lightwave, Max or Maya.
Keep in mind that I have to be able to get up to speed relatively quickly and 3D will only be 20% of what I do on any given project.
Since you need to get up to speed quickly and you use After Effects, I would say that Cinema is a good option. It is easier to learn then Lightwave or Maya and with the direct After Effects integration it sounds like it would be a good fit for your purposes.