Top 9 3D Modeling Software Recommended 2024

Top 9 3D Modeling Software Recommended cover

To be a good 3D artist, it is helpful to use suitable 3D modeling software. Depending on your creative style, skill level and budget, how should you choose the appropriate 3D modeling software?

First, in general, any 3D work requires about 16GB or more of memory. Most of the 3D software applications here require about 5GB of disk space to install, but you also need to take rendering into account. Also, it is recommended to buy one of the best graphics cards that has a fast processor and lots of memory to display complex 3D scenes without easily encountering lag.

The best cloud rendering services provider and GPU & CPU render farm, Fox Renderfarm will share with you top 9 3D modeling software.

1. Maya

Maya logo

In the eyes of some 3D artists, the best 3D modeling software is Autodesk Maya. Autodesk Maya is considered the CG industry standard, with an unparalleled set of tools and features. Its toolkit is very complex and takes time to learn. However, if you want to get a job in the animation or VFX industry, it' s better for you to use the software used by companies like ILM, Pixar, DNEG and Framestore.

Maya specializes in modeling, texturing, lighting, and rendering. Its features include particles, hair, solid physics, fabrics, fluid simulation and character animation. You may never need to use some of its functions, so you need to determine if this software is right for you based on your demands.

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However, subscribing to Maya is not cheap. But for those who have the time, skills and patience to master it, Maya has some of the best 3D tools available and is a good investment.

But Autodesk has released an easy version of Maya, Maya Creative, so you can see if it's better for you.

2. Houdini

Houdini logo

In second place in our guide to the best 3D modeling software is SideFX's Houdini.

It is widely used in the visual effects industry to create a stunning array of 3D images. Houdini's node-based procedural approach offers digital artists unprecedented flexibility and control. Not everyone likes this node workflow, but Houdini also has more traditional tools for interacting directly with on-screen polygons.

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As with Maya, this level of functionality and non-standard workflow can be difficult to master. Fortunately, SideFX offers Houdini Apprentice, a free version of Houdini FX that students, artists and hobbyists can use for their personal, non-commercial projects. The free version gives you access to almost all of Houdini FX's features to develop your skills and work on personal projects. The full-featured Houdini Indie also offers an affordable commercial option for small studios.

3. Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D logo

Maxon's Cinema 4D has been around for many years and has a great reputation in the field of motion graphics, visualization and illustration. It's a professional, sophisticated software that is known for its overall stability and ease of use.

Cinema 4D has a community with a huge online library of tutorials and you can become a member of the Cineversity website for free when you purchase the program or pay for an annual Maxon Service Agreement (MSA).

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C4D's parametric modeling tools are usually very good, and you can add even more functionality with a range of inexpensive plugins. The latest version also introduces volumetric modeling.

Permanent licenses for C4D are not cheap, but you can always use Prime and upgrade over time. Maxon also offers short-term and student licenses at a lower cost.

4. 3ds Max

3ds Max logo

3ds Max is Autodesk's PC-specific 3D computer graphics program for television and film production, as well as architectural and product visualization. Like its sister software Maya, 3ds Max has a very powerful toolset for 3D modeling, not to mention fluid simulation, hair, and character manipulation and animation.

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It uses direct manipulation and procedural modeling techniques, and the large library of different modifiers makes the modeling process easier for new or intermediate 3D artists.

3ds Max offers a professional tool that no doubt also comes with a professional price tag. However, students can get the software for free and the trial version is also available for 30 days.

5. Modo

Modo logo

As the development team behind LightWave 3D, Modo has evolved from a basic subdivision surface modeling system to the full-featured digital content creation program we know today. Its tools are well thought out and well implemented, making it very user-friendly, and when you add in a very reliable rendering system, it's easy to see why Modo is growing in popularity.

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With modeling at its core, Modo is one of the best applications for creating polygonal forms, using direct tools and process techniques. Adding the best MeshFusion Boolean system simply extends its modeling capabilities.

Modo may lack the high-end dynamics and simulation tools you might find in a program like Maya, but it holds its own when it comes to creating stunning artwork that produces good 3D rendering.

6. Blender

Blender logo

Blender 2.8 is a must-have if you're on a budget. Blender 2.8 has a revamped user interface that's clean and consistent, making it easier to use tools, joysticks and other features. Workspaces allow you to quickly access features such as sculpting, texture painting or motion tracking. You can also customize your own workspace to make your work more efficient.

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Blender 2.8 also has more advanced 3D view display capabilities and more versatile and free display methods, EEVEE's superb view display allows your scene to be modeled and airbrushed in PBR materials, with the minimum graphics card requirement increased to OpenGL 3.3. (EEVEE is a new physics-based real-time rendering engine that can be used as both a final rendering output and a real-time rendering engine for views.)

Blender 2.8 greatly enhances 2D drawing capabilities. The new Grease Pencil interface is much more user-friendly for 2D artists, and you can have the ability to collaborate in both 3D and 2D, making your creations much easier. Grease Pencil is no longer just a line drawing tool, it has become a Blender object with powerful brushes and tools. The limit of 20 layers in a single scene is now history. Blender 2.8 introduces a new way of managing Collections and view layers, and the outline view management is also enhanced a lot, allowing you to manage, edit and filter more intuitively.

Blender is a great starting point, and despite being free software, it is capable of generating images and animations that are on par with any other 3D modeling software on the market.

7. Lightwave 3D

Lightwave 3D logo

LightWave used to be the go-to program for TV sci-fi shows, but after a failed attempt to produce a modernized version, NewTek's app was on hiatus for several years. However, it introduced an updated version in early 2019.

Lightwave runs as two applications, Modeler (for building materials) and Layout for texturing, lighting, animation and rendering. Many of the underlying toolsets are old (although it has added many new features over the last few years), but that doesn't stop it from being a solid digital content creation suite with many features and a fast interactive PBR renderer.

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So ignoring other factors, it is a great 3D modeling application for learning the basics. The software has a 30-day free trial.

8. ZBrush

ZBrush logo

ZBrush is a standalone sculpting and modeling application best suited for creating organic forms. Although recent updates have gradually improved its hard surface capabilities. It works in a non-standard way, and its workflow and user interface are initially difficult to learn, so you really need to get ZBrush and use it every day to become proficient.

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However, ZBrush isn't just for sculpting and modeling: it can also be used to create UV mapping and draw textures, allowing experienced artists to create entire figures with costumes and props ready for rendering. ZBrush is a popular choice for artists who want to 3D print toys and figures, and there are also tools specifically for 3D printing.

9. 3D Coat

3D Coat logo

ZBrush's biggest direct competitor is 3D Coat from Ukrainian developer Pilgway. 3D Coat is a voxel-based digital sculpting application, but has grown over time, adding UV mapping, texture painting, visual topology tools, smart materials like Substance Painter, PBR rendering, and more. It should also be mentioned that the developers of the software say in the software's message that they are devout Christians, so users are asked not to use the software among projects that develop obscenity and pornography.

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Functions are most important to software, and various functions are directly related to the user's evaluation of the software. Powerful and easy-to-use software is always the pursuit of software developers and users.

Fox Renderfarm hopes you can meet the suitable 3D modeling software to learn according to our needs. It is well known that Fox Renderfarm is an excellent cloud rendering services provider in the CG world, so if you need to find a render farm for 3D program, why not try Fox Renderfarm, which is offering a free $25 trial for new users? Thanks for reading!

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Show off your impressive 3D artwork which was rendered at Fox Renderfarm by entering Fox's Got Talent! To get free $20 credits!-Title: School of Architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology-Created by Pure Design Submit here! -watch more→
Looking Back At 2017: What Fox Renderfarm Achieved!
Looking Back At 2017: What Fox Renderfarm Achieved!
From 1997 till 2017, the Chinese film market experienced an unprecedented "brutal growth". The total box office of Chinese films went from 1 billion CNY (154 million USD) in 1997 to 55.911 billion CNY (8.6 billion USD) in 2017, up 13.45% from 49.28 billion CNY (7.6 billion USD) in 2016 with steady and rapid growth for 20 years. At the same time, Chinese animation films have also developed rapidly since 2012, becoming a force that cannot be ignored in the Chinese film industry.In 2017, the total number of Chinese animation films box office was 4.71 billion CNY (727 million USD), a decrease of 2.29 billion CNY (353 million USD) from 2016, however, the quality of animation films has significantly improved. In 2017, 4 Chinese animation films have cumulative box office over 1 billion CNY, 2 films more than 2016."The above 4 domestic animation films accounted for 66.6% of the whole Chinese animation films box office. “Boonie Bears: Entangled Worlds” topped the Chinese animation films box office chart, by which the cloud rendering service was provided by Fox Renderfarm (A Rayvision brand).”In 2017, there were 18 Chinese 3D animation films released by the local Chinese cinemas, of which 10 of them were rendered by Fox Renderfarm cloud rendering service.Compared with 2016, the number of Chinese animation films released in 2017 on local Chinese screen has decreased, but the number of users selecting Fox Renderfarm as their cloud rendering service provider has increased dramatically. In 2017, the rendering output by Fox Renderfarm to the industry has increased by 110% as compared with 2016.In 2017, Fox Renderfarm has optimized its data center, capacity utilization rate and operational efficiency to further reduce the capital and operating costs, resulting in a total of 10 times price cut and a massive decrease in render cost at 40%, which is a huge saving for our render farm users.2017 Fox Renderfarm Customers' Rendering Works Summary01 Chinese 3D Animation Rendering Works02 VFX Rendering Works03 Overseas/International Main Rendering WorksBesides that, there are still also:“ * ” 150-minutes Hollywood Top Animation Series“* *” 90-minutes Canadian Animated Feature“* ” Hollywood and India Co-produced 90-minutes Animation Film(Many production titles are not allowed to be disclosed due to NDA, your understanding would be appreciated)Fully Upgraded Rendering PowerIn 2017, Fox Renderfarm has released more than 100 new features, so what's going on?1. Supporting Windows &x26; Linux simultaneouslyFox Renderfarm has added support for rendering features on the Linux platform, the studio using Linux OS for production process can finally use Fox Renderfarm cloud rendering platform. The functions are exactly the same with Windows OS.2. In addition to easy drag-and-drop batch rendering, Fox Renderfarm has started API serviceOne-click drag-and-drop rendering service has received further upgrades. In addition to easy drag-and-drop to submit batch render jobs, Fox Renderfarm has also released the API service in 2017 to seamlessly integrate with the local production pipeline to allow the whole rendering process becoming more automated, programmable and interactive. This feature has been available officially and has received a lot of good reviews from our users, especially from Technical Directors.3. 1280Gbps High-Performance ThroughputHighly available distributed storage I/O throughput increased from 360Gbps in 2016 to 1280Gbps in 2017, with a boost of more than 300% and supporting concurrent access to over 5000+ nodes, performing better than 99% commercially-available storage on the market. Fox Renderfarm has developed the system specifically for the rendering storage system with the integrated use of SSD, memory and other components for multi-level cache acceleration, which has successfully &x26; completely solved the resource access lagging issue during the rendering process. When thousands of nodes rendering at the same time, it feels just like loading files from the local disk, without any delay.4. High-speed transmission engine to speed up local and cloud data synchronizationFox Renderfarm desktop client has upgraded the data transmission engine, by using self-developed Raysync and Aspera transmission engines which have higher stability, higher efficiency, and higher safety performance.5. Further upgrade of large-scale cluster scheduling systemFox Renderfarm task scheduling engine can now easily manage millions of render frame queues up to milliseconds scheduling. A single cluster can manage over 10,000 nodes, far more than any commercial render management system.6. Comprehensive data security protectionOur rendering platform data center is ISO27001 certified and refers to the security standards recommended by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) with the enforcement of data confidentiality and encryption to further secure our users’ data. In order to protect the safety of our users’ data, Fox Renderfarm has spared lots of effort to make it a reality.7. GoCloud Program to realize the dreams of future artistsIn 2017, Fox Renderfarm has sponsored more than 9.5 million render node hours’ for the industry's high potential youth creative teams and students, helping them to realize their CG dreams.8. Improved Customer Service Quality &x26; SatisfactionFox Renderfarm 24-hour online customer service and technical support team achieved to solve the user’s rendering problem from an average of 15 minutes to 10 minutes. Our excellent and competent customer service team has done a great job by providing exceptional customer experience in 2017 and proudly earned many appreciations from many loyal users.Featured Splendid Customers’ WorksBehind every shot and every frame, there are lots of endeavors by the production team, and Fox Renderfarm is also proud to stand behind them and support these great works. In order to ensure each project is completed on schedule with the ultimate effect, Fox Renderfarm mobilized massive computing cluster resources, equipped with top-level technical experts and service teams on call round-the-clock, to provide tremendous backing for the work. Today, more and more studios are relying on the cloud computing services provided by Fox Renderfarm, assuring the perfect delivery of large and small works, and the appreciation from the audience for every shot.1. Wolf Warrior 2Action film “Wolf Warrior 2” directed and starred by Wu Jing has achieved 5.68 billion CNY box office, broke the record of the Chinese box office history.Over 1700 VFX shots in the film are made up of “Real shot + 3D VFX”. The reality and sensory stimulation of real shots are synchronized through the CG production, which is enough to make the audience getting the adrenaline rush! Fox Renderfarm rendering service is highly recognized by the film’s post-production team.2. Duck Duck Goose“Duck Duck Goose” co-produced by Original Force and Wanda Pictures, is expected to be the first large-scale Chinese animation film to be released globally in the near future. Its Hollywood creative team, coupled with its first-class production quality, the animation film is expected to heap a high degree of attention and are regarded as possibly the highest quality Chinese animated film ever made in 2018, proudly comparable to Hollywood standards.In providing cloud rendering for “Duck Duck Goose”, due to the tremendous amount of assets transfer, Fox Renderfarm provided the project team with an exclusive port for transmission as well as customized proprietary versions of rendering desktop clients. Render Wranglers are assigned to monitor the whole render progress in real time. During the peak period, our render farm has dispatched over thousands of rendering nodes and eventually produced the output of 1200 shots on time. Original Force is very satisfied and highly affirmed with the cloud rendering platform and technical support provided by Fox Renderfarm.The film will be released on 2018-03-09 in China and 2018-04-20 in the USA, so stay tuned!3. Tribes and Empires-Storm of ProphecyThe “Tribes and Empires-Storm of Prophecy” produced by Novoland International Cultural Communication Ltd. broke the 100 million viewers record within its release in just 4 hours, and the viewer counts soared and obtained many good reviews from the viewers.The television series uses a large number of live shots, through the high-precision, high-quality cloud rendering technology provided by Fox Renderfarm, portraying Novoland Duan Dynasty world majestic wonderland onto the screen. Along with providing cloud rendering services, Fox Renderfarm Technical Director team provided tip-top solutions for optimizing the file architecture and rendering parameters for the client's rendering scene, speeding up the rendering without degrading the rendering quality. Everything was smooth and pleasant throughout the rendering process, Fox Renderfarm also been fully recognized and spoke highly of by the producer.4. Sky HunterThe entire process of providing cloud rendering services for China's first air combat theme film “Sky Hunter” was done in just two months, Fox Renderfarm’s highly flexible computing resource pool ensured the perfect output of massive VFX shots. Under the condition of the studio's external network connection was unable to meet the transmission need, Fox Renderfarm Beijing Office has given 24/7 support through providing transmission solution via our dedicated high bandwidth line connecting directly to our data center, allowing PIXOMONDO Beijing team to download the rendered sequences seamlessly in a short time, ensuring their composition progress went smoothly without any delay.After the release of the film, PIXOMONDO Beijing and the VFX producer of “Sky Hunter”, spoke highly of cloud rendering services provided by Fox Renderfarm: “Fox Renderfarm has provided effective assistance for the post-rendering of “Sky Hunter”, with their powerful cloud computing capabilities, it has dramatically reduced the whole film’s rendering cycle. Thumbs up for their real-time monitoring and feedback services as well as timely and effective solutions for occasional rendering issues. Hope to cooperate with Fox Renderfarm in the near future!”5. Axel: Adventures of the SpacekidsProduced by Versatile Media “Axel: Adventures of the Spacekids”, “Axel” is China’s first 3D stereoscopic sci-fi animated film, a new masterpiece of visual effect in the Chinese animation milestone.The producer Versatile Media spoke highly of the Fox Renderfarm cloud rendering service: “Fox Renderfarm has provided strong support for the post-rendering of “Axel: Adventures of the Spacekids”. With their stable and powerful cloud computing capabilities, it has drastically reduced the film rendering cycle with high-precision, multi-element, and high-quality output. Throughout the rendering process, they always provided us feedback regarding our rendering progress as well as promptly and effectively resolved any occasional rendering problems that have occurred. I believe that with the rapid development of film, television and animation industry, the animation production and Fox Renderfarm cloud rendering cooperation will be the future trend.”In the meantime, Li Lian, CEO of Versatile Media also said: “With cloud rendering, we will not let any creative ideas slip away due to technology bottlenecks, and all the things you can think of, can be realized through technology. Only with the support of technology, your creativity will spread its wings!”6. Baahubali 2: The ConclusionThe film cracked 1.2 billion USD worldwide box office in the first week of release, becoming the world's most popular Indian film ever.As the largest cloud render farm in Asia, Fox Renderfarm has rendered many Bollywood films such as “Krrish 3”, “Baahubali: The Beginning” and more. Fox Renderfarm played a significant role in the many visual effects in “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion”. When the VFX company for “Baahubali: The Beginning” - Makuta VFX rendered with Fox Renderfarm for the 1st Baahubali sequel, the company highly acknowledged Fox Renderfarm rendering services and has given a good word of mouth together with a foundation of cooperation that allowed Makuta VFX to choose Fox Renderfarm once again when working with “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion”.In 2017, Fox Renderfarm received great reviews from CG animation and visual studios all over the world. It is a great honor to offer cloud rendering services to industry leaders.Charlie PIXOMONDO Beijing“We have worked with Fox Renderfarm for 3 to 4 projects. Fox Renderfarm research and development team is particularly good, able to react quickly according to our needs, put forward constructive comments and give the perfect solutions. They also work together well with our pipeline team in order to allow better integration with our existing workflow. The API provided by Fox Renderfarm is perfectly integrated with our local Deadline. Our render jobs now can be submitted from the production software side, Deadline will automatically analyze, upload, return and update the corresponding information to our Shotgun.Using Fox Renderfarm cloud render farm is as simple as using a local farm and it's a great experience!”Peng ShuaiOriginal Force“Original Force is a production studio likes to take on big challenges. We like to challenge quality, difficulty, new technologies, and software. Through research into Rayvision’s Fox Renderfarm, we find out that Fox Renderfarm is highly regarded with exceptional experiences and more professional than many other providers.”A K MadhavanAssemblage Entertainment“Fox Renderfarm and Assemblage worked as one team, We understood the objective very clearly, we understood the cost and the sensibilities and we delivered work together on time, so the experiences are very happy, it’s awesome.”Phinnaeus OConnor“Boar” CG Project TeamThanks Fox Renderfarm for the cloud rendering support provided to “Boar”, ensuring our project output quality and quantity are delivered within the agreed time. The rendering platform is easy to operate, smooth and steady! Hope to continue using Fox Renderfarm for our future projects renderings in 2018.”Thanks for your great support in 2017 and we look forward to 2018Fox Renderfarm sincerely thanks every user for your unanimous recognition and support to us. 2018 is going to be a vibrant and promising year for the film, television &x26; animation industry worldwide and a brand new start for Fox Renderfarm.As the industry's leading cloud computing platform, Fox Renderfarm will continue to invest more in technology research and development, conjointly focus, optimize and further improve our service quality. We will bring the latest Hollywood practices and state-of-the-art cloud computing technologies to the industry and work hard to further reduce costs along with aiming to contribute to the rapid development of CG industry worldwide!
The Best Digital Media Students of The Rookies 2017 Announced
The Best Digital Media Students of The Rookies 2017 Announced
Time flies like an arrow, the full 4 months’ campaign for the international student awards held by The Rookies just ended with great success. And as the exclusive render farm partner of this inspiring contest, Fox Renderfarm shared the great happiness with The Rookies by the students’ high participance and excellent works.There are totally 8,725 digital projects were submitted by 2,752 students from more than 80 countries and regions all over the world. Over 600 academic facilities joined this campaign and encouraged their students to submit their work, they battled for Rookie of the Year, Game of the Year, and Film of the Year titles, and Fox Renderfarm, the leading cloud rendering services provider and render farm in the CG industry, is honorable to be the exclusive sponsor for the Film of the Year.The winners were selected by the official judging panel which consists of more than 60 highly influential and respected industry veterans. The judges were asked to score entries based on criteria including — creative skills, technical skills, presentation, variety of skills, complexity, raw talent, and employment potential. It really took a lot of effort to select the winners, just like Andrew McDonald (Co-founder of The Rookies) said: The task of selecting winners hit a new level of complexity this year. Not only did our judges review our largest amount of entries to date, but they also reviewed full portfolios of work, not just individual projects like other awards.It’s really shocking to see so many amazing works created by those students this year, even the judges were surprised by the high quality of the work and diversity of new talent. To view the full list of winners and to see the amazing entries please visit
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