Last updated on July, 22
🏆 Best 3D Modeling Software for August 2021
Want to up your CG content and keep your audience reeling? The best 3D modeling software can boost your creative juices once you get a full range of tools perfect for any modeling design you want to develop.
What is 3D modeling software?
With the advances in technology, it has been easier to make realistic 3D objects on your computer with 3D modeling software. With these programs, you can create those buildings, product prototypes, characters, and real-life effects with your mouse and keyboard. See your ideas come to life by visualizing them with 3D modeling software!
Why do you need 3D modeling software?
3D models have been around for a long time and have been used in different fields to improve work. By creating models that you can rotate 360°, you can easily see all your model’s sides on your screen. That way, you can notice errors before applying them in real life. You can also make these models move following physics, giving a life-like reaction to your design.
Save Materials and Avoid Any Errors
Creating a mock-up design for your products will save you materials and avoid many errors during production. You can also make your 3D models go into simulations to see how they will function in real life without the need to produce one. You can also print your 3D models using a 3D printer, making prototype production easier with 3D modeling software.
Recreate Any Architecture
Working with buildings might be challenging; it can be hard to fully see what the building would look like in the end. With 3D modeling software, you can easily recreate any architecture you have in mind. It is the best way to see how your building will look on all sides before starting construction.
Add Realistic Looking Designs and Backgrounds
Have you ever wondered about how those cool explosions or outer space scenes are made? They are possible with CGI! Adding realistic looking designs and backgrounds and effects can add more flair and excitement to these scenes. Plus, you can create out-of-this-world characters, such as dragons and warlocks, by using 3D models.
Design Your Characters
From mobile to computer to game consoles, most games use 3D models to create their characters, environment, and effects, giving everyone a more enjoyable in-game experience. With 3D models software, you can fully design your characters, from the way their hair moves against the wind to creating magnificent scenes that can attract your players.
Use in Advertising
Create those near impossible-looking commercials and image shots on your own! Many advertising agencies right now use 3D modeling software to create those impossible shots of their products. You can easily create laborious-looking scenarios or effects on your products and use its video recording function on the software to make your unique commercial.
Core features of 3D modeling software
3D modeling software may use more than one kind of 3D modeling technique to create a model. It enables you to create a 3D model that perfectly matches the function you intend it to have. With these features, making a 3D model is easier and faster. The best 3D modeling software would perfectly fit the function you intend it to have.
Have you wondered how you can share images of your 3D models with other people? Or maybe you created a 3D scenery you want to save as an image instead? It is possible by rendering: turning your 3D models into 2D images without losing details, such as shadows, textures, and lighting. It is an easy way to share your 3D model with everyone.
Did it cross your mind how 3D effects in Hollywood movies are done? It can be done by composting or adding several rendered 3D models to an additional set of images to produce a more cohesive composition. With this feature, you can easily incorporate your models into pictures or videos, making it look like your 3D model exists in real life once you export your file.
With the use of simulation tools built inside 3D modeling software, you can easily recreate objects interacting with each other similar to how it would act in real life. By using physics equations, you can make a model interact with fluids, air, or gravity. You can also tweak the settings if you are looking for weird or extreme scenarios for your work.
If you plan on creating game characters, you can make their move more realistic by rigging or creating a skeleton for your models. The best 3D modeling software for characters has these features to bring them to life, from simple stickman-like rigging to more complicated rigging involving detailed movements
General Animation Tools
If you are starting and are still unfamiliar with making your characters move, animation tools in the software can help you. With preset movements available, you can make your characters do basic animation, such as walking, sitting, or running with just a click. Even those free 3D modeling software can be your best option when trying these functions out for starters.
If you are having difficulty creating a 3D model from scratch, you can look up a base for your model in the asset library found on your software. The vast amount of assets you can access make your experience in 3D modeling software easy and the best for you if you’re still a beginner and want to avoid exhausting yourself.
Video Capture and Editing Tools
If you’re creating tutorials or guides for people, you can easily have your progress recorded as a video when you enable video capture on your 3D modeling software. It can also allow you basic editing, such as cutting parts on the video, before exporting it to your computer without the need for third-party software.
Using 3D modeling software becomes simple with a highly intuitive interface that even beginners can easily understand. Navigating through options with an organized menu can significantly help you access tools and functions to efficiently create your 3D model.
Several 3D modeling software has built-in tools and dedicated extensions that allow you to share and collaborate your work with other creators. It helps you coordinate with other people in editing your 3D model without closing your software and opening another one.
Found an app with a unique function that’s not in your software? You can integrate it into your existing 3D modeling software so that you wouldn’t need to switch programs. A lot of 3D software allows you to incorporate third-party apps and plug-ins to help you add more functions and options to your work.
Technical Support Services
If you find yourself encountering an error or just lost in the software, do not fret! 3D modeling software has different support services that can help you navigate and solve technical issues you have. From dedicated forums, community hub, and direct contact support, you can reach out to the developers to help you resolve your problem.
Types of 3D modeling software
There are different types of 3D software that you can use based on your specialty or knowledge. Knowing the types of software available and its function can help you know which one you need in your work.
Basic 3D Modeling Software
If you are just new to making 3D models, this kind of software is perfect. Basic 3D modeling software offers the most basic features you need for 3D modeling. It might have limited functions and features to offer compared to other software types, but it is the ideal program for you to get familiarized with creating 3D models.
Pro #1: Try Everything About 3D Modeling
The fun in using basic 3D modeling software is that it has other software types’ core functions. It allows you to experience a glimpse of how more advanced programs function without the technical terms or settings you would typically encounter when using other software.
Pro #2: Lightweight Software
This type of software can be run even on your mobile phone due to its compact design to make it easier for you to use. You can make your 3D models anytime and anywhere with this type of 3D software.
Pro #3: Easy to Navigate
With the simple design and user interface, you can easily find the functions you want. The interface is immediately understandable for beginners who are unfamiliar with 3D software.
Con #1: Limited Functions and Features
Because of its nature, you might not be able to edit or modify your 3D model more than what you want. You might feel restricted in making models due to the limited tools this type of 3D modeling software has.
Architectural Design Software
See what your designs would look like when finished with 3D modeling software, specially created for architectural structures. With this software and its different features, you can easily visualize the final look of the building you have in mind. That way, you and your client can use it to discuss adjustments.
Pro #1: Creating Visuals for Structures
It allows you to see the entire structure from all sides and angles once you created a 3D model of it. Having a visual model that you can rotate, zoom in, and zoom out can act as a reference when discussing plans before building infrastructures
Pro #2: Save Time and Energy
Aside from assets available for download, you can use this type of 3D software to automatically make your 3D model into a 2D print for blueprints in just a click. It allows you to avoid the hassle of creating a separate file while still maintaining accuracy about measurements to match the 3D model.
Con #1: Too Technical and Complex
Many functions in this type of 3D modeling software require you to be familiar with engineering or architect concepts. Besides the terms, more features available to access are for designing real-life structures that can be confusing if you have little to no idea about them.
3D Game Designing Software
Creating 3D games is now more accessible with the use of this type of software. From character creation to the game environment, 3D game designing software can give you funny cartoon-looking designs to realistic-looking ones. You can also find various assets for almost any kind of aspect of the game that you need to create that one perfect game for you.
Pro #1: Create Impossible Designs
With 3D software, it is possible to create designs that you can only see in fantasy books. From dragons to warlocks to the underground lair for enemies, any kind of design is doable.
Pro #2: Efficient World Building
Once you have created a base for non-playable characters and environmental objects, it is easy to duplicate and modify them to save time. You can also look for assets online for items, such as buildings or settings, that you can use in your game instead of creating one yourself
Con #1: Storage Space Consumption
Because of the amount of data needed for creating one model, it can effortlessly eat up your computer’s hard drive. Aside from the space taken up by the software, you might also need a computer with high RAM and processing speed to avoid lagging or crashing while working.
3D Art and Animation Designing Software
Telling a story using 3D models can help build the atmosphere of the plot of a story. Using this type of 3D modeling software lets you create unique characters and environments that tell a story that you cannot do with the traditional media. You can also incorporate 3D models into real-life scenes to create CGI scenes that are impossible to do in reality.
Pro #1: Cartoon-Like to Realistic-Looking Models
With this type of 3D modeling software, you can choose to go for simple, funny-looking cartoon characters or go for more meticulous and intricate-looking human-like characters. The only difference in this is the number of polygons you assign per model. This type of software can handle both kinds of details.
Pro #2: Create Impossible Scenes With CGI
Adding visual effects or overlaying 3D models to static dummies or actors can enhance your movies. Commonly used in Hollywood, CGI is a staple in sci-fi, action, and fantasy-themed stories. It allows directors and writers to create convincing tales without producing props or settings that may not be used again after the recording.
Con #1: Storage Space Consumption
Just like in creating 3D games, the amount of data needed for making one model can take up a large space on your computer’s hard drive. Aside from the massive size of your files, you might also need a powerful computer that can handle extensive software processes to avoid error or forced shutdown while working.
Product Designing 3D Modeling Software
With 3D modeling software, you can easily design and picture what your product will look like exactly. You can check for design flaws and have it undergo testing on the computer without the need for multiple trials and errors of fabricating a lot of prototypes, saving you time, effort, and materials for building one.
Pro #1: Visualize Product Before Production
Unlike 2D sketches, creating a 3D model of your product can help you and your client talk about specifications and adjustments needed. Having a model that you can rotate and view on all sides can better look at how the end product will look without creating a mock-up.
Pro #2: Prototypes Using a 3D Printer
Once you are satisfied with your design, you can effortlessly produce it with a 3D printer. It ensures that the prototype will perfectly match your work, from measurements to fine details. All you need is to click on the “Print” button and watch your product’s prototype right before your eyes.
Con #1: Inaccurate Simulations
Some simulations available in testing products on your 3D modeling software may not accurately reflect what would happen in real life. You still need to do a trial-and-error on the product in real life to check if it functions properly before final production.
Who needs 3D modeling software?
Kids Interested in 3D
If your child is showing interest in creating 3D animation or characters, you can let them experience producing one with 3D software specially designed for them. You can encourage your young ones to use the best free 3D modeling software for 3D printing if they want to see their ideas come to life
Make your presentations and school works unique and outstanding by making 3D models for your work. There are many 3D modeling software best for beginners if you want to try your hands at simple designs. This software can give you enough features to do basic designing to help you get used to 3D modeling.
Viewing how buildings and structures will look once done can be effortlessly done with 3D modeling software. You can use this software to create mockups of buildings, both inside and outside. You can choose from several available 3D modeling software that best fits architecture to match your needs for modeling these structures.
Using 3D modeling software to show how a room will look can help you show your clients how the final design would appear. You can create models of the furniture or use existing models from the asset library to recreate the idea you have for the room. It makes it easier for you and your client to talk about how the interiors will be designed by having visual samples.
Artists and Animators
3D models have been used extensively in the entertainment industry to produce creations beyond your imagination using computers. There are animated movies and shows that utilize 3D model technology to create. You can also add visual effects on real-life videos to manipulate CGI rendering to make your story more convincing.
From mobile to PC to game consoles, a lot of games use 3D models. Utilizing 3D models brings your players to feel that they are inside the world of the game. Whenever you are an indie game designer or a professional working for a huge company, having the best 3D modeling software for game development can help you work faster and easier.
You can now create your products with all the necessary details regardless of how small or large it is with 3D models. You can design your product first on your computer and have it undergo simulations to test the design for any malfunctions. Ensuring that your 3D modeling software is best for 3D printers can help your printing process smoother and hassle-free.
Medical Field Specialists
With the advancement of technology, medical practitioners have incorporated 3D technology to help their patients improve. 3D modeling software is used to recreate your patient’s organs from laboratory tests to have a more accurate diagnosis. Plus, 3D modeling software is the best for printing prostheses that will surely fit your patient snugly and perfectly.
Step-by-step guide on how to choose a 3D modeling software
Step1: Know your knowledge about 3D modeling.
It is necessary to know how familiar you are with creating 3D models. If you are still starting to get into 3D modeling, it will help you find the software to give you an overview or have simplified terms. 3D software with basic features can be a good start, or you might want to go to a more advanced 3D modeling software if you’re an expert.
Step 2: Determine the kind of 3D modeling you want.
Knowing what you want to do with your 3D model will help you select a 3D modeling program specialized in what you need to do. Several 3D modeling software specializes in specific fields such as game design, animation, architecture, product designs, and more. If you are not sure, you can select one that can do a little bit of everything.
Step 3: Look for the best 3D modeling software that suits you.
Once you know what you want, you can search online for the software that will fit you the most. Some work best as 3D modeling software for games, and others are best used as 3D modeling software for home design. There are also some 3D modeling software with student accounts, which is the best option if you are a student who needs to use it for school work.
Step 4: Compare software features and reviews by other users.
Make sure that your experience in 3D modeling will be exciting and fun instead of having your software malfunction or crash. You can rely on reviews from other people who already used this software for their work.
Step 5: Get the latest version of the software.
Although some of the best 3D modeling software in 2018 is still functioning, it’s always best to opt for updated programs. That way, you can use the most updated and modern features offered by 3D modeling software. Check if the programmers of the program regularly update and fix bugs encountered by its users.
Step 6: Check if it runs smoothly on your computer.
Another thing to note is if the software can run on your computer. Some software requires powerful processors, dedicated video cards, and huge RAM to run smoothly and avoid lagging. Knowing that your device is compatible with the 3D software is a must to keep you away from unnecessary delays once you work on it
Step 7: Download and enjoy!
Now that you have everything you need, all that is left is to download and install your 3D modeling software, and you are good to go! Have fun experimenting and exploring the wonders of creating your 3D models.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
All you need is a working PC, which is the primary tool you need to run 3D modeling software. Depending on the minimum requirements of these programs, some software may not run on your PC.
If you find yourself unable to use the software due to incompatibility, you can go for an alternative 3D modeling software with lower minimum requirements for processors and RAM. You can also update your computer’s processors instead.
Yes, you can! You can export your 2D design on your 3D modeling software, acting as a base or sketch for your 3D model. You can slowly add more polygons and shapes around the 2D design until you have formed what it should look like as 3D.
There are many 3D modeling software out there, free or paid. You can do your research on different features you want to get on your software. Some 3D modeling software best suits engineering, while others work best as a 3D modeling software for product design. Choose the one that will provide you with all the features you need to make your ideas a reality
Several 3D modeling software has the feature of automatically generating characters based on the input you made. It can vary from just creating a basic design to even character movements. The results might not meet your expectations, so prepare to modify the generated 3D model if you find it lacking.
If you are a game developer and would like to use 3D models on your games, a 3D modeling software with a variety of features more specified to character designing will suit you. There are tons of software that caters to creating characters and environment models to help develop games.
Of course, you can! Printing is just the first step in the making of your idea though. Be sure to use a 3D modeling software that's best for printing as they are designed specifically for that purpose.
It also depends on what 3D modeling software you have. There are some free apps, but they don't work as well and usually come with added limitations like an inability to export your model in the correct formats for most printers of commercial software.
Yes. In this case, you'll need to use CAM software to convert the final STL or OBJ into another format compatible with your desired 3D printing software. However, some 3D printers might not be able to accommodate the geometry of that specific CAD model file type. It always depends on which program you're working in and what type of printer firmware or software you are using.
Most paid 3D modeling software have their asset library included once you purchase them. There are also asset libraries for open-source 3D modeling software that is best for your job if you do not look for intricate models.
If your software doesn’t have one, there are websites online where you can download assets and import them on your software instead. Make sure that these assets are compatible with your software to make them work.
Of course! You can add and modify existing motion paths and create rigging and visual effects for your models to give them more life. While simple 3D modeling software can limit the amount of movement you can give your characters, you can use a lot to add them separately instead.
People who do not have 3D modeling software installed on their computer cannot view your 3D model file since they do not have a program to read these kinds of file extensions. If you want other people to see it, you can render your work into an image or a video to make it accessible for people who don't have 3D modeling software.