Top 10 3D modeling applications on PC

Cyril Roger


Yesterday we brought you a list of the top drawing applications for PC, and a while back Nick wrote about some good programs to use your photos in a 3D digital environment.

Top 10 3D modeling applications on PC

Now we’re going to look at the best 3D modeling applications that exist. Whether you’re working in an animation studio, as an architect or on a video game, you have to create detailed 3D models. The following applications are fairly complex and more suited for somebody who has a fair amount of knowledge in design and 3D environments. Let’s take a look at them:

  • Cinema 4D – Turns your PC into a real animation studio. Has a real streamlined interface thanks to OpenGL support and non-modal managers. Cinema 4D is excellent when it comes to lighting, materials and interaction between scenes. Its content browser really helps managing multiple projects.
  • Google Sketchup – A free and friendlier alternative to 3D modeling apps, Google Sketchup uses simple words instead of technical jargon, making it accessible to anyone. A good collection of tools, more than a 100 material settings and shadows make it a good choice. You can customize your workspace and integrate your models in Google Earth.
  • 3DS Max – A classic choice for 3D design and animation professionals, 3DS Max offers loads of advanced modeling tools and pixel perfect control over your models. Also quickly renders your templates.
  • Autodesk Maya – An interface divided in tabs and fitted with a useful timeline, many animations and objects make for a great solution for designers. Maya offers in depth tutorials (including video tips) to get you up and running.
  • Blender – With a database replete with objects, scenes and instances, a streamlined interface and many animations and effects Blender is one of the best applications you’ll find. Supports OpenGL lighting modes and features Python scripting.
  • Art of Illusion – A simple, open source solution for those wanting to get a feel for 3D design.
  • AC3D – Quick and with a structured, multi windowed interface, this application allows you to carry out a number of actions such as object annotation, wrap and birdge or polygon reduction.
  • Modo – This program is a good combination of realistic paint tools, an advanced 3D polygonal environment and integrated rendering.
  • Strate 3D CX – Another top choice this 3D modeling program features polyspline modeling and HDRI textures and lightdome. Can work in conjunction with both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. A good choice for web designers.
  • BodyPaint 3D – Create 3D characters, color them in and add movement and effects with this 3D animation program. Great for video games and cartoons, as it gives you a lot of freedom in the production process.

[Image Source: Wikipedia]

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