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.

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]


    • kaouther kastouri |
      kaouther kastouri

      cool i'm really impressed coz 2day i known many 3d sofftware& i'm really enjoying to test them assoon as possible

    • Oleg |

      where's LightWave???

    • 3D animator |
      3D animator

      Ummm... where is zbrush if you are a professional animator your blend shapes will look a million times better then just modeled in maya or whatever.

    • Dexter |

      I think Rhinoceros 3D should also be on the list

    • Lakampepot |

      Where is LAKAMPEPOT?

      oH.. I thought you know him.. good bye lol XD

    • jason |

      This is a list of 3d modeling and animation programs, rhino and zbrush and even mudbox are for the most part rendering and morphing engines not modeling

    • BlenderBeginner |

      nice list but not what i had in mind. how about: 1-Maya 2-3ds max 3-lightwave + cinema 4D 4-blender(not because it is free) 5-Modo 6-Sketchup 7-Rhino 3D

    • theep |

      BlenderBeginnerya exactly aobe and autodesk maya is king in 3d field

    • will |

      why no cinema 4d?

    • seanglay |

      I like All program in this website so much!!!!

    • fucker |

      crappy post.. :P

    • Abayomi |

      I use Cine 4D now but that doesn't call for the reason why Maya should ever be placed #2 anywhere in the world. It\'s outstanding;can never be compare to any other 3D package in the world. Please note> Maya is for intellectual and a serious minded VFX and Compositor. Take it for REAL!

    • rohit |

      blender is light weight and open source 3d software-its great tool for modeling,rendering,rigging,texturing,animation and game development--but i m suprise their is no list of unity3d software this is also great software for game development

    • andro petric |
      andro petric

      aj nek mi nek objasni koji je naj bolji i zasto za koji dan pocinjem ic na 3d dizajn,pretpostavljam da ce u skoli biti 3d max odgovor molim na (androsije@gmail.com)

    • andro petric |
      andro petric

      pleas if somebody knows whic program is the best i a for few days i must go in school and i think wea avail a 3d max pleas your ansver send o email-androsije@gmail.com

    • twerg poo fuge ass |
      twerg poo fuge ass

      good list

    • simson dhanu |
      simson dhanu

      super and very nice.........3d

    • Vladimir |

      comparing the 3d softwares just makes it harder to choose. When you start familiar with 1 of them, stick with it, they are all great, it is only important the technical capabilities of the user of the software, so stop comparing them, it makes no sense.

    • Vladimir |

      in fact, blender is free and it is not some kind of joke, so here is my idea: 1th - blender, 2th - all others.

    • Vladimir |

      ok maiby I overreacted a little bit on my previos post, I was tryng to say that comparing is not ok, because it just holds you back and not many people know that.

    • Chikako |

      Don't forget Shade! You can also get free Shade 3D for Unity right here on Softonic, or via Mac App Store for Mac.


    • sta te briga za ime |
      sta te briga za ime

      WTF where is the cinema 4d ???

    • klaus TIRANE albania |
      klaus TIRANE albania

      very good modeling but i have a question why we should stay in 3d when we can go in 4d ?

    • shqipron |

      cool man i download to many 3d program :p

    • bad_jay1 |

      Blender must be in #1...it's totally free...

    • bad_jay1 |

      for ur more info..Autodesk is u\the one used to make the movie transformers...

    • keosok |

      for me cinema 4D R14 is amazing 3d modeling and animation software.

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