Top 10 3D modeling applications on PC

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]

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