Free Open Source 3D Modeling and Animation Software to Learn

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With the passage of time, animation has made a separate place in the industry. It has become an integral part of today’s Media and Entertainment industry. With this constant rise, people are opting for animation, making it a one of the favorable career options of recent times.

Today, we are back with our other series into animation. Starting  a career in 3D animation might look exciting & fascinating but it is not just about creating characters. As technology is revamping its structure, animators need to update themselves with the constant changes.

Choosing the right software to start with is equally essential in the 3D animation industry and for beginners who are just starting their career in animation, investing a heavy amount in 3d software doesn’t sound well! In this article we’ve covered up the reasons behind the sudden growth of the animation industry in India, what are the factors that you should consider while choosing a software and what are the free and open source software available to 3D animators.

The Growth of 3D Animation in India

Indian animation industry has become a buzz in the entertainment sector in recent years and 3D animation has grown steeply. Global giants like Walt Disney, Sony, Warner Bros have become prominent reasons for the growth of the animation sector in industry.

They have been outsourcing their projects to indian companies, which in result has become the reason for emergence of new animation companies in India. Cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata are becoming animation hubs in India.

Intervening the passion for art with the latest technologies, Indian companies are producing designs that are giving equal competition to famous animation companies across the world. Indian companies are capable of providing full animation services, ranging from storyboarding to proper animated scenes, illustrations, Banner ads, videos etc.

➔       How Outsourcing Helped?

Indian animation houses have made its place among North American Film and TV program producers. The North American and European countries have always shown their readiness in outsourcing their content to Asian and Pacific Rim countries.

There are several reasons behind this increase in demand for Indian animation studios. Earlier, only work related to 2d animation was outsourced to India but things are changed a lot now.

The Animation Industry has gained its hold in the animation industry by investing heavily in technological developments. Not only India has improved in the working area, but in the training sector too.

We can see various institutes and professional training centres setting up which are providing high quality training in Animation, VFX and Film-Making domain.

➔       Still Growing….

It is expected that the VFX and Animation industry has recently touched 50 billion and will have significant growth and reach upto 88 billion. The film and television industry is playing a pivotal role and the gaming industry has too boomed beyond expectations. With this growth, Indian animation industry has become one of the most sought destination to provide quality animation content services While you have learnt a lot how 3D animation is operating in the industry, now let’s head on to sectio what things you should keep in mind choosing a software for you.

Factors to Consider

With variety and tons of options available in the market, it becomes more difficult to choose the best software. It is essential for animators to choose the right 3d software for their project .

There are different 3D modelling and animation software designed to serve the need of various artists like Game animators, environment creators etc

Choosing the right software is no doubt a daunting task but here’s a list that you should keep in mind while choosing one for you.

  • Look for the hardware requirements of the software.
  • Is the software easy to use and can you learn it?
  • Look for what it can capable of doing. Is it able to fulfill your purposes as per the artistic projects?
  • Does the software have timeline editor?
  • What are the supported file formats and how does software perform export and print command?
  • At last, make sure to check whether you will be able to run on Mac IOS or it is only supported on PCs.

The ‘Commercial’ Issue

There are plenty and variety of amazing 3D software packages available on the market, but unfortunately many of the top applications used by commercial movies, games, and effects studios are not very cost effective.

It’s correct that most commercial applications offer time-limited free trials, —if you’re looking to one-day work in the computer graphics industry these are well worth exploring even if you can’t afford a full license, simply because skills in the commercial packages like Adobe After Effects, Autodesk Maya, and Cinema 4D is what will ultimately land you a job.

Open Source Free Software to ‘Rescue’

Nevertheless, there are infinite free 3D modeling and animation software available for individuals, independent filmmakers who don’t have the budget for expensive software, or freelancer professionals who have found all the tools and power they need in cost-free solutions.

➔       What is Open Source Software?

Open Source Software or OSS is a kind of software in which the parent company releases the source code under a license which gives a right to its users to change, enhance and modify the software. You can also distribute software to anyone for any purpose.

Just because the following list of software is free doesn’t inevitably make it any less valuable. This list isn’t exhaustive, we have selected the best from the lot—there are dozens of other free 3D tools available. However, these are the sturdiest in the bunch, and therefore the most advisable.

1. Blender

Blender is the most multipurpose open source 3D creation suite, and because of its unique features most of the times it is compared to top digital content creation tools like Cinema 4D, Maya, and 3Ds Max.

  • It offers a complete range of modeling, surfacing, sculpting, painting, animation, and rendering tools.
  • It is a is cross-platform and runs equally well on Linux, Windows, and Macintosh computers.
  • It has produced several inspiring short films and is in use by several professional studios.
  • It has steadily carved out a place in motion graphics and visualization, similar to where Cinema 4D outshines.

2. Daz3D

It is a powerful and free 3D creation software tool that is very user-friendly but also feature and functionality rich. It is perfect for novices and professional 3D artist or animator.

  • It comes with a huge list of characters, props, creatures, and buildings that you can arrange and animate to create still images or short films.
  • The software’s animation and rendering tool-set is impartially robust, and if used correctly by the users can create impressive shots.
  • Supports Mac and Windows platforms

3. Pixologic Sculptris

Sculptris provides an excellent doorway into the exciting world of 3D. Its features are easy to learn, even for someone with no prior experience in digital art. It is best suited for creating base models that can then be refined in other applications, such as ZBrush.

  • It is fundamentally geometry-independent which makes it is an ideal learning package for somebody with few or no modeling skills and at the same time who wants to try his hand at sculpting.
  • Supports both Windows and Mac OSX.
  • It has optimized brushes for reducing the amount of tris across your entire mesh or use the reduce brush to optimize a localized area.
  • With greater depth and customization capabilities for everything from sculpting to materials and rendering, it has become the industry standard for highly detailed digital art in the fields of movies, computer games, illustration, product design and more. And every single thing created in Sculptris can be sent to ZBrush with a single mouse click!

4. SketchUp Free

Google SketchUp is an intuitive and accessible modeler, originally developed by Google, and now owned by Trimble. It excels at practical and architectural design and probably has more in common with a CAD package than some traditional surface modelers like Maya and Max.

  • It is the most powerful, intuitive, and easy-to-learn 3D drawing tool.
  • Supports both Windows and Mac OS.
  • Just like Blender, SketchUp has also been well recognized and has progressively carved out a place with professionals in the visualization field due to features like user-friendliness and speed.
  • It is one of the best tool available for creating game environments and architectural modeling. The tool set allows for clear delineation of simple surfaces using volume and vertex-based tools.

Whether you want to model a table for the room or want to design your favorite zoo animal, you’ll find anything you need in 3D Warehouse of SketchUp, the world’s biggest library of free 3D models. And anyone can use 3D Warehouse to store and share models.

5. Wings 3D

Wings 3D is an open source modeler which is powerful as well as easy to use. It offers a customizable interface, support for lights and materials, and a built-in AutoUV mapping facility.

  • It has similar modeling capabilities to Maya and Max, but none of their other functions.
  • Supports Windows, Mac OS X, Linux Ubuntu platforms.
  • It uses standard polygon modeling techniques, everything you learn here will be applicable in other content creation packages which makes it an ideal for anyone looking to learn how to model for animation, film, and games.
  • It comes with a comprehensive set of mesh modeling and selection tools.

6. Seamless 3d

Seamless3d is another 3d modelling software which the MIT license. Having a complex interface and steep learning curve, it usually seems to be difficult  for users to learn in the beginning.

Though it is comprehensive to understand but it offers a huge amount of creative freedom to the artistsIf you are looking for a software through which you can produce stunning 3d content for web purpose, then this software can serve your purpose.

  • The software has infinite undo redo options
  • Single skinned mesh animation
  • You can easily do Morphing & Scripting
  • It has multi-user 3D chat web browsing

7. Dust 3D

This software is new 3dmodelling software that gives you the ability to create a 3d watertight base model in seconds. You can easily create character models which are used in games and 3D printing.

Created specially for game developers, this software is considered as one of the fastest 3d modelling software. This open source 3d modelling software is available for all platforms- MacOS, Windows and Linux

  • The software has auto UV unwrapping with auto- rigging support
  • It automatically produces mesh from nodes and also creates base meshes.

8. Onshape

Onshape is the first and only full cloud based 3D CAD system that allows multiple people to work together as a team. It is an entirely cloud based software meant for “modern agile design teams”.

You can use this software on different screens, Phones, tablets or web browsers, it seems to be ideal for all platforms. You can use it anywhere and anytime. Start playing and exploring more of it. No downloads, no installation, all you need is a project and a team to start with.

Author’s Note:

So, this is for today. We have gone through a lot and found out the some of the best free and open source software that will facilitate your immense creativity.

Whether you are a novice or a professional in the field of animation, a great 3d modeling and animation software is what you need apart from the other programs and tools. Making your own animated movies voiced by you and with cartoon characters made by you is some fun, isn’t it? The best solution is to start working on the above list of tools and once you are familiar with their features, you can join Best Animation Training Institute in Delhi to get advanced level training and enhance your skills.

Such institutes offer diploma and certificate courses in animation where you will get hand on experience on industry tools like Maya, After Effects etc. which will help you create some professional level and stunning animation. Joining an 3d animation training institute will not only help you resolve your queries and but also help you develop a keen sense of color, pattern, proportion, visualizations and most importantly, the knowledge of the art of layout and background.

So what are you waiting for?

Come and experience the best with us!

Stay tuned for more informative blogs. Till then, keep exploring!

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