There are plenty and variety of amazing 3D software packages available on the market, but unfortunately many of the top applications in 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.