3D design software is one of the first steps in product design, 3D printing, 3D CAD, 3D modeling, visual effects, virtual reality, building information modeling (BIM), generative design, and CAD/CAM. With the aid of specialized tools, designers create 3D models and products for the architecture, automotive, building, construction, media and entertainment industries. There is software available to fit every design need. If you want to take on a 3D design project of your own, below is a brief overview of different types of software related to 3D design.
3D Modeling Software
Some of our favorite movies like Toy Story and Shrek were created by Pixar with 3D modeling software. It can also be used to create gaming worlds and virtual reality experiences, structure designs for architecture, interior design and engineering. Sculpting software is often part of the 3D modeling software tool set and is used in movies like Peter Jackson's King Kong.
Versions: AutoCAD, Cinema 4D R20, 3DS Max, Maya, Modo, and ZBrush. WhiteClouds uses most of these, but our favorite is Maya – we highly recommend it.
3D CAD Software
Ever wanted to see what your new kitchen would look like? Then CAD or computer-aided design software is what you need. It’s not only used to build designs for architecture, but it’s also used for special effects in movies, prosthetic limbs, industrial, aerospace and manufacturing products. However, it can take up to 2 years to learn some CAD programs.
Versions: AutoCAD, Fusion 360, Inventor, Maya, Revit, SketchUp Pro, TurboCAD. WhiteClouds uses most of these, but one of our favorites is AutoCAD - we highly recommend it.
3D Animation Software
Disney creators use 3D animation software to create movies like Frozen and Moana. Instead of drawing many different images and photographing each one, this software puts you on the creation fast track. 3D animation software is also used to create computer-generated imagery found in live-action movies and video games.
Versions: 3DS Max, Cinema 4D, FilmoraPro, Houdini, Maya and Mixamo.
3D Drawing Software
With 3D Drawing software you can hone your drawing and painting skills and give new dimension to your art. This software has many tools to choose from like paint brushes, markers and pencils; mediums like oil and watercolor and other special effects can be added to create texture. Some of the advanced versions were used in movies like The Lord of the Rings and Avatar.
Versions: Adobe Illustrator CC, CorelDRAW, Fusion 360, Photoshop, Procreate, SketchBook, SketchUp, Windows Paint3D, ZBrush.
3D Printer Design Software
3D printer design software can be used to create some of the coolest things from cosplay costumes to product prototypes. To choose the best software to fit your needs, you must first decide what you’re planning to design and 3D print. As with all software programs, there’s a learning curve and just because it’s a free version, doesn’t mean it’ll be easy to use.
Versions: Modo, Rhino 3D, SketchUp Pro and ZBrush.
3D Home Design Software
3D home design software covers all aspects of home design: architecture, interior design, landscaping and deck design. This software also offers many advanced tools like color palettes, shrubbery, and textures to name a few. So, whatever your project is, there’s a program to fit your needs.
Versions: AutoCAD, DreamPlan, Home Designer Suite, SketchUp Pro and Virtual Architect Ultimate.
3D Rendering Software
3D rendering software has many applications. One is making superheroes from your favorite movie come to life. It converts 3D wire frame models into 2D images that look realistic. Architects, designers, artists, commercial studios and others use 3D rendering software programs for special effects, light sources, atmospheric effects, and architectural visualization to make you think what you’re looking at is real.
Versions: 3Delight, Arion, Artlantis, Clarisse and Enscape.
Video Editing Software
Video editing software is used by beginners and professional editors alike to handle post-production video editing for box office hits, home movies, documentaries, TV shows, commercials, and music videos. This software offers a range of tools for splicing, cutting, trimming, and arranging clips. If you learn how to use them properly, you’ll unlock its full potential.
Versions: PowerDirector, Magix Movie Edit Pro, Premiere Pro, Wondershare Filmora, Video Pad.