In the early days of 3D design it was commonplace for designers to use one software application for each function making each designer have to be proficient in a multitude of softwares. As technology evolved many applications have become streamlined and can now do most tasks involved in creating a three dimensional model – including rendering or color correction capabilities on top of modeling features . In this article we’ll discuss what makes some programs better than others when you’re looking at getting started.
Why use rendering?
Rendering is used to create imagery to an audience that would be more difficult to do with practical effects. One of the most common applications is to show developers and investors alike what a final product may look or act like before building a finished product. The different considerations that go into 3D rendering depend on the type of project you have. For example, if your goal is to create an animation then it’s important not only will you need high-quality graphics but also detailed models with complex scenes so there aren’t any missed details when animated characters move around them or objects in front disappear behind something else. So we will briefly discuss some of the most popular and useful softwares.
(Animation work being done in Blender Credit: Blender)
This software is an open source project which means it’s free and that’s not a terrible way to figure out if you may be interested in 3D design. Although the program may not be as pretty as some other softwares that does not mean it isn’t as useful, some very high productions were made in blender like Netflix’s Next Gen (2018) which was made 100% in blender.
Autodesk – Maya
Autodesk makes a lot of different useful software for 3d rendering and animation depending on what the project requires like 3ds max built for game designers, Civil 3D for civil engineering, or Maya for 3d animation, modeling, design, and rendering. Maya is a powerful software with a big learning curve, but is favored by a lot of large production studios for the quality visuals that it can produce. The software features a lot of useful tools and has an active community of creators. The software itself is pricey with a professional license costing around $3000 and a commercial license costing around $7000. Rendering with Maya can be done by Mental Ray or one of the most powerful and popular render engines used by professionals. The content that it has the ability to produce is of a top quality with features like global illumination and creating realistic looking imagery with minimal effort.
(Animation done through Unreal Engine Credit: Animation World Network)
One of the most widely known software engines because of its prolific use in the gaming market. This software offers features that can create high quality visuals while being able to do both real time rendering and offline rendering. This software for personal use is free while production use does require payment, but if you are wanting to learn more about rendering and the software required for it then this is a good place to start. THis software also features the ability to create physical based rendering which is a technique using real world data to create a simulation showing the way light reacts to surfaces as well as shadows to help produce stunning visuals.
Our final software we want to show off is Cinema 4D which is a animation, modeling, and rendering software that was created by Maxon. Cinema 4D is favored by a lot of artists making it easily one of the most popular softwares among artists. Primarily this software is used for product visualization, architectural visualization, and motion graphics. This software offers quality renderings of even the smallest details like hair or fluid movement used for creating complex animations. In comparison to maya this software is relatively easy to use making this a great option to use when starting out as well as professional use. This software can encompass all parts of design from creation to rendering and all the edits inbetween.
Each software is different as well as having their own benefits and weaknesses for each level of graphic designer. Blender is a fantastic option for starting out because it’s free and applicable to handle quite a bit, but if you’re invested then Cinema4D might be for you. It also depends on what your goal with the software is, such as what you want to create. If video games are your alley then try Unreal Engine to start, but if civil work is needed then try one of Maya’s many softwares each of which are designed for certain uses. Hopefully you have a place to start and can further your own interest.