The best 3D modelling software won’t automatically make you a better artist – you’ll still need to hone those 3D skills. But when it comes to creating incredible artwork and animation, having the right 3D modelling software for your style, skill level and budget certainly helps.
Of course, what’s right for you as a beginner or pro might not suit another artist. But whether you’re a 2D artist looking to up-skill, or a seasoned 3D pro looking to upgrade your existing tools, there’s a program out there to suit you – and you’ll find it in this guide.
So how do you choose the right 3D modelling software? Well, there are some key considerations to bear in mind. Firstly, as a general rule, any kind of 3D work will require around 16GB RAM or more. Most of the 3D software applications here need roughly 5GB of disc space to install, but you need to take rendering into account too.
Also, if you’re taking your digital art seriously, then investing in one of the best graphics cards , with a fast processor and a lot of memory is highly recommended. That way, you’re much less likely to experience a lag when displaying complex 3D scenes.
01. Autodesk Maya
Cost: £222/month, £1,782/year | Pricing model: Subscription | OS: Window 7 & 10; Apple macOS 10.11.x and above; Linux Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 and 7.5; Linux CentOS 7.3 and 7.5
C4D’s parametric modelling toolset is generally very good, and you can add even more functionality with a range of inexpensive plugins. The latest release also introduced volumetric modelling, which is perfect if you don’t have the time or skillset to create smooth solid forms.
Perpetual licenses for C4D don’t come cheap, but you can always start with Prime and upgrade over time. Check out the trial version, which gives you 42 days to experiment for free. Maxon also offers short-term and student licenses at a reduced cost.