” Looking for 3D rendering software? Check out our 2019 guide to the 25 best 3D rendering software tools for animation movies, special effects, and architectural visualization. Some of them are free.”
D rendering is the final stage of the 3D animation process. It encompasses all the calculations necessary to transform 3D models that are only viewable in special software into images and movie files that we can all enjoy in movie theaters, on our computers, and on mobile devices
3Delight is a 3D rendering software that is designed for maximum compatibility with industry standards, as it uses the RenderMan shading language. Its integration into major 3D modeling solutions like Maya makes it a popular option for feature film effects.
Arion is an unbiased 3D rendering software that allows rendering light sources separately for complete flexibility in post-production. It is capable of delivering results at high speed due to its support of both CPU and GPU based rendering. However, the GPU mode requires compatible hardware by NVidia.
Arnold is fast CPU based raytracing renderer that was developed for the VFX studio Sony Pictures Imageworks. It is capable of real-time rendering, meaning that when you make changes during the rendering, they are immediately included in ongoing calculations. This, in turn, speeds up the process to develop the desired look. With this 3D rendering software, you can create about any pass imaginable, giving you a huge amount of control over the final look in the compositing stage.
Artlantis is a 3D rendering software that has been developed with an eye on the needs of architects and designers. It provides a wide selection of preset like indoor/outdoor lighting for a quick turnaround. The materials inside Artlantis are physically based in order to achieve photorealistic results. Also, among the advanced shaders are luminous materials that extend the range of possibilities scenes can be lit.The built-in render manager in this 3D rendering software allows you to distribute the computing load evenly among your local computers,
Although not a granddaddy of 3D rendering software, Clarisse can already show numerous blockbuster credits for itself, like the new Star Wars movies. The reason for this success Clarisse is that it is not only a fast 3D rendering software, but it also encourages artists to set up their scenes intelligently and cost-effectively. For instance, scenes are built, lit and rendered from assets. These assets can be modified in third-party-software which facilitates the pipeline integration of Clarisse.
Corona is a (un)biased photorealistic 3D renderer, that has become popular due to the ease of use. Following the motto “less is more,” Corona offers a less cluttered UI to cut down setup times. Although a CPU based solution, the interactive rendering capability of this 3D rendering software can also speed up workflows.
Enscape is a real-time 3D rendering software that is primarily geared at architectural visualization. Impressively, this solution eliminates the need to export from BIM software and rework data for presentations as still images or movies. Everything is prepared in the original program.
FelixRender is a cloud computing 3D rendering software. It frees professionals who don’t have the resources from the constraints of their hardware by providing an interface that allows easy upload of scene files. Relevant fields include architectural visualization and marketing. The renders are finished quickly as lightning and are ready for download. For security, all uploaded files are 256 bit encrypted.
FluidRay is a physically-based renderer that was developed for creating awe-inspiring views of architectural and design projects. Using unbiased real-time algorithms, it can tackle a wide range of lighting setups. Users can choose whether they want to run this 3D rendering software as a standalone or as a plugin in 3D modeling software.FluidRay was designed with usability in mind.
Another highly interesting biased/unbiased GPU renderer is called FurryBall. It brings you a live progressive preview. This means that you don’t need to wait for final renders to see the results of your changes, allowing for a much faster workflow.
Guerilla Render is an unbiased 3D rendering software that already has quite a few feature films to its name. To help validate a shot before the final render, the program features progressive rendering inside its viewport. Thanks to physically based rendering, it is easy to produce photorealistic stills and sequences.
Indigo is an unbiased 3D rendering software that is geared at architectural visualization and industrial design. Its real-time rendering capability allows you to edit scenes and inspect the results instantly. The parameters of every material can be adjusted with shader programs written in the custom Indigo Shader Language. Impressively, Indigo features a planet-based physically accurate sky system that still delivers realistic results at a quick pace.
Iray is a biased GPU renderer software by NVidia. Developed it for NVidia’s CUDA technology, Iray is geared at anyone who doesn’t have expert knowledge in rendering. Therefore, this 3D rendering software is suitable for designers who need real-time results in photorealistic quality at a reasonable price. The relevant fields include architecture, engineering, art, and advertising.
Keyshot is a 3D renderings software like no other on this list. It does not tie in with 3D modeling solutions. Instead, it is a pure standalone solution that aims at the most user-friendly rendering process possible. Keyshot has a comprehensive library of physically accurate materials that are assigned to the 3D file by drag-and-drop.
Lumion is a 3D rendering software that has been developed to integrate with CAD software. Its ease of use makes it suitable for designers and architects who want to render in-house. In addition, Lumion renders in real-time, making it an ideal tool to develop the look and feel of a product.
LuxRender is an unbiased/biased 3D rendering software that is available under an OpenSource license. On a wide range of features, LuxRender can compete with commercial rendering solutions: The materials used are physically based, thus enabling photorealistic results.
Marmoset Toolbag is a whole swiss-army knife that can increase productivity for 3D artists. As such it is not only a bleeding-edge 3D rendering software but has also strong animation and texture baking capabilities. Because every change is displayed in real-time, setting up scenes in Marmoset Toolbag can be done very quickly.
Maxwell is an unbiased 3D rendering software that is especially well suited to the requirements of architectural visualization. It combines a high degree of realism with an easy to grasp workflow. To make scene setup easier, macOSwell includes ready-made light assets, e.g. fill lights, spots, IES, projectors, negative fills, and others. This allows you to focus on the creative part.
Mental Ray is a biased 3D rendering software that can look on a long and successful series of feature films. Harnessing the global illumination engine, Mental Ray achieves physically accurate renders. Built on NVidia’s own CUDA technology, Mental Ray can use both GPU and CPU to render at the highest speed.
Although an unbiased renderer, Octane combines fast rendering with quality. This is due to the 3D rendering software using an NVidia graphics cards (GPU) instead of the CPU like many other unbiased solutions. Bears the distinction of being among the fastest renderers (according to the website 10x to 50x). In practice, the real-time viewports are the final renders. This stand out feature will boost your workflow as any changes are rendered instantly in full quality.
Redshift is a biased 3D rendering software that is based on GPU acceleration. Redshift uses physically based materials that are compatible workflows of Allegorithmic Substance and Unreal Engine. Also, users can rely on a series of dedicated shaders for skin, and hair.
If you have seen any Pixar movie, then you have already witnessed the power of its homegrown 3D rendering software, RenderMan. Pixar famously pioneered many techniques that are nowadays industry practice. For example, RenderMan was the first to include multi-bounce ray traced global illumination.
Renderings are not only used for creating stunning visual effects but can also create an emotional response from prospective customers and stakeholders of engineering projects. Solidworks Visualize is designed to fill in this exact gap in the 3D rendering software market. Therefore, it supports not only Solidworks’ own formats, but also CAD data from Autodesk Alias, Rhino, SketchUp, and many others
Thea Render is a biased/unbiased 3D rendering software that runs exclusively on GPUs. Accordingly, the program features interactive rendering inside its viewport. This makes quick tweaks and previewing very convenient. A standout feature is the inclusion of three distinct engines that operate within the same framework. This way, the appropriate tool can be selected based on the job’s requirements without the need to purchase a new product. (For a tabular comparison click here)
V-Ray is considered to be one of the best 3D rendering software on the market since it boasts high speed and high quality. Under the hood, V-Ray is a biased raytracer that can harness both a CPU and a GPU (RT) uses brute force and path tracing calculations. You can find it integrated into a large array of 3D modeling suites.
Hello! I am Naman Mahajan, and i am graphics designer and visual FX artist with a good experience and great skills.
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