What 3D design software should I use?

Depending on what style of visuals you’re delivering to your clients, you will need more than one piece of software. I’ve yet to come across one that caters to all your needs (and you have many needs) out there.

Here are a few options to get you started. These are the design packages I personally use on a day to day basis.

I’m sharing an options for specific needs, but you can do more than one thing in most of them.

The first option is obviously Cinema 4D. I say obviously because as far as I know it’s become an industry standard. I used to work with 3Ds max, but for what I do (3D design for experiences) C4D delivers better results.

  • Great modelling and rendering capabilities
  • Intuitive and easy to get good results
  • Great format export options
  • Amazing integrated duplication systems

The second is Photoshop. I use photoshop on almost every job. You really can’t get very far without it. I use it to edit and crop images and visuals, for compositing shots and for colour correcting and grading.

  • Great editing and compositing capabilities
  • Good for correcting your visuals
  • Now has video capabilities

The third is illustrator. This one is an underdog. I use it almost as much as photoshop these days, mostly for drawing shapes. The pen drawing feature is way better and faster than drawing in C4D.

  • Amazing vector drawing tools
  • Integrates very well with C4D

The fourth option is Sketch up. You can use sketch up if you need a lighter and more intuitive 3D option.

  • Very easy to get started
  • Great extensions and plugins
  • Amazing selections of sketch styles

Last but not least is Vectorworks. I used to work in Autocad. Few years ago until I discovered Vectorworks. It’s a bit of a transition if your are coming from autocad but once you get the hang of it, it will transform the way you draw plans and the speed at which you do your work.

  • Best for 3D designers and interior designers
  • great exports options
  • Fast and intutive

There are way more options out there, but if you are just getting started, these options will deliver great results.

My advice is to start wit one and the see how you can begin to integrate the others. Don’t try to learn all of them at once.


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