7 Best Free 3D Rendering Software You Should Know About

Home Design Software & Tools 7 Best Free 3D Rendering Software You Should Know About

If you’re an architect or interior designer, you’ve probably worked with 3D rendering services to get high-quality images of your designs. But this means you probably also know about the challenges with many of the 3D rendering software on the market today.

That’s why we’re going to help you choose a better 3D rendering software, so you can create amazing 3D renders without hassles like:

  • Extremely low rendering speeds
  • Heavy CPU usage
  • Poorly-defined textures
  • Expensive licenses
  • And more.

  • But first, we’ll review a few key pieces of information that are important to know when it comes to 3D rendering.

    What Is 3D Rendering?

    A 3D render is essentially a 3-dimensional image data stored inside a computer. 3D rendering is usually used to create realistic two-dimensional images of architecture or interior designs before any real-life work has been done.

    To correctly depict a photorealistic 3D render, you need to use special software that can understand and capture the 3D elements in your scene. You can also add specific lighting, texture, or even motion blur effects to help make the rendered image even more realistic.

    Types of 3D Rendering

    There are typically three methods of creating 3D renders – wireframe, surface and solid. Each method constructs the 3D renders in a different way, and the editing methods differ between each type. Therefore, it is always best to stick to any one style of rendering and not combine them.

    A wireframe model creates a skeletal description of a 3D object. It doesn’t contain any surfaces – it consists only of points and lines joined together by curves, which cover the shape of the object. Wireframe models can be created by positioning planar objects anywhere in a three-dimensional space. There are some three-dimensional wireframe objects that have continuous linetypes, meaning the 3D rendering artist needs to draw and position every object separately independently. That is the reason wireframe rendering usually takes the longest time to complete.

    Surface modeling is a more elegant method of creating 3D renders. This process defines both the surfaces and the edges of a three-dimensional object, which can then be rendered into a panorama, 360 degree & virtual reality, and more. Although this is distinct from the wireframe process, it is similar in that it also makes use of a mesh. This mesh is a polygonal mesh with planar faces, which limits the accuracy of the depiction of curvilinear surfaces.

    Finally, solid modeling is the most fast and convenient method for 3D rendering. This process starts by using the elementary geometric shapes in three dimensions – like boxes, cones, cylinders, spheres, wedges, and concentric circles in donut shapes. Each of these shapes can then be added and subtracted from one another to produce more complicated shapes and architecture. Some experts can up their game by dragging a 2D object on a fixed path, or make it rotate around a fixed axis. You can also create solids by sweeping a 2D object along a path or revolving it about an axis.

    Choosing the Right 3D Product Rendering Software for You

    And now to our list of the 7 best free 3D rendering software! Browse through our choices, and discover which tool will best fit your needs.

    Even better, everything on this list is a FREE rendering software. This way, you can make the right choice from all the relevant 3D software available today – without breaking the bank.

    Here is a list of the best 3D rendering software that are free to use:

    1. 3Delight
    2. Arnold
    3. Clarisse
    4. FurryBall
    5. Guerilla Render
    6. LuxRender
    7. Fluid Ray

    3Delight is a 3D rendering software designed for maximum compatibility with computer graphic cards. It is mainly used to produce hassle-free film effects.

  • It uses the RenderMan shading language and also integrates into major 3D modeling solutions like Maya.
  • 3Delight has multiple rendering algorithms such as path tracing and REYES giving filmmakers greater flexibility.
  • As one could expect, this 3D rendering software supports physical materials and uses standards such as OpenExr and OpenVDB. It is entirely free for single users.
  • It is available for major operating systems and has excellent integration with other programs.
  • Arnold allows for real-time 3D rendering making it easier to add any changes to ongoing calculations by any changes made during the rendering.

  • This allows for users to achieve desired looks in a more time-oriented fashion and provides excellent control over the compositing stage.
  • Arnold also supports volumetrics and has a material editor which is node-based, making the process highly intuitive.
  • A number of presets are available for out of the box and additional node solutions.
  • Arnold is great for particle and demolition effects as well.
  • While it’s not the first choice when it comes to deciding between 3D rendering software and its alternatives, Clarisse has certainly been a helpful 3D rendering software, especially in science fiction movies.

  • Its greatest uses include a well-defined platform that allows designers and animators to create scenes in a more intelligible and cost-effective way.
  • Scenes are set smoothly, lit and built from assets. The assets can be edited in third party software which are integrated with Clarisse
  • The rendering capabilities of Clarisse are tremendous as it facilitates the integration of rendered images and sequences from nearly all other major 3D rendering software. This is done using deep image output.
  • In simpler terms, Clarisse outputs depth details for every pixel it generates.
  • It has a Personal Learning Edition useful for new users and is available for student activities alone. Clarisse is one of the best 3D cloud rendering software used by production studios.
  • 4. FurryBall

    FurryBall is a 3D rendering software much loved by designers for its live progressive preview (meaning you don’t need to wait painstakingly for hours just to see the final renders).

  • The developers of FurryBall were influenced by the pertinent needs of computer-animated movies and special effects rendering. As a result, FurryBall is also available as a plugin for Maya, Cinema 4D, and 3ds Max.
  • This tool is very fast and efficient, as even changes made in the past few seconds are relayed smoothly.
  • The plugins also support all particular components and third-party plugins. This includes elements for control particles, fluids, cloths, solid bodies, gases and hair physics.
  • It is available for all major operating systems and has a free version which includes over 20 hours of rendering.
  • FurryBall is an excellent choice for users who seem bogged down by the complexities of Maya, 3ds Max and Cinema 4D.
  • Guerilla Render is an unbiased 3D rendering platform used as the go-to software for feature films and movies. Guerilla Render also uses progressive rendering inside its viewport.

  • Thanks to its physically based rendering features, it can quickly produce photorealistic stills, 3D renders, and sequences.
  • The 3D rendering features also include subsurface scattering and cycles renders
  • The lighting system of Guerilla Render is extremely flexible and allows for no nuances with instance lighting in specific AOVs. It also offers full OpenEXR support which powers the compositing stage by selecting layers and objects in the resulting 3D render.
  • The free version of Guerilla Render is a perfect stepping stone for young learners and new professionals, as well as independent artists.
  • LuxRender is an unbiased/biased 3D rendering software available under an OpenSource license. Its features and rendering capabilities have been known to rival those of commercial 3D rendering software such as Maya, InDesign and 3ds Max.

  • The materials used in renders are physically based which enables photorealistic results to come to life.
  • LuxRender is the best if you’re looking for software to produce complex phenomena like subsurface scattering and volumetrics.
  • It also has a biased mode to allow for a minimized overall render time. Instanced objects can also be used in this 3D rendering software.
  • It is available for all major operating systems and has found its use in natural special effects and architectural visualizations improvements
  • Supported file types include those used by 3ds Max, Blender, Carrara, Cinema 4D, DAZ Studio, Maya, Poser, SketchUp and XSI.
  • FluidRay is a physically-based 3D rendering software used to create astounding architectural and interior designs.

  • Users can choose whether they want to run software as a standalone or even as a plugin in any other 3D modeling platform.
  • FluidRay was designed to enhance usability. The real-time workflow can be interpreted easily and intuitively in just a few minutes.
  • To setup scenes instantly, FluidRay has a number of large libraries with materials that can be optimized well beyond standard configurations.
  • It uses unbiased real-time algorithms to provide a range of lighting setups.
  • The developers added a built-in component called the industry-standard Open Shading Language (OSL). This helps users to create entirely new materials on the go.
  • It is available for all major operating systems and is an excellent choice for architectural and design projects.
  • Alternate Solution: Foyr Neo

    If you’re looking for the best 3D rendering software on the market today – and are willing to pay an inexpensive subscription, look no further than Foyr Neo.

    This lightning-fast 3D rendering software runs in your browser and also offers easy floor planning and interior designing. Even better, through Neo’s on-cloud 3D rendering service, you can get incredible 4k renders in under 10 minutes – with lighting, shadows, and more automatically filled in by Neo’s AI.

    Sound too good to be true? You’ll have to experience the 3D rendering magic for yourself! Try Foyr Neo for FREE for 14 days, with full functionality and no credit card required. If you like it (which we know you will 😉) you can sign up for a subscription plan starting at $49/month.

    P.S. We’re a brand new software and always looking to improve. If you need a product or feature that is not currently available, let us know, and we’ll work with you to make it a reality.

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