15 Best Free 3D Rendering Software for Interior Designers
13 Mins Read
January 01, 2023
Jump ahead to:
3D Rendering Software
Jump ahead to:
With the exponential progress in rendering technology, it has become mandatory to use the best representation techniques to showcase your design process. Over ten years ago, 3d rendering was a less explored field and only used by affluent clientele and established architectural firms.
But times have changed now, where even the most minor design, such as a room makeover, demands a high-quality realistic 3d representation not only by the clients but by designers themselves to understand and design the space better.
Read also – 15 Best Free Home Design Software
To create stunning 3d renderings or visuals, you will need the help of software or a platform that will assist you in making 3d models and rendering them. The genesis of 3d architectural rendering starts with basic technical drawings made in CAD software such as ArchiCAD.
These CAD drawings are converted to 3d models. After the 3d models are produced, designers or 3d visualizers add textures, lights, and camera angles that give the model a realistic feel.
Finally, the rendering process is initiated where the rendering software, along with the hardware system, takes the parameters assigned and generates real rendered images of the model. These images can be viewed in different formats – individually or stitched together to direct an architectural walkthrough.
Read also – 15 Best 3D Rendering Software Alternatives
There are three main types of rendering techniques that 3d rendering software partake in – surface, solid, and wireframe. You can choose the rendering you need based on your requirements.
1. Solid rendering
This rendering used geometric shapes like cylinders, cones, spheres, etc. You can combine all these shapes to make even more complex architectural forms.
2. Surface rendering
Surface rendering used a polygonal mesh made of millions of planar faces depending on the complexity of your model. This type of rendering is used to create panoramas.
3. Wireframe rendering
As the name suggests, the 3d model is made of lines and points intersecting with curves that trace the object’s shape.
3d visualizations generated from various 3d rendering software can help you get your point across without needing additional explanation. Your clients will view your photorealistic renders and quickly understand what they will get and at what cost. You can add more human elements to your renders, like a throw on the sofa, and make your image more “lived-in” to give an edge and make it look more realistic.
Read also – 3D Modeling vs 3D Rendering
Choosing the correct 3d rendering software at the right time can help you take the right step towards achieving success in your practice. Every rendering software created has its unique specialization that can cater to your particular requirement. Let’s take a closer look at the best 15 rendering software, and you can decide what suits you best.
Easily certifiable as the best 3d rendering software for large firms and single entrepreneurs. Their blazingly fast rendering engine can generate 4k photorealistic renders within a short time frame of 30 minutes. Foyr Neo is not just about 3d renders but encompasses a list of other benefits that will prove to be instrumental in running your firm effortlessly.
Designers can produce 2D floor plans and customize their 3D designs in real-time. The best feature is that you don’t need to invest much money in purchasing a high-end operating system with a graphic card. Neo works equally well in systems with RAM as low as 4GB.
There are also more advanced features within Neo, like one-click 3D walkthroughs where you can create a whole animation of your design with just a click. But you don’t need to take out work for it. You can avail of a free trial for 14 days and later start a paid subscription with a base price of only $49/month.
Guerilla rendering software is mainly used for making movies and short films. It is known for its advanced lighting system and global illumination that renders an object as realistic as possible. Guerilla even offers OpenEXR support, allowing you to select the layers and edit them on the final render.
If you want to start on 3d architectural visualization, then the free version of Guerilla can help you out. But once you want to advance your skills and make commercial quality renders, you will be required to purchase the licensed version, which is a whopping $2000. The pricing is not beginner-friendly and should only be considered an option for people who want to make a career in 3d animation and walkthroughs.
Read also – 12 Best 3D Visualization Software for Designers
FluidRay is known for its versatility when it comes to customization of its libraries and material textures. The developers use Open Shading Language (OSL), which helps users create new materials as they work and add to the library. It also uses a live algorithm to accentuate its lighting configurations for better rendering.
It is a good choice for architectural projects and can be complex to learn from a beginner’s point of view. There is a ten-day free trial available for you to test it out. If you can utilize it well, you can go for a paid subscription at $14.99/month.
Read also – 10 Best Free 3D Modeling Software
VRay is one of the most widely known rendering software around the world. Unlike other software, VRay combines the working of the CPU and the GPU to undertake biased ray tracing for fast calculations. Hence, you must have an excellent system with a highly rated graphic card to achieve the best results.
VRay also requires a couple of months of practice to understand its workflow and different settings that affect the renders. It works efficiently on Windows, Mac, and Linux as well. VRay is available to download as a free trial for 30 days, after which you need to subscribe to the license at a starting rate of $60/month.
Read also – 10 Best V-Ray Alternative Software for Rendering
Revit has a very varied and valuable set of features like the material editor and model library that continues to grow as we speak. Revit’s cloud rendering can help you render a realistic image briefly and is highly interactive. Moreover, you can easily manage your design in drawings, BOQ, and BIM models because of its connectivity to the Autodesk universe.
You can easily change something in 2d drawings, and the change will be reflected in all blueprints and the 3d model. However, there is a much-needed learning period to use Revit efficiently. If you are starting as a fresher, the price of the software can also be a dampener. A monthly subscription would cost you around $335/ month.
Read also – 5 Best Online Cloud Rendering Software Programs
Lumion is known for its easy-to-understand and beginner-friendly user interface. You can import a 3d model from any other software such as SketchUp or Rhino, assign PBR materials, light, and shadows to it in Lumion and make breathtaking visuals of your model.
It also has an exhaustive library and animated objects that are perfect for walkthroughs. Lumion hoverer requires at least 50 GB of your hard disk and won’t function well in a system below 8 GB RAM. Lumion is available for two weeks as a free trial, after which you need to purchase the licensed version.
The complete version costs $3000 for a lifetime license. Although the software is excellent for beginners, the cost needs an afterthought. You should go for it only if you are sure you will be using it thoroughly for many more years.
Read also – 10 Best Free Floor Plan Software and Tools
One of the most user-friendly and open-source software, Maxwell is also known for its ease of use and simplicity of its interface. It’s a well-known fact that most beginners and architectural students opt for Maxwell at the start and use it as a stepping stone to move on to using more complex software. One of the significant points that go against Maxwell is that it is very gradual at rendering. It is still a last-minute go-to renderer since it is freely available.
Read also – 10 Best Bathroom Design Apps and Software
Blender was never made for architectural or interior design but rather as a wholesome 3d modeling software. The learning curve is a bit steep in blender, and you must go through many tutorials to understand the software.
Blender is the best for sculpting inorganic forms since it focuses more on visual effects and video game design. You can create architectural scenes, but it could be time-consuming based on your experience. The most attractive feature is that it is free and open source.
Read also – 10 Best Blender Alternatives for 3D Rendering
Octane Render is a compelling rendering software classified as the world’s first GPU-based physically correct renderer. The software has some technologically advanced features like out of the core geometry support and RTX ray-tracing GPU rendering.
It is pretty complex to learn for beginners and is advised only for industry experts and professional 3d artists. There is a free version to download with limited support, but if you need the licensed version, the price starts at $21/month.
Read also – 15 Best Kitchen Design Software
Cinema 4D is compatible with a host of 3d software to allow seamless transition, but you may find it limiting your creativity. They have a significantly smaller library of textures, and models are also not readily available.
Since it doesn’t have a lot of reverse integration with reputed software, your workflow also could be affected. You can only use it for a small-time or draft project and not for something mainstream. There is a 14-day trial after which you can subscribe for a monthly rate of $60/month.
Read also – 12 Best 3D Architecture Software
Maya, produced under the Autodesk banner, is famous for its trickster machine for effortless 3d modeling. Similar to blender, you can mould your 3d model into whatever you like it to be. The interface is also very organized and compartmentalized, which leads to a better workflow dynamic. However, these advantages come with an astronomical price of $225/month.
Read also – 10 Best Autodesk Maya Alternatives
FreeCAD was started to deliver CAD software to everyone and is entirely open-source software. It is primarily made for the engineering and automotive fields and can also be utilized to make architectural models. Since the software is open-source, people have contributed to it by adding a lot of extensions and modeling tools.
It could take a little time to understand your way around FreeCAD. You also will be spending time researching and downloading the attachments you need to make it perfect for your requirements. However, remember that this is just a parametric 3d modeler, and you may need an extra extension to render your model.
Corona by chaos is very new to the field of 3d visualization. Despite being one of the most efficient rendering software, its rendering speed is not as fast as V-ray or octane render but better than software such as Houdini and Modo. Even still, it can produce realistic 3d images in a short time with the toolset and features it has.
Corona is best used for those who use 3ds max as a modeling software since the software completely integrates with 3dsmax without any compatibility issues. The software, as such, is relatively easy to understand and use. It is available as a 45-day free trial or at a subscription rate of $42/month.
Artlantis was made with customer satisfaction in mind above all else. Apart from features like dual lighting attributes, luminous materials, compositing, and integrated LUT’ ‘s, Artlantis has a unique feature called a render manager that helps you distribute the computing load equally among local computers.
This gives more incredible rendering speeds and is a massive advantage for Artlantis as software. The straightforward interface is a good starting point for beginners. However, advanced visualizers may find it minimal options compared to other design software. There is a 30-day free trial if you want to try it out. You can purchase a permanent license for $680.
Read also – 20 Best Home Renovation Apps & Software
Mental Ray was designed to be a standalone application or a plugin for other apps based on the requirement and can seamlessly integrate into other rendering software providing unique features like real-time rendering shaders and binary space partitioning for secondary rays.
Mental Ray has been used widely in cinema for its realistic rendering, VFX, and blazing rendering speeds. However, Nvidia has discontinued the use of mental ray and is no longer available.
The list above makes it abundantly clear that For Neo checks all the boxes regarding the parameters of good rendering software. It’s fast, easy to use, economical and produces fantastic results that will leave your clients wishing for more.
But there’s only one way to be sure to see if you love it as much as we do. Try Foyr Neo out free for 14 days and observe design practice level up! If you like it (which we know you will 😉) you can sign up for a subscription plan starting at $49/month.
Goddess Interiors LLC
Using Foyr Neo is as easy as 1, 2, 3. First, upload a floor plan or create one from scratch. Then drag and drop from over 60K 3D models to fill your rooms. Lastly, just set the shot and let the AI create stunning 4K renders for you in less than 10 minutes.Start your 14-day free trial