What is 3D Rendering Software?
3D Design and 3D modeling and CAD software like AUTOCAD and AUTODESK help interior designers create their space in 2D and 3D. These are saved in various file formats before they are processed to get the final architectural rendering that resembles the real world. 3D Rendering is the final step of the design process – whether you are an interior designer, architect or a general CAD user. 3D Renders are the bread and butter of any design professional and so it is of utmost importance that interior designers and architects choose the best 3D rendering software for their designs and projects.
If you’re an architect or interior designer, you’ve probably worked with 3D rendering services, and rendering tools 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 speeds with most rendering solutions
- Heavy CPU and GPU usage
- Poorly-defined textures
- Expensive licenses
- Complex user interface of BIM
- 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 made on design software before any real-life work has been done.
To correctly depict a photorealistic 3D render, you need to use special rendering engine based 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 8 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.
List of Best 3D Rendering Software:
- Foyr Neo
- Guerilla Render
- Fluid Ray
- Autodesk Revit
- Octane Render
- Cinema 4d
- Corona Renderer
- Mental Ray
Foyr Neo is a lightning fast 3D Rendering Software. It is an all in one online Interior Design Software which boasts of a cloud based rendering engine with the capability of generating 4K photorealistic renders within 30 minutes. A simple to use interface coupled with powerful features make Foyr Neo one of the best 3D Rendering Software for Interior Designers.
- Foyr Neo has a proprietary cloud rendering engine. Apart from generating blazing fast renders, this also means reduced expenditure on high end workstations. You can work on professional Interior Design Projects with 4GB RAM setups as well.
- Neo is an all in one interior design software. Users can create 2D floor plans, edit their designs in 2D and 3D, customize spaces using a simple drag and drop interface and create professional grade renders in no time.
- A simple interface coupled with powerful features make Foyr Neo the #1 3D rendering software for Interior Designers.
- Advanced features like Render Previews and 1 click 3D walkthrough enables powerful and efficient workflows for designers, enabling them to do more.
- A Free Trial is available for Foyr Neo. Paid subscriptions start at $49/mo
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.
- 3Delight has a free version for trial and a subscription costs $720
- 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.
- A 30 day trial version is available to download. A subscription to Arnold costs $360 annually.
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.
- A free version for personal use or learning is available. A subscription to Clarisse costs $999.
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.
- A free version is available to download. A licensed version of FurryBall costs$110.
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.
- A licensed verision of Guerilla Render costs $2000
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
It is a completely free to use software and is open-source
- 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.
- There is a free version downloadable from the website. A licensed version of FluidRay costs $14.99 monthly.
V-Ray is a reputed and popular 3D rendering software, a go to favorite of thousands of designers all across the globe. It enjoys the status as one of the best 3D Rendering Software available due to its high quality renders and fast speeds owing to a powerful engine.
Technically speaking, V-Ray is categorized as a biased raytracer that works by combining the CPU and GPU to deploy a brute force method and fast complex calculations for tracing paths.
VRay is popular to the extent that integration options exist in almost all 3D modeling software.
Vray combines accessibility and complex controls which attracts professional designers with years of experience with such software. If you are looking for a 3D rendering software that you can quickly learn, VRAy is not the answer it has an extremely steep learning curve associated with it
10. Autodesk Revit
Autodesk Revit certainly doesn’t need an introduction in the architectural rendering community. It is one of the most recognized pieces of rendering software that can help you create realistic visualizations quicker than you know it.
Revit has a very impressive set of features and tools, as well as a large array of models and textures to work with, not to mention pretty great rendering capabilities.
This is not as good as the previous software solutions, but it’s definitely worth the time and money if you are looking for something for your daily job that is incredibly easy to use. If you are a professional and know exactly what you’re doing when it comes to architectural rendering, you can quickly get the job done with Autodesk Revit
Lumion is 3D rendering software made specifically for architects. If you have a 3D model of your architectural design, Lumion can help you bring it to life.
Lumion conveys the beauty of your design by unveiling it in its full, detail-rich context, complete with shadows, lighting, rich and animated entourage, and all the other benefits of a Lumion environment.
Whether your project involves residential buildings, interiors, landscapes, or urban spaces, you can render a beautiful result faster than ever before. And the best part — you can learn how to create beautiful renders with Lumion in less than 15 minutes.
Maxwell is another famous tool that can be used fluently by both beginners and professionals alike. It’s far a user-friendly, open-supply device that is free for use and distribution.
- Maxwell offers simplicity in user interface and abundance in capabilities, and these are things each designer requires even when creating attractive photorealistic animations and images.
- It’s far comparatively quick to learn. That is why most of the people of architectural and interior designing students favor to begin their rendering reports with maxwell and later transition to greater complex software.
- A few designers do experience one drawback with this software: it is probably a little gradual at rendering. But, this doesn’t reason designers to lose their interest considering that maxwell is known for its lovely photorealistic renderings.
This software is perfect for architectural projects and is inexpensive than normal 3d modeling programs with great attention to detail. It does not cater much to traditional architectural or structural design. Also, adapting to the software may additionally take a little more time than other software programs.
Many review web sites and specialists revere blender as the exceptional 3d modeling software out there, but they may be now not viewing it from an architectural attitude. For one, the blender isn’t always your traditional modeling software program for production initiatives. Why? As it focuses extra on object mobility, that’s more appropriate for lively movies and video games. This is absolutely excellent news for folks that love out of the box standards, as blender’s gear can materialize them perfectly. Now not most effective it has quick modeling and animation equipment, but it additionally comes with a dynamic shader system for sculpting too.
14. Octane Render
Octane Render is a powerful rendering engine accompanied with a ton of capabilities to work with. It’s the sector’s first and quickest impartial, spectrally accurate GPU render engine that grants great and unrivaled speed.
This software program has groundbreaking gadget mastering strategies, out of core geometry support, and large 10-100x pace gains in the scene graph. Its effective set of tools and a large pool of materials and textures makes octane render one of the first-class rendering software programs available on the market.
15. Cinema 4D
Its hassle-free and accessible to use, with frequent update and upgrades. Also, compatible with many render engines and other integration. It doesn’t have a huge selection of textures. Cinema 4d is a user-friendly 3d modeling software and it has a non-unfavorable workflow that enables customers the ability to maintain items parametrically.
You can further enlarge your limits with render engines which include octane render or indigo to create greater practical renders. Further, you may integrate your work with Adobe After Effects to put in force 3d designs into media forms.
Having said that, there are minor drawbacks with cinema 4d. It has a much less magnificent series of pre-made notable textures compared to other software. You can additionally notice that a number of their tools like graph and modeling kits aren’t as most fulfilling as others.
Maya has blender’s creativity and 3ds max’s versatility of gear and includes a trickster machine for seamless 3d modeling. It’s pretty expensive with a high-quality software program if you really want to turn your thoughts into reality. Just like a blender, you could without problems create exact detailed house models, animated actions, and integrate almost realistic objects.
The interface is easy; your toolsets are consolidated into a completely organized tabbed shape. This allows huge customization and optimization alternatives to your workspaces. The tool itself is adaptive, perfect for 3d modeling. It could additionally render top-notch 3d virtual units with a trickster gadget. Basically, you can manipulate everything with easy controls. Unluckily, those exquisite functions include a hefty fee tag.
Keyshot is a ray-tracing and international illumination software used to create 3D renderings, animations, and interactive visuals. With the CPU based structure, photorealistic real-time rendering may be executed even on easy laptops without the want for graphics cards. It supports import for the greatest range of 3d record formats out of any rendering software program, uploading over 20 different record kinds, has a really simple user interface with drag-n-drop material and surroundings presets, interactive labeling, texture mapping, physical lighting, animation, and much more.
This software is 100% open source and is aimed for mechanical engineering and product design uses, however additionally may be used for architecture or other engineering industry that is predicated lots on the parametric 3D modeler.
Although it is open supply and free, freecad is on par with different famous cad packages due to its capability in creating real 3d solids, aid for meshes, 2d drafting, right-hand coordinate system plus many more functions.
The program itself is extremely modular, wherein you may choose very superior extension and customization.
This app supports Windows, macOS, Ubuntu, and fedora.
19. Corona renderer
Corona renderer isn’t as popular as the alternative names on this listing, due to the fact it is a quite new software addition to the architectural rendering enterprise. Despite the fact that it has already proved to be more than really worth being located amongst the powerful software program.
Despite the fact that corona lacks some capabilities, such as velocity render, it is one of the quickest rendering software solutions presently available. It’s not as fast as octane render or v-ray, however, it does produce fantastic renderings in quite less time than other similar tools.
Corona renderer creates very easy animations and excellent mild consequences and software updates and patches are supplied via the improvement crew on a normal foundation, so you could in no way should worry approximately any potential vulnerabilities or hiccups.
The software program additionally enables complete integration with 3ds max, so you can very easily rent complicated 3d models without ever thinking about compatibility troubles.
Artlantis is an exquisite architectural rendering software solution for professionals who want to surely take care of their customers. Its large set of beneficial functions and a consumer-friendly interface will let you make appropriate 3d renderings a good way to truly be more than fine.
Its lighting functions (both indoor and outside) and numerous luminous materials provide a huge wide variety of opportunities for lighting scenes, particularly due to the fact all of the substances are primarily based to help you get terrific photorealistic outcomes.
The software additionally has a built-in render manager that permits you to seamlessly cope with the computing load and distribute it lightly amongst all of your local computers, which is precisely what makes the production of renderings extremely fast.
21. Mental Ray
Unlike starting separate render jobs in a render farm, the satellite tv for pc rendering mode allows to attach faraway machines inside the inner network in your major intellectual ray rendering engine, in order that they take over the heavy part of rendering the photograph or animation without stressing your important device, that is already busy strolling your DCC tool. You may retain working with Maya or 3ds max inside the regular way, due to the fact that intellectual ray is coping with the records distribution and network communique below-the-hood. Evidently, the network pace and machine configurations have a super impact on the general experience and fluent workflow.
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.