Best Free 3D Rendering Software

Home Design Software & Tools Best Free 3D Rendering Software
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Most designing softwares often have some hurdles that involve rendering, crafting and publishing designs.

The most common problems include an extremely slow rendering speed, heavy CPU usage and lack of well-defined textures in the final render. While the best softwares optimised for all sorts of operating systems and graphics cards can be far from the reaches of those on a decent budget, some choices still exist.

Let’s take a look at some of the best 3D rendering softwares available for free:-

3Delight

Starting off with industrial relevant software, 3Delight is a 3D renderer designed for maximum compatibility with computer graphic cards.

  • It uses the RenderMan shading language and also integrates into major 3D modelling solutions like Maya. Commonly used to produce hassle-free film effects.
  • 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

Arnold is a time edged CPU based raytracing renderer known for being one of the best creations of VFX studio Sony Pictures Imageworks.

  • Arnold allows for real-time 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.

Clarisse

While it’s the not the first choice when it comes to choosing 3D rendering software, Clarisse has been used as an additional package, especially in science fiction movies.

  • It’s 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 softwares 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 softwares. 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 rendering softwares used by production studios.

FurryBall

A GPU renderer much loved by designers for its live progressive preview. This means that you don’t need to wait painstakingly for hours just to see the final renders. Even changes made in mere seconds are relayed smoothly allowing much faster execution of projects.

  • 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.
  • 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

Guerilla Render is an unbiased 3D rendering platform used as the go-to software for feature films and movies. Guerilla Render too uses progressive rendering inside its viewport.

  • Thanks to its physically based rendering features, it can quickly produce photorealistic stills, renders and sequences.
  • The 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 resultant render.
  • It is available for free for all operating systems and has an intuitively built user interface.
  • The free version of Guerilla Render is a perfect stepping stone for young learners and professionals as well as independent artists.

LuxRender

LuxRender is an unbiased/biased 3D rendering software available under an OpenSource license. It features, and rendering capabilities have been known to rival those of commercial renderers 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 a software to produce complex phenomena like subsurface scattering and volumetrics.
  • It also has a biased mode to allow for a minimised 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 visualisations.
  • Supported file types include those used by 3ds Max, Blender, Carrara, Cinema 4D, DAZ Studio, Maya, Poser, SketchUp and XSI.

FluidRay

FluidRay is a physically-based renderer used for creating astounding architectural designs. Using unbiased real-time algorithms, it provides a range of lighting setups.

  • Users can choose whether they want to run software as a standalone or even as a plugin in any other 3D modelling 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 optimised well beyond standard configurations.
  • 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.