15 Best 3D Rendering Software Tools for 2021

Best Alternatives 3D Rendering Software
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Are you looking for rendering alternative software for your interior design projects? Do you find Sketchup, Revit, and other Rendering Software too complicated? This article will help to find the best alternative 3D Rendering software.

3D Rendering is the process of creating 2D and 3D images of a design that illustrates how a proposed space or building will look, even before the real project begins. The real-time rendering, which was once considered too good to be true, has now become an essential requisite for the industry’s growth. The rise in demand for high-level architectural visualization has changed the face of architectural software and has propelled the 3D rendering software market.

Given the dizzying choices of rendering software available in the market, it is crucial to choose the right one to optimize visualization. The key to selecting a good rendering software is mapping your needs to features provided in the software, like an easy-to-use interface, powerful rendering tools, simplicity to learn, troubleshooting options, and range of textures and models, etc.

A good rendering software will support a plethora of design, geometry, materials, shades, and lightings, and accurately reflect the design concepts and dimensions to the client. Making your design appealing is essential. It will provide the client with a fair idea of what the final outcome will look like. License cost is also an important aspect to be considered.

What is 3D Rendering Software?

3D rendering software is a computer program that converts 3D models or a collection of 3D models that are only viewable in special software into images popularly referred to as 3D renders, 3Ds, or just renders video files and walkthroughs. Whether you are an interior designer, architect, or 3D artist, generating 3D renders for client presentations is the final step of the design process.

3D Design and 3D modeling go hand in hand. 3D modeling is the process of creating 3D models of objects (inanimate or living) using specialized software. A Three-dimensional (3D) model is a geometrical representation of an object or surface in 3D space. It is a collection of points connected by triangles, lines, curved surfaces, etc. Once the modeling is complete, models are typically enhanced by texture mapping and lighting. Such 3D models are then “rendered” using 3D rendering software into image files. Many interior designers and 3D artists go through multiple iterations before they can create a photorealistic rendering of the space they are designing.

3D rendering which was previously restricted to high-value projects is fast becoming mainstream with the advent of modern rendering software and increased demand from millennial buyers. It’s the only way a client can see how the design of their future home or office will look like. A 3D render helps convey the vision of a designer by unveiling their design in its full, detail-rich context, complete with shadows, lighting, and environment.

Top 15 Rendering Software in the Market:

  1. Foyr Neo
  2. Autodesk Maya
  3. Octane Render
  4. Autodesk Revit
  5. Lumion 3D
  6. Maxwell Render
  7. Viz Render
  8. VRAY
  9. Mental Ray
  10. Cinema 4D
  11. Sketchup
  12. Keyshot Render
  13. Zbrush
  14. Atlantis
  15. Blender

1. Foyr Neo - The Best Alternative Rendering Software

Foyr Neo is a newly launched software that has all the requirements for an ultimate rendering software that creates 4K photorealistic renders in less than 30 minutes. Along with having most of the features from the rest of the software in the list, Foyr Neo is also cheaper than most of the advanced paid software. With a plethora of textures, materials, and designs to choose from, this software was designed for the use of both, professionals and beginners. It’s more commonly used among Windows and Mac users for rapidly sketching natural designs directly to 3D. Foyr Neo also boasts of creating 3D Walkthroughs in a few clicks. 

See also – How to Create 3D Walkthroughs

Interior designers all over the world love Foyr Neo because there is no need for years of software or CAD training to start designing. A simple and intuitive platform with powerful AI-assisted features lets designers do what they love – design, instead of spending time with clunky, complicated software. Start your 14-Day Free Trial Today and experience the best way to create and render your designs!

2. Autodesk Maya - Free for a Month

Maya is a well-known 3D animation, modeling, enhanced visualizations, and rendering program utilized by the 3D specialists and modelers. It is compatible by Mac, Windows, and Linux. Despite the fact that Maya is a piece of Autodesk and accompanies an expense. It is mainly used for 3D sculpting, keyframe animation, and texturing, Maya is software with tools and features and a little complex to use. In any case, when learned it is the best option to Blender.

See also – Maya 3D Software Alternatives

3. Octane Render - Free

As the name suggests, it is a power-packed rendering software with a powerful rendering engine and a large number of designing features. If you are a pro at basic landscape designing, then it is time to move on to Octane Render. The best feature of this rendering software is its rendering engine which is not only powerful but also is a lot faster than other free rendering software available on the internet.

If you are a design professional and looking for designing software that can give a boost to your career prospects, then Octane render is a good option. As a designer, you will lay your hands on a large pool of materials and textures through this software. Octane Render is the rendering engine, much powerful and faster than the traditional free software available earlier.

4. Autodesk Revit - 30 Days Free Trial

Another famous name in the rendering community is Autodesk Revit. This rendering software has a powerful rendering engine along with a wide range of powerful tools, textures, and models to experiment with. Excellent customer support and community support are cherries on the top. BIM functionalities make Autodesk an extraordinary rendering software.

If you are looking for interior design software for professional use, then Autodesk Revit is a perfect choice. Autodesk offers a free educational license to students for learning to design through one of the most potent rendering software available in the market.



Autodesk Revit - rendering software
Image Credit: unplash.com

5. Lumion 3D - Free for 14 Days

Another popular rendering software on the list is Lumion 3D. Its easy user interface and set of powerful tools let you create distinctive designs with minimal effort. Apart from that, it is compatible with almost every rendering software available in the market. This feature is especially useful when you have to deal with students or other fellow architects who prefer other software for rendering. Lumion is a 3D rendering software that integrates with CAD software.

6. Maxwell Render - 30 Days Free Trial

Another popular software used by most architects is Maxwell Render. It has a powerful combination of an aesthetic user interface and a powerful rendering toolbox capable of designing anything and everything you want. It is not only easy to use, but it is also free to use and distribute. This is particularly useful for beginners because of its simplicity and it is user-friendly.

Network Rendering Post Production, volumetrics Particle Rendering, Compatibility with many hair systems, Multi-light FIRE, and Materials Realistic Camera Model are some of its key features. This software, unlike Lumion, can be used in almost all industry-standard CAD and 3D programs like 3ds Max and Maya as well as underused programs like Form-Z, Modo, and ArchiCAD. Maxwell is at an experimental stage and can only be used with a CUDA-capable Nvidia graphics card.

See also – Best Kitchen Design Software

7. Viz Render - Free

Viz Render is a product of Autodesk. It not only offers powerful visualization and a set of diversified and powerful tools but it also makes learning other Autodesk products easier. This rendering software can be your entry point in the Autodesk ecosystem. This software is free of cost and renders animations in HD, 4K, and beyond.

8. VRAY - Free

VRAY has been one of the most sought-after rendering software in the market by the Bulgarian company Chaos group. It was introduced by 3ds Max, a powerful 3D modeling and animation software. It has a very powerful rendering engine along with a long list of tools and features for easy visualization, ranging from a small room to a skyscraper.

New learners can find it a little bit intimidating, but it is worth the time, money, and effort spent on it. The advanced features have a steep learning curve. VRAY is competitively priced; Twin-engine performance, Global illumination, Real-world cameras, Denoiser, One-click VR, Frame buffer, and Network rendering are some of its salient features.

See also – Best 3D Visualization Software

9. Mental Ray - Free

Mental Ray is often viewed to be closely similar to VRAY, yet Mental Ray has managed to carve a niche in the world of rendering software. Makers of the software have attempted to make a powerful rendering engine with versatile tools and features. It has an easy user interface, making it more accessible to new users. Mental Ray is built on NVidia’s CUDA technology and can use both GPU and CPU for rendering.

10. Cinema 4D - Paid

Whether you want to build, animate, render, model or texture, you can do it all with Cinema 4D. If you have invested enough time in learning tips and tricks for using Cinema 4D, then you will find no other rendering software better than it. The software gives the space to render unique and distinctive outputs.

Cinema 4D paid rendering software
Image Credit: Pinterest.com

11. Sketchup - Free

Formerly called Google Sketchup, this is a PC-based 3D modeling platform that is used for creating all sorts of designs used in architecture, interior design, film, video games, and even engineering systems. It is principally utilized for CAD drawings and syntheses. It is accessible both in a free version and a paid. The advantage of this program is that it has different pre-installed 3D models that the clients can utilize and upload.

12. Keyshot Render - Paid

Keyshot not only gives a smooth, straightforward user interface, but its toolset also presents an amazing learning curve that makes getting the intricate details a breeze. The program offers ease of use and is generally popular for delivering a real-time rendering engine, which permits clients to consider lighting and materiality as you work on the detailed rendering works.

13. ZBrush - Paid

ZBrush is a digital sculpting platform that expertly combines  3D/2.5D modeling, painting, and texturing all under the same banner. It has a revolutionary ‘Pixol’ technology that easily stores lighting, depth, color, and all information on the screen to counter pesky saving issues.

It is employed for in almost all spheres of the industry including video games, movies, and animations, including companies like ILM, EA Sports, Marvel Studios and NVidia.

See also – Best 3D Floor Plan Software

14. Artlantis - Free

Artlantis has amazing lighting features for creating numerous lighting possibilities for both, indoor, and outdoor scenes. Built-in render manager helps you in dealing with computing load and evenly distributing on local PC’s, which makes rendering extremely fast. You can create both high resolutions still images and high-resolution animation and 360-degree panorama on two versions of this rendering software. The materials inside Artlantis are programmed in order to achieve photorealistic results.

15. Blender - Free

Blender definitely tops the list of the most popular rendering software and is completely open-source. It is a complete 3D modeling software and comes with every tool needed to design a house, skyscraper, bridge, amusement parks, or any other place. It is free of cost and has an active internet help community.

Grease Pencil, Camera, and object tracking, node-based compositor and textures, non-linear editing, Python scripting, Simulation tools for soft body dynamics, path-tracer render engine, Integration through a variety of plugins, and support for various geometric primitives are some of its salient features. The internal rendered supports rendering still frames, animations, compositing, and sequencer. Blender is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

See also – Alternative Software for Blender

How to Choose the Best 3D Rendering Software?

Here are 9 things to consider while choosing the best 3d rendering software:

  1. Why do you need 3D rendering software – This primary question determines everything. If you are planning to do heavy-duty animations, film production, etc then your software and process will be very different from the one used to generate a 3D render of a kitchen.
  2. Hardware costs – Most 3D rendering softwares are installed and uses the computing power of your system. More the RAM and GPU, the better and faster the rendering. Such costs keep on increasing with increased usage. Most rendering softwares have a system requirement. Do read it before buying.
  3. License or subscription costs – Rendering softwares come in 2 flavors. There are ones which let you buy monthly subscriptions and can be cancelled anytime and the others which require you to buy a perpetual license. Most softwares are moving to a subscription model and that might be the best way forward.
  4. Ease of Use – The more complex the software the longer it is going to take to master it. The overheard of remembering all those menu options and shortcuts can become overwhelming. Pick software that fits your needs and is easy to use and learn.
  5. Compatibility with other 3D modeling software or your existing software – It’s an important thing to tick off your list. If you are open to changing the way you work and letting go of your modeling software then online tools might offer a great solution.
  6. Whether the installation is needed or not – Software that is installed uses your system’s computing power. In 2021, it might be worthwhile to look at online softwares that give you the power of cloud computing.
  7. Render Time – This is inversely related to your computing power. Higher the configuration of your system the lesser the render time. On a standard 8 GB RAM machine, a 4K render can take up to 45 mins. Software offering cloud rendering will save you the hassle and bring down render times without needing higher config machines.
  8. ROI of using a 3D rendering software – You know your business best. If the costs, including the value of your time, justifies the benefits aka additional revenue then it’s worth going for it.
  9. Features – rendering algorithms, user interface, lighting presets and preferences, file formats, composting, real-time rendering. Depending on the type of renders you want to create, some features may be more important than others. Go through product descriptions, trial the product, or take a demo of the product you are interested in before buying.

Once you have generalized your needs and your budget, only then make a decision of making an investment in rendering software.

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.

We are the lightning-fast AI-powered 3D rendering software that 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 without hogging your computers – with lighting, shadows, and Neo’s AI automated functions. A new feature is you can keep designing while the renders are running in the background. Isn’t that cool?

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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