3D Modeling is a creative process where you can build a model (character, creature, vehicle, etc.) in three dimensions (x, y, z) as opposed to simply drawing or painting a picture in two dimensions. There are tons of different software options available to do this and they vary in terms of complexity, price, and system requirements.
There are many 3D software platforms on the market, available both for purchase and for free.
If you're new to 3D, try these free, easy-to-learn tools:
- 3D Slash: Use cubes to build printable models
- Sculptfab: A free, web-based sculpting tool based on Stéphane Ginier's SculptGL.
- Pixologic Sculptris: Digital sculpting for beginners, from the makers of ZBrush
- Smoothie-3D: Create 3D models from an image
For more advanced 3D features, check out some software popular popular among our users:
- 3ds Max: Modeling and rendering (Windows only)
- Blender: Modeling, rendering, animation ( Free, open-source )
- Maya: Modeling and animation
- Modo: Modeling, sculpting, 3D painting, animation and rendering
- Rhino: Mathematically precise, freeform surface modeling
- SketchUp: Modeling with a focus on ease of use ( Free )
- Unity: Cross-platform game engine ( Free )
- Pixologic ZBrush: Sculpting, texturing and painting