3D rendering, or visualisation, refers to the process of rendering designs and creating graphics using 3D software. Over the last couple of years, it has become extremely popular and has become one of the primary methods of producing digital content of high quality. 3D visualisation is mostly used in industries ranging from film, architecture and games to engineering and manufacturing while leveraging technology.
According to Global Market Insights, the 3D rendering market was valued at $2 billion in 2019 and is predicted to reach a valuation of $9 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 22 per cent. This sharp rise in the market value can be attributed to its rising adoption in the real estate market.
We have curated a list of the top 3D visualisation or rendering tools and softwares available in 2021.
Autodesk Maya, or just Maya, is a 3D computer application originally developed by Alias and presently owned by Autodesk. It is used to create assets for interactive 3D applications like video games, animated films, visual effects and TV series. Additionally, Maya allows rendering of Arnold, allowing a developer to switch seamlessly between CPU and GPU rendering, managing complex characters, scenery and lighting challenges. Some of its interesting dynamics and effects include ready-to-use graphs, bifrost ocean simulation system, bifrost fluids, bifrost visual programming environment and physics and effects.
Maya runs on macOS, Windows and Linux.
Earlier known as Project Felix, Adobe Dimension is a 3D rendering and design software. With Adobe Dimension, it is possible to create high quality, photorealistic 3D images. It is mostly used for building illustrations, brand visualisations and product mockups. Unlike other modelling softwares, models cannot be created using Adobe Dimension. Instead, models, photos, and textures must be created in third-party software before they can be imported into Adobe Dimension.
Adobe Dimension runs on macOS and Windows.
Software company Artomatix uses AI and neural networks to transform 3D artistic workflows and create realistic 3D art. Artomatix’s ArtEngine offers:
- Material processing for scan-based workflow
- Material generation to convert photographs into PBR material
- Material remaster to breathe life into old materials
- Material transfer to alter and conform materials brought in together, without visually jarring the components
- Material segmentation, to automate masking using neural networks; this feature is yet to be launched.
Open-source 3D creation suite Blender offers 3D modelling, rigging, pipeline, animation, simulation, rendering, motion tracking, video editing, compositing and game creation. Parent company and non-profit organisation, The Blender Foundation was founded in 2002.
Blender offers real-time viewpoint preview, PBR shaders and HDR lighting support, VR rendering support and CPU and GPU rendering. It can be used to create visual effects, animated films, 3D printed models, virtual reality, and computer games.
Autodesk 3ds Max
Autodesk 3ds Max is developed by Autodesk Media and Entertainment and is used for making 3D animations, models, games and images. The 3D computer graphics programme offers a flexible toolset to create premium designs, allowing complete artistic control. Autodesk 3ds Max helps create gaming worlds, visualise architectural renderings, model detailed interiors and objects, and bring features and characters to life using animation and VFX.
Architectural software Lumion allows the rendering of images, videos and 360-panoramas.
Lumion’s content library offers 6,300 models and 1,250 materials. Additionally, it allows the development of design in real-time through its Lumion LiveSync. It features more than 60 effects to allow the easy capturing of sensations, emotions and aesthetics.
Lumion is built with features including animated phasing, orthographic views, volumetric fire, rain streaks, open-street maps, and eight different styles for balancing light, depth and realism.
Developed by Enscape GmbH in 2013, Enscape is a Germany-based commercial real-time virtualisation and virtual reality plugin, bringing in visual exploration directly into the modelling tools to allow focusing on the creation, designing and building.
Enscape is mostly used in engineering, architecture, and construction fields. It works with Vectorworks, Rhinoceros, SketchUp, Archicad and Autodesk Revit, and its usage requires no prior specialised knowledge to use.