Hullo everyone.

I know there have been many polls regarding what graphics software everyone uses.

In this thread I want to ask specifically what 3D graphics software you are using and why?

I shall start by saying I use the free open source software named blender. I use it cos it's free but wicked powerful. I've only starting learning it however, I would regard my level of expertise to be quite high already. :cheesy:

Here's a screeny.

[Reduced quality from .bmp to .png]

Your turn...

Edited by Dani: Formatting fixed

11 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by lunarstudio

Doh! Am I the only 3d graphic artist out there. Yikes!

Edited by Dani: Fake sig snipped


A friend of mine that teaches at a multimedia school loves Lightwave (he teaches Lightwave) but agrees it is not the most powerful tool. Last time we spoke he was working on 3D Max and had some Cinema 4D books on his desk.


Awesome work at the other side of that link, thanks for posting that.

However, I would be pressed to believe that any of those pieces were done in Blender.


I use 3dsmax and Vray as a GI renderer. Sometimes I dabble with other programs. LunarStudio 3d Architectural Renderings is my website/company and currently contains all of my work except for a couples images.

As a general rule, the following software accomplishes the following:

1) Google Sketchup. Basic and free. Many architecture firms use this to quickly render a simple yet artistic scene. A friend is porting over Vray (the #1 used renderer) standalone for advanced GI rendering.

2) SoftImage XSI. Modeling tool and good for animation setup. Most people end-up porting their rigging/animations over to other packages after set-up.

3) Autodesk Maya. Movie quality animations and modeling tool. Most inclusive package (and perhaps the most expensive.) Widely used in the film industry.

4) 3D Studio Max. Most widely used professional 3D software. Used in games, animations, and movies. Has the most plugins which allows it to be highly adaptable.

5) Lightwave 3D. Mac-based 3d tool. Ported over to PCs but no has a very small user base. Probably has the best built-in rendering software.


wow, nice work there. Your renders look realistic. Shame most of them are in grey/sepia tones.

Which software did you use to model then render those? How long were the render times? Did you use HDRI mapping?


Thanks. Did you click on those buttons? They take you to full-color pages. Things could always be better - not enough time in a day. Constantly learning new and improved methods with rapidly changing technologies. It's a balance beam.

Max and Vray render primarily. I use a variety of techniques to obtain what I am trying to accomplish - basically whatever I need to do in order to get a job done. HDR is sometimes used - but that usually needs to be supplemented with other lighting methods (such as directional lighting.) There's new sun/sky systems similar to Maxwell (based on the Stanford papers) which accomplish different but very good results now that can equal or better HDRI in some ways.

I've also used HDR for a long, long while when Google only turned-up like 15 results for that term lol (I have to brag a little bit.) I also have a website selling High Dynamic Range images which I have created at www.hdrsource.com.


I'm a poor kid, so I'm stuck with open source stuff, like blender. It still rocks though!

I use yafray to render the realistic pictures, but as you know, it takes ages especially if your using global illumination with caustics.

I also have dabbled with indigo and java's sunflow system.

I'm more versed in autocad though. Although, that's based more on a model's accuracy (size n dimensions) rather than how pretty it renders.

I won't tell you how I got autocad though. :p

Look's like you know your stuff. How long did it take you to get that good?


Mmm. Well, if you notice my animations/images avoid caustics cause they eat-away rendering time. Most people don't use them unless it was a closeup of a glass - even then alot of time it is 'faked.' If not necessary - turn them off.

As for time - I've been doing graphics for 8 years interspersed with normal non-related work - it's really a hard measure. I'm obesessive in learning so I can spend 16 hours a day 7 days a week studying and working at images. For some people it comes quicker - for some it doesn't. It also helps if you know someone that can show you the basic prniciples.

As for costs - they can be very expensive. Most sites offer a free demo version to play with.

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