3D animation software can typically be advanced and expensive if you have a need for it. There is also a usually long learning curve associated with deciphering how to use the software correctly. The good news is that there are some advanced open source options available that allow you to practice on a platform without any cost. Listed below are some of the best free 3D animation software packages available on the internet today.
- Blender – This free platform is available for all major operating systems and can perform the most serious of 3D animation. It is now considered the largest open source program for 3D creation and its capabilities are limitless. Everything from rendering, animation, modeling and texturing can be done with Blender.
- Sculptris – A great software that can be used for 3D sculpting. A user can hone their sculpting skills on this before graduating to a more advanced program like Blender that does full-blown animation.
- Daz Studio – Normally retails for $249.00 but is now available for free download. The software gives to ability to do 3D animation and sculpting, while allowing users to explore their imagination in reference to virtual people, vehicles, animals and environments. It is not known how long this software will be available for free so take advantage while you can!
- Vue 11 – is landscape design software that allows you to create 3D renderings. The software is free but any saved renderings will be watermarked. The purpose of this free trial is to get a user interested enough to upgrade to one of their paid versions.
- Houdini Apprentice – Houdini is typically a paid 3D software animation and effects tool, however the makers of the program decided to offer an open source version as well. The open source version is exclusively for non-commercial use and learning purposes. If you intend to use the software for commercial purposes you will need to invest in the paid version.
3D animation software can be extremely expensive, with costs ranging from monthly membership fees to outright purchase prices equaling thousands of dollars. One reason why open source 3D animation software is so important is that paid versions tend to be quite expensive. Usually these kinds of software are extremely advanced and took years to develop, which increases their cost. Before making an investment of that magnitude, download some open source options and see if they meet your needs.
With advanced open source 3D animation software like Blender available, you may find that you never need to buy animation software in the first place. Thus you can focus your energy and effort into creating amazing artwork and animation rather than on the cost of the software.
The great thing about open source tools is that they allow anyone to try multiple products for free, and at the same time. You can put these programs through rigorous testing to see if they will provide the capabilities you will need out of your 3D animation software. If not, you can download a different open source option, or chose to upgrade to a paid version. However, you do not have the financial commitment up front, which should help address any concerns as to whether the software is right for you.