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Best 3D Modeling Software in 2021

Make the right choice when choosing your 3D Modeling Software in 2021. We've got the answers here!


To make the right choice, it is important to have an understanding of what is currently available in the niche software market and understand all the nuances of these proposals in order to make the right choice. In this article, we will analyse the software for 3D modeling, which will best suit your requirements and tasks. Let's get started!

01. ZBrush

ZBrush is a graphics application found in the film, video games, illustration and graphic design industries. ZBrush provides the ability to intuitively and visually control digital imaging of incredible complexity.


Perpetual License - $ 895

Subscription - $ 39.95 per month

OS: Windows, macOS.

ZBrush is a great solution. Having on board a non-standard interface and menu, from habit it can cause some difficulties in assimilation. At the same time, it guarantees an incredibly high quality of the result for those who still want to understand it. ZBrush stands out for its excellent set of tools that empower you to unleash your creativity. Thanks to this software, you can create shapes, various objects and more. Please be patient and go ahead and master ZBrush as we move on.

02. Cinema 4D

Absolutely great 3D modeling software with a fairly short learning curve.


Perpetual License - $ 3495

Without Redshift - $ 59.92 / month for 1 year subscription

With Redshift - $ 81.92 / month for 1 year subscription

OS: Windows, macOS

Maxon Cinema 4D is highly regarded in the world and loved by many artists for its very stable performance and ease of learning. When you purchase a Cinema 4D perpetual license or pay for Maxon's maintenance for a year, you get free access to the Cineversity site, where you can learn all the delights of this software. Cinema 4D offers an impressive array of all sorts of tools that you can expand if you want thanks to a number of plugins. You can download a trial version with a free period of 14 days. Maxon makes it possible to use Cinema 4D absolutely free of charge for students and teachers by downloading the educational version.

03. Maya

Software for computer 3D animation, modeling, simulation and visualization.

Cost: $ 1,620 per year.

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Many artists from the world of 3D consider Maya to be one of the best solutions, which is rightfully considered the industry standard for computer graphics. This software is armed with an extensive range of functions paired with an excellent set of tools. It may take a little longer to get comfortable in this area than other solutions in this area, but if you have enough patience, the result will pay off handsomely. Maya helps you solve the problem of modeling, texturing, lighting, character animation, rendering and more.

04. 3ds Max

Software for 3D modeling, design visualization, games, animation and rendering.

Cost: $ 1620 per year.

OS: Windows only

Autodesk's 3ds Max software gives you the edge in 3D animation, rendering, modeling, and related tasks. The software allows both modeling procedures and direct manipulations. All sorts of modifiers are also available to simplify processes and save time. In addition to the paid version, it is possible to use a 30-day trial period, during which the software will be absolutely free. There is also a free version for students.

05. Houdini

3D modeling, animation, visual effects, rendering software that has found widespread use in television, advertising and the video game industry.


Houdini FX - $ 4495 per year,

Core - $ 1995 per year

Indie - $ 269 per year

Educational Edition - Free

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

SideFX brings to your attention 3D modeling software Houdini, widely used in the modern visual effects industry. Houdini's existing workflow will take some getting used to and may not be to everyone's taste, but the superior level of results achieved with this software is well worth the time and effort. As well as Autodesk, SideFX makes Houdini FX available for free thanks to the Houdini Apprentice for students and artists using the software for personal non-commercial projects.

06. Modo

3D modeling, texturing and rendering software.


Perpetual License - $ 1888, Subscription $ 62 / month

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Modo software is very user-friendly, the tools are extremely convenient, and the result of each manipulation is predictable, which, in fact, makes this brainchild of the Foundry company so popular. Today Modo is one of the best solutions on the 3D market, providing you with a wide range of tools to solve your problems, as well as procedural modeling methods. Modo is the choice of many 3D artists, providing excellent rendering and a thoughtful interface.

07. Lightwave 3D

Finally, the time-tested 3D modeling software Lightwave 3D.


Perpetual License - $ 995

OS: Windows, macOS.

An updated version of LightWave, once popular software for sci-fi shows, simultaneously runs as two separate applications: Modeler - for modeling itself - and Layout for texturing, animation, lighting and rendering. The set of tools has been significantly improved, updated, in addition, LightWave has acquired a number of new functions. This great software has a 30 day free trial. Unlike the aforementioned solutions from other companies, LightWave does not give students the opportunity to get software for free and will cost $ 195 for the latter.

Finally, I would like to note that only you can decide which software to work in, because each of them has sometimes unique features and it all depends on your tasks and your personal preferences. Write in the comments what software you use and why you made this particular choice.

World of DesignSoftware


Daria is a fulltime artist with 5+ years of experience, based in Russia. In her free time she likes to paint.