Looking to get started in 3D, but don't want to pay an exorbitant amount of cash for software?
While the top commercial applications will set you back hundreds or thousands of dollars, there are actually a ton of options out there that make it easy to jump into 3d modeling, animation, and game development without any monetary overhead.
We've compiled a list of our top recommendations for free 3D software, and while the list is far from exhaustive, these are the best of what's available:
CGTrader has just launched a new competition to see which of their users can produce the best 3D print-ready models between now and June 30th.
Two Ultimaker 3d printer kits are up for grabs, one for the best single model, and one for the best print-ready collection uploaded during the contest duration. Additionally, winners and runner-ups can snag gift certificates to Sculpteo and win a chance to have their work featured at the iMakr shop in London.
Models need to be print-ready in the .STL format, so be sure to read the contest guidelines carefully if you plan to enter.
This is a fantastic opportunity to join the 3D printing revolution and compete for some truly stellar prizesI mean, who doesn't want their own 3D printer to experiment with? Happy modeling!
Not too long ago, the guys from Futurepoly (a game-art school in Bellevue) posted an excellent lecture on YouTube that discussed what it takes to go pro as a game artist.
In their lecture, they identified quite a few common pitfalls that they see in student artists, and I thought it would be worthwhile to recount some of them here. Of course, if you have time, be sure to watch the videoat 50 min, it's a bit lengthy, but there's a ton of valuable information contained within.
As promised, here's our review of Knald, the latest normal/ambient occlusion map extractor to hit the market.
The software is currently in open beta and can be downloaded here if you're interested in taking it out for a spin. At its core, Knald is almost like a GPU accelerated (and improved) version of Crazybump. It's really pretty impressive!
To round out the month we have a couple software reviews to share with you all.
I've been testing Substance Designer 3.5, which is a procedural texture creation suite from Allegorithmic, and I have to say I'm pretty impressed. I've also been using Knald, which is a texture map extraction tool that just went into open beta a few weeks ago. We'll have the Knald review up later, but for now check out what we've got to say about Substance:
Hey guys--we've got our monthly recap up a few days early this time around.
Tons of great sculpting this month, and some absolutely amazing game-art from the Trion Worlds/Syfy collaborative RPG Defiance. Plus we finally got to see the Elysium trailer!
Click through for the full scoop:
Last month we published a list highlighting the extensive number of stand-alone rendering solutions available, for artists looking to expand their horizons and try new rendering workflows.
We figured since there's been such an influx of new texturing software recently, this would be a good time to follow suit and publish a similar list for texturing apps. I've had a chance to try the vast majority of the software listed below, and some of them have completely changed the way I work.
I used to cringe at the though of texturing an entire 3D scene, but software like Substance Designer, nDo, Knald, and ZBrush have made the texturing workflow a hundred times less tedious and more enjoyable than when I first got into CG. Read more after the jump:
3D model marketplace CGTrader recently launched a site redesign and were kind enough to take some time out and answer a few questions for us!
Make the jump to read a little bit more about the site's exciting new features, their plans for the future, and some tips on selling your 3D models online:
I was watching the new studio reel from The Foundry a few days ago, and it hit me that this would be a great time for a good old fashioned demo reel roundup.
I went back and dug up every major studio show-reel from the past year and pulled them all together for your viewing pleasure. I have to saythis has got to be the most fun I've ever had researching and preparing an article.
I must have watched every reel on this list at least twice, and believe me, there is a ton of crazy-good material there. Check it out and prepare to be inspired!
Over the past couple days, I've been reading Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing, a book by Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman that covers the past, present, and future of additive manufacturing.
Wiley Publishing was kind enough to send us an excerpt from the early pages of the book, and it may very well be the single best overview of 3D printing I've ever come across. The authors have been around 3D printing since the technology was in its infancy, and their expertise comes through loud and clear in the text.
We were given permission to publish the excerpt here--if you've encountered some of the 3D printing hype, but aren't really sure what the fuss is about, this is an excellent read. We'll have a full book review up later this month, but for now, here's the excerpt: