The modelling software in this list does not automatically turn you into a pro artist, you will be required to up your skills to get more value from them. However, they will make it quite possible for you to let your imaginations run wild. The best software will allow you to create incredible models and objects, as well as beautiful animations. With your level of proficiency, the top applications will make your ideas come alive in awesome ways. This 3D software in this list are mostly paid, but some of them have trial versions that you can try them out with. That explained, let's go into the list proper and see the best of best 3D modelling software available in 2020.
Maya is regarded as the industry standard for computer graphics and has a very amazing range of tools and features that makes it comfortably the best modelling software. Maya has complex toolsets that require a good level of proficiency to get used to. It might also take a little time for you to learn to effectively use the software. It is the software used by the most top 3D powerhouse.
It is an awesome tool for modelling, lighting and rendering. With Maya, you can manipulate particles, solid body physics, cloth, hair, fluid simulations, as well as character animation.
Cost: £222/month and £1,782/year
OS: Windows 7 to 10, macOS 10.11.x and above, Linus Red Hat Enterprise, Linux 7.3 & 7.5, Linux CentOS 7.3 & 7.5
The Houdini 3D modelling software is from the stable of SideFX. It is used widely in the creation of amazing 3D imagery. It allows for great flexibility and control and gives the user access to a high level of power. Like with Maya, it might take some time and proficiency level to get into the use of the Houdini software. The Houdini comes at different pricing models, but you can use the free version of the app to do quite a lot of things.
Cost: $4,495/year for HoudiniFX, $1995/year for Houdini Core, and $269 for Houdini Indie.
OS: Windows 7SP1 up, macOS 10.11 and later, Linux Ubuntu 14.04+, Linux Debian 8.0+, Linux CentOS 7+, Linux Open SUSE 13.2+, Linux mint 17.3+, Linux Fedora 21+
Cinema 4D R20
From the stable of Maxon, the Cinema 4D R20 is one of the oldest 3D modelling software. It is a very useful software that makes motion graphics, visualization and illustration seamless for users It is comfortably the easiest to learn 3D modelling software of 2020. The software has a buzzing online community where you can access tutorials in videos and texts. Also, when you buy the software or make payment for the annual Maxon service agreement (MSA), you get free membership to Cineversity. The app also has a very useful and large toolset that even allows the addition of more functionality with affordable plugins.
Cost: £670 for Prime, £1,235 for Broadcast, £1,520 for Visualize, and £2,850 for Studio
OS: Window 7 SP and later, macOS 10.11.6 and later
Autodesk 3ds Max
3ds Max is the 3D software by Autodesk. It is mostly used in Movie and TV production as well as for architectural and product visualization. Just like Maya, the Autodesk 3ds Max has a very large toolset that makes the task of modelling relatively easy for users. You can also make beautiful and seamless animations, fluid simulations, hair and fur manipulation, and character rigging. With 3ds Max, you can make either direct o procedural manipulation to your objects. There are also a wide variety of modifiers that makes the software easy to use for new and intermediate artists.
Cost: £222/month, £1,782/year
OS: Windows SP1 and later
Made by the same team as the LightWave 3D, Modo is fully packed with awesome tools that have been well implemented and thought through. The software is user-friendly, and it's built-in rendering system also makes it a very good tool that has grown in popularity over time. Modo started as a basic alternative to most high-end modellers, and gradually metamorphosed into a 3D modelling big house. Modo allows a lot of modification and manipulation of polygon forms through direct and procedural methods or techniques.
Cost: $1,799 for permanent license and $599/year.
OS: macOS 10.12.x and later, Windows 7 and later, Linux RHEL and CentOS 7+
Blender is arguably the best and most popular open-source 3D modelling platform. It is absolutely free to use for modelling, animation, rendering and texturing. The version 2.8 of the Blender software was released in July of 2019 and comes with an interface that's even more modern than the previous versions. It has high-quality viewport, awesome features and bug fixes, as well as real-time interactive rendering. Blender is not a new app, it is in fact, one of the oldest 3D software on the world. It boasts of a large database of users that create regular video tutorials, regular updates and development. It is rammed best among free to use 3D modelling software. It is a very nice point for starters and amateurs to test the waters of 3D computer graphics software.
OS: Windows Vista and later, macOS 10.12 and later, different Linux OS versions.
LightWave used to be the choice of 3D modelling for Sci-Fi shows and movies. The turn around for bad came when it attempted to update the software and make it a little more modern. The LightWave 3D modelling software is made by NewTek and from the latest 2019 update, LightWave has staged a comeback to the forefront of modelling and designing. LightWave is decided into two separate apps which are the Modeller used for building assets, and Layout used for lighting, animation, rendering and texturing. The software has a 30-day free trial, as well as a student package that's available for purchase at $195.
OS: Windows 7 and later, macOS 10.8 and later
ZBrush works awesomely for sculpting and modelling, and for the building of organic forms. Getting into the flow with Zbrush will require constant use and familiarization for the best result possible. The app is also useful for the creation of paint textures and UV maps. You can also use the software for manipulating clothing and props, and the creation of complete figures.
OS: Windows Vista and later, macOS 10.10 and later
3DCoat is the closest competitor with ZBrush. It is created by Pilgway. It started as a voxel-based digital sculpting app but has added more features overtime like texture painting, UV mapping, PBR rendering, Smart materials, repotology tools among others. 3DCoat 4.8 began in 2007 and has gone on to become one of the top 3D modelling apps. It is used for game development by various developers and development studio, and it continues to improve on its skillset.
Cost: $99 for Amateur, $379 for Professional
OS: Windows Vista and later, macOS 10.7 and later, Linux OS