3D Rendering

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Autodesk Maya

Autodesk, Inc. is an American multinational software company that makes software products and services for the architecture, engineering, construction, product design, manufacturing, media, education, and entertainment industries. It bills itself as a “… leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software”.

The company was founded in 1982 by John Walker, who was a joint developer of the first versions of AutoCAD, the company’s best known software application. Autodesk is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange, it has over 11,000 employees, and is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.

While Autodesk develops many high quality applications they are proprietary software. And the vast majority of their products are not available for Linux. This series looks at the best free and open source alternatives.

MayaAutodesk Maya creates assets for interactive 3D applications (including video games), animated films, TV series, and visual effects.

Maya is available for Linux but it’s proprietary software. What are the best free and open source alternatives?


1. Blender

Targeted at media professionals and artists, Blender can be used to create 3D visualizations, stills as well as broadcast and cinema quality video, whilst the incorporation of a real-time 3D engine allows for the creation of 3D interactive content for stand-alone playback. Blender has a huge variety of uses including modelling, animating, rendering, texturing, skinning, rigging, weighting, non-linear editing, scripting, compositing, post-production and much more.

Blender has a robust feature set similar in scope and depth to other high-end 3D software.

Blender


2. Wings 3D

Wings 3D offers a wide range of modeling tools, a customizable interface, support for lights and materials, and a built-in AutoUV mapping facility.

There is no support in Wings for animation.

Wings3D


3. Bforartists

Bforartists is a complete 3D suite to create 3D content. It offers you the full 3D art pipeline to create game graphics, prerendered movies and stills. From modeling, sculpting, texturing, rigging, animation, rendering, up to post processing.

Bforartists



Alternatives to Autodesk's Products
ArnoldArnold is software for rendering three-dimensional, computer-generated scenes using unbiased, physically-based, Monte Carlo path tracing techniques.
AutoCADAutoCAD is computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting software. It's used in industry, by architects, project managers, engineers, graphic designers, city planners and others.
EagleEAGLE is a scriptable electronic design automation (EDA) application with schematic capture, printed circuit board (PCB) layout, auto-router and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) features.
FlameFlame is 3D visual effects (VFX), finishing, and color grading software. It includes AI-powered tools and remote solutions.
MayaMaya creates assets for interactive 3D applications (including video games), animated films, TV series, and visual effects.
MudboxMudbox is 3D digital painting and sculpting software. Sculpt and paint highly detailed 3D geometry and textures.
ShotGridShotGrid is project management software used for visual effects and animation project management in television shows and movie production and video game development.
SketchbookSketchbook is a raster graphics software app intended for expressive drawing and concept sketching. It's also useful for making animations.
Autodesk TinkercadTinkercad is an online 3D modeling program that runs in a web browser. Tinkercad uses a simplified constructive solid geometry method of constructing models.
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