Best 3D Sculpting and Modeling Software for 2024

Best 3D modelling software
Best 3D modelling software

Table of contents

As we set sail through the creative currents of 2024, the 3d sculpting and modeling landscape continues to evolve.

Join us as we explore the latest innovations, user-friendly interfaces, and robust capabilities offered by these 3d modeling software solutions.

Whether you’re sculpting characters, designing game assets, or visualizing architectural spaces, our guide will help you choose the perfect software to elevate your 3d sculpting creations.

In this blog post, we’ll help you discover the best 3D sculpting and modeling software for 2024. Let’s dive in!

1. Sculpt GL

Sculpt GL is a digital sculpting software web app. Meaning that you will be able to use it online on a web browser and if you want to download the standalone version you can do that as well.

Even though this seems like a simple tool for 3d sculpting it has nice tools and features that will allow you to create any type of model like characters’ creatures or hard surface objects. It has a basic set of brushes such as the basic brush, inflate, smooth, twist, drag, etc.

YouTube video
Sculpt GL in action

Using a meshing algorithm, Sculpt GL can help you create relatively complex sculpts with ease, including PBR vertex painting and voxel re-meshing. You can also produce quant-only mesh and dynamic topology. You can import and export 3d models for different purposes including 3d printing because it supports obj and STL file formats.

This 3d sculpting software is completely free. You can start using it online right away or download the standalone version. You can try it out here https://stephaneginier.com/sculptgl/

2. Meshmixer

Meshmixer is an Autodesk software that can be considered a good software for 3d sculpting in addition to fixing and enhancing meshes for 3d printing.

It is not the best 3d modeling software when it comes to sculpting but it has some nice tools that can help you out as a beginner to get started and understand how sculpting works. This software has a set of basic brushes for 3d sculpting like drag, draw, flatten, pinch, move, and much more.

YouTube video
Meshmixer in action

Meshmixer is a good option if you want simple software to sculpt your models for 3d printing. Meshmixer is a free 3d sculpting software. You can download it right now and start working on your projects.

You can get Meshmixer from the following link https://www.meshmixer.com/

3. 3Dcoat

3Dcoat is an interesting 3d program that can be used for sculpting but it is kind of different compared to the others. It is a commercial digital sculpting software designed to create freeform organic and hard surface 3d models using different tools and features that enable you to sculpt in addition to any polygonal topology either automatically or manually.

Create UV maps, and texture, and paint the resulting models with natural painting tools.

YouTube video
3DCoat in action

This software can be used to import 3d models from other 3d packages such as 3DS max Maya cinema 4D or Blender to be redefined. 3Dcoat is a freemium software.

You can get 3Dcoat now from the following link https://3dcoat.com/buy/

4. Mudbox

Mudbox is software for 3d sculpting and painting developed by Autodesk. This software is interesting because it could have become a leading software in the professional 3D competition in the future in industries such as game development and visual effects. Unfortunately, it started declining in its user base over the years but it is still very good.

Mudbox was developed by Skymatter Ltd in New Zealand by a group of artists who wanted a better way to create high-resolution models. It was acquired by Autodesk in 2007 and since then it has been improved and updated with new features and tools.

Mudbox is one of the best 3d sculpting software for creating realistic and detailed models. It has a powerful sculpting engine that allows you to work with millions of polygons without slowing down.

It also has a variety of brushes and stamps that you can customize and use to create different effects and textures. You can also paint directly on your model using layers and blending modes.

YouTube video
Mudbox in action

You can get Mudbox from the following link https://www.autodesk.com/products/mudbox/overview. There is a trial version available for download from the same link.

5. Blender

Blender is an open-source 3d package that can do many things in a production pipeline.

It can do anything that the other 3d packages can do in addition to having the ability to sculpt. The developers added some interesting sculpting functionality in the earlier versions. That has only grown with the addition of great tools such as dino topo sculpting which is a great feature to sculpt creatively with the ability to change resolution with intricate details that need millions of polygons.

Blender has become a far better sculpting software in the last couple of years because it is being updated super-fast compared to other sculpting software.

YouTube video
Blender in action

It has now a wide range of sculpting brushes and tools that are necessary for the process.

Blender is good for you if you are a beginner. Because it is completely free and it is simple when it comes to sculpting. You can download Blender from the following link https://www.blender.org/

6. Zbrush

Zbrush is software that combines 3d modeling, texturing, and painting.

Right now it is the most advanced and probably the hardest to learn on this list.

Zbrush is especially useful and powerful when it comes to creating high-quality and high-resolution models that need tens of millions of polygons for use in movies, games, and animation. Zbrush is used by almost all companies in those industries because it is the software dominating sculpting.

It is not the most user-friendly sculpting software but it is surely the most powerful. It is kind of different in the way it operates. For example, its user interface and how the tools are distributed is not the most intuitive but you will get used to it after a certain period.

Zbrush comes with many features to add sculpting and modeling meshes. The initial download comes with more than 30 3d sculpting brushes with more available for download later on. Zbrush offers unique attributes as well as allows general control over hardness intensity and size alphas are used to create a specific pattern or shape and textures are also editable.

YouTube video
Zbrush in action

Some of the most important features of Zbrush include DynaMesh, ZRemesher, FiberMesh, ShadowBox, and much more.

Zbrush is not free, but a version is designed for new artists or those who don’t have experience with sculpting. This version is called ZBrushCore mini. It has a streamlined interface that lets anyone jump right in and start sculpting immediately.

You can get Zbrush from the following link https://pixologic.com/

7. Cinema 4D

Maxon’s Cinema 4D has been around for a long time and is well-known in the worlds of motion graphics, visualization, and illustration. It has a vibrant creative community and a massive online library of tutorials, not to mention the training site Cineversity, to which you get free membership when you buy the app or pay for the annual Maxon service agreement (MSA). The parametric modeling toolset in Cinema 4D is generally very good, and you can expand its functionality with a variety of reasonably priced plugins. There’s also volumetric modeling, which is ideal if you don’t have the time or skill set to create smooth solid forms.

YouTube video
Cinema 4D in action

Permanent licenses aren’t cheap, but you can always start with Prime and gradually upgrade. There is also a trial version that allows you to try Cinema 4D for 14 days for free, as well as a free education version for students and teachers.

Get Cinema 4D from the following link https://www.maxon.net/en/cinema-4d

8. Autodesk 3ds Max

3ds Max by Autodesk is a PC-only 3D computer graphics program. It is primarily used in the production of television and feature films, as well as for architectural and product visualization. 3ds Max, like its sister software Maya, has a robust toolset for 3D modeling, as well as fluid simulations, hair and fur, and character rigging and animation.

YouTube video
3DS Max in action

3ds Max employs both direct manipulation and procedural modeling techniques, as well as a large library of different modifiers to make the modeling process easier for new or intermediate artists. This software provides a comprehensive professional toolkit at a professional price. However, students can obtain the software for free, and a trial version is also available for 30 days if you want to try it out before purchasing.

Get 3ds Max from the following link https://www.autodesk.com/products/3ds-max/overview

9. Modo

Modo has evolved from a simple subdivision surface modeler to a full-featured digital content creation app over the years. The toolset is well thought out and implemented, making it very user-friendly. Combine that with an impressive rendering system, and it’s easy to see why Modo has remained popular. We thoroughly tested Modo (see our Modo 12 review), and while we liked its toolset and UI, we found it to be somewhat limited in its capabilities. Foundry has received several updates since then, and it now takes advantage of modern graphics cards to make it significantly more powerful.

YouTube video
Modo in action

Modo, with modeling at its core, is one of the best apps for creating polygonal forms using both direct tools and procedural techniques. The addition of the best-in-class MeshFusion Boolean system simply broadens its modeling capabilities. Modo lacks the high-end dynamics and simulation tools found in programs like Maya, but it holds its own when it comes to creating stunning artwork, producing a 3D render that is as good as any other package currently available.

Get Modo from the following link https://www.foundry.com/products/modo

10. Autodesk Maya

Most artists will place Autodesk Maya at the top of their list of the best 3D modeling software. Maya, the industry standard for a variety of CG disciplines, provides artists with an unrivaled set of features and tools. This powerful software is not for inexperienced users; however, its toolkit is complex and requires time to master. When we tested it in our Maya review, we discovered that Autodesk had included a slew of useful features. And now, with Maya 2024, there’s, even more, to look forward to.

YouTube video
Maya in action

Maya is ideal for modeling, texturing, lighting, and rendering; its extensive features include tools for particles, hair, solid body physics, cloth, fluid simulations, and character animation. However, you should consider whether Maya’s extensive functionality is too much for your needs, as this power comes at a price. Maya has some of the best 3D tools available right now and is a good investment for those who have the time, skill, and patience to learn them.

Get Maya from the following link https://www.autodesk.com/products/maya/overview

11. Daz Studio

Previously priced at $249, the 3D software Daz 3D is now completely free to download.

YouTube video
Daz Studio in action

It is a 3D figure customization, posing, and animation tool that allows artists of all levels to create digital art using virtual people, animals, props, vehicles, accessories, and environments.

Get Daz Studio from the following link https://www.daz3d.com/get_studio

12. Hexagon

If you have a Daz 3D Studio account, you should also download the free modeling app Hexagon (opens in a new tab). It was created by Eovia around 2001, was acquired by Daz in 2006, and has been sporadically updated ever since.

YouTube video
Hexagon in action

Hexagon is a simple subdivision surface modeler, and while Daz promotes it as a way to create clothes and props for its figure, you can use it to create anything you want.

Get Hexagon from the following link https://www.daz3d.com/hexagon-3d-modeling-free/

13. Wings3D

Wings 3D is a pure modeling app that has been in development since 2001 and is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTvfkPUIZWM
Wings 3D in action

It, like all subdivision modelers, allows you to create an underlying polygonal form and then generate a smoothed shape by subdividing the mesh. It’s fairly basic in terms of modelers, and the interface is a little unusual, but it’s fairly user-friendly and an excellent way to get a feel for poly modeling and see if 3D art is for you.

Get Wings3D from the following link http://www.wings3d.com/

14. Lightwave 3D

LightWave was once the go-to app for sci-fi TV shows, but after a failed attempt to modernize it, NewTek’s app sat dormant for several years. However, it has recently experienced a revival, with an updated version released on November 28, 2023.

YouTube video
Lightwave 3d in action

Lightwave is divided into two apps: Modeler (for creating assets) and Layout (for texturing, lighting, animation, and rendering). Although much of the underlying toolset is quite old (although many new features have been added in the last few years), it remains a solid digital content creation suite with many features and a fast interactive PBR renderer. Get Lightwave 3D from the following link https://www.lightwave3d.com/

I hope you found this post useful and informative. If you have something to add you can leave it in the comment section below. You can check some of our previous posts here https://gachoki.com/blog/

A Blender interface screen recording demonstrating the utilization of the Product Rendering Tools Addon in Blender.
Get Product Rendering Tools Addon

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Freelance Motion Graphics Designer
Freelance Motion Graphics Designer
1 year ago

thanks for sharing the information.

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