3D animation is the art of crafting lifelike models, sceneries, props, and visual effects characters using 3D animation programs. While your talent as an animator is the fundamental base for success, working with the best 3D animation program means your achievements are limitless.
Animation technology keeps growing by the day, with a rapid surge in the quality of animations being rolled out. The future looks bright, and to play a part in it, you need to be up to speed with the latest tech advancements in the 3D animation sector. And just so you know, jobs for a remote 3D animator pay well, with an annual income of around $40,000 to $75,000.
However, hiring managers always look for artists who are well-versed in using modern 3D animation software to get the job done. This is why we’ve teamed up with experts from job aggregator Jooble to enlighten you on the best 3D animation software to work with.
4 Best 3D Animation Programs
While there are a lot of 3D animation programs out there, we have made a list of programs that have made a name for themselves with their quality and ease of use. Learning about these programs is vital because you’ll stand out from the competition and earn more than you ever thought possible.
K-3D is an open-source 3D modeling and animation program that helps businesses manage visualization pipelines and workflow processes on a centralized platform. It is a versatile program that operates on a node-based system, making it ideal for animators of all levels.
Its undo and redo function stands out, allowing artists to minimize design errors and streamline 3D modeling operations. The program also features a mirror function, enabling real-time edits on one side of a model with mirrored adjustments on the other. Interestingly, it is free to use.
Blender is one of the most incredible 3D animation programs you can use today. The plethora of 3D animation tools it comes with can be overwhelming, making it perfect for various projects, including video games, movies, and animated ads.
This program supports direct drawing in both 2D and 3D and does an excellent job of integrating motion capture software. With the freedom to experiment across layers and colors, it’s your go-to for crafting ideal models. And the best part? It’s free to use.
Ideal for video game and movie developers, Cascadeur stands out as a 3D animation software tailored precisely for game development. Whether you’re building animations from the ground up or tweaking attributes of realistic motion-captured data, this software fits perfectly into the demands of your current workflow. Cascadeur works heavily on physics principles and makes realistic animations easy to make, regardless of your skill level.
Cascadeur has a thriving community, and its Discord server facilitates direct communication with developers who use its services. Their pricing includes a free basic plan, a monthly subscription of $300 for the pro plan, and $ 1,000 for the business plan.
Maya is perfect for small projects, ads, and blockbuster films. Many regard it as the best 3D animation software, with the brains behind movies such as Harry Potter using this powerful software program. Maya is a good program for 2D and 3D animations, offering advanced features such as Arnold rendering and automatic rigging.
Although the yearly subscription is $2,479, Maya gives a free 30-day trial to get a feel of the software.
There’s no better time to learn about the best 3D animation programs than today. Mastering industry-standard applications is crucial to building a successful career in the animation and VFX industries. However, the beauty of the animation software options outlined above is that they are available in free trials and paid version options. You can start with a trial version to familiarize yourself with the software. Once you feel confident, explore the full version and go on to enjoy the seamless operation.
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