3d design programs

The 3D rendering process consists of transforming a three-dimensional scene into a 2D image, and there are several types of software to carry out this task. 3D design programs can be based on different methods, such as ray tracing, rasterization or route tracing. Some work in real time, and others do not.

It is important to know how each of the different rendering engines works before choosing the one that best suits the specific needs of each user, or of each project. Here is a summary of the best known.


If what we seek is to reproduce the situations of everyday life in the most realistic format possible, with its nuances of lighting and colors, VRay is a more than acceptable option if we take into account the relationship between quality and time invested in the process. . In addition, it has an extensive library of textures, and a variety of creative options. Another strong point is its versatility, which makes it compatible with programs such as 3DSMax, Google Sketch-up, and similar ones. When it comes to 3D design programs, VRay is not exactly the simplest, but you can always check the tutorials on the network.

2. Maxwell Render

This rendering engine enjoys good reputation for having achieved some of the most realistic images, and has many users among design professionals, from architects to filmmakers. We are talking about a 3D design program that is not the easiest to use, although we can always find help on the net. Maxwell Render works with Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS X.

3.Mental Ray

As its name suggests, this program is based on ray tracing. Mental Ray has been used extensively in film – Star Wars, Matrix – and is very popular with architecture professionals, due in part to the wide variety of features that make it up, because it allows architects to design custom projects quickly , and with an image of excellent quality.

Design professionals, of course, also benefit from the advantages of this popular rendering engine. One feature to note is that Mental ray can run on Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and is compatible with design programs such as AutoCAD and the like.

4. Crown Render

It is a free and easy-to-install renderer, which despite being still in alpha phase maintains a remarkable stability. Corona Render is the new acquisition of Chaos Group, the company that created VRay. The installation of the program is very simple. You can download the latest version in the forum.

5. Keyshot

This is a real-time rendering engine that works as stand-alone software, although in this case it should be noted that it can not be integrated into 3D modeling applications. What can be done is to link KeyShot to these applications. It is compatible with Windows and Mac, as well as being one of the most popular 3D design programs in guilds such as design, architecture or advertising.