Create 3D models, animations, and more using Blender, Maya, VariCAD, and other tools.
Use Blender to create and animate 3D and 2D environments.
Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entire 3D pipeline including modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking. Other uses include video editing, game creation, and 2D cell animation. Blender is well suited to individuals and small studios who benefit from its unified pipeline and responsive development process. Examples from many Blender-based projects are available in the showcase found on their website.
Maya is a professional commercial package similar to Blender. It has some very advanced features but it can be expensive. If you are new to 3D animation, we recommend starting with Blender and considering Maya later. A good place to start is the introduction videos shown here and the official documentation.
Sometimes you will already have a 3D CAD model available for rendering. Other times, you may find it more convenient, precise, or faster to create or edit a model in a CAD package instead of in Blender or Maya. If this is the case, you can import a CAD model into Blender or Maya when you need it. File formats used for transfer between 3D packages include
STL to import into Blender.
VariCAD is also available for Linux and is a professional solid modelling and 3D package. It is commercial software but is available for a trial period (30 days as of this writing). Very capable 3D modeling packages are now also becoming available online. A great example is the very high-end Siemens NX, although we encourage you to shop around.
This is a partial revision history. See the
git repository for all entries.
2021-11-18 b23d1269Initial Publication
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