In this article we will discuss and review the top standard 3D game design software programs, used by game design studios everyday, and taught by game design schools everywhere.
3D Game Design Is The Standard Today
In the field of video game art and design, there are certain software programs which tend to become industry standards. When it comes to video games, 3D art and animation are the de facto standards. Very few games today can become commercially successful using only 2D graphics and animation (but it can be done – look at the success of Angry Birds). Instead the entire video game industry continues to move further into the realm of 3D games and animation.
3D animation software is no longer reserved for the cut-scenes in a game, instead it is the expected norm for most video game projects.
What Are The Top 3D Game Design Software Apps?
Best 3D Game Design Software: 3ds Max.
A list of the most popular 3D game design software programs should start with the king of the hill: 3ds Max (by Autodesk). Virtually every game designer is familiar with 3ds Max (also referred to as 3D Studio Max). This 3D animation software is ubiquitous as the de facto standard for 3D design. 3ds Max is deployed by film studios, television studios and video game design studios alike. Virtually every creative or design professional who works with 3D has experience with 3ds Max.
3ds Max is a good balance of both a very complex program with many features and functionality, and a relatively easy to learn tool-set and interface. Many third party plug-ins are available for 3ds Max, and it is a great character animation tool.
3ds Max can handle 3D modeling, layout and rendering equally well. It does the modeling and the layout in one interface which allows designers to change elements quickly and easily.
Top 3D Game Design Software: Bryce and Carrara.
Bryce (by DAZ Productions) is another one of the most popular 3D design programs used in film, TV and video game design studios. Bryce is most commonly used to design 3 dimensional landscapes. Water, clouds, rain and other natural phenomena are created with programs like Bryce.
Carrara (also by DAZ Productions) is used as a full featured 3D toolset to do much more than render 3D landscapes (like Bryce). Instead, Carrara is used to create 3D models, create 3D textures, render scenes and animations. It is an all-in-one 3D toolset.
Top 3D Game Design Software: Cinema 4D.
Cinema 4D (by MAXON) is most commonly used by television and film graphics designers, but is also used by game designers who may tend to work in all three industries. Though it is more commonly used in TV and film, it should still be considered among the more popular 3D game design software applications.
Top 3D Game Design Software: Maya
Maya (by Autodesk) is used by film, television and video game designers. Maya and 3ds Max are both owned by Autodesk now, though they were originally created by other software companies which have since been bought out.
Maya began as a 3D modeling tool for the car industry, but is best known for the movement and choreography of 3D characters. Maya is considered one of the more difficult 3d game design tools to master, but also one of the most powerful when it comes to features and functionality.
Maya, like 3ds Max, handles 3D modeling and layout in one interface making it easy for game designers to make changes quickly before doing a final render in a separate interface.
Top 3D Game Design Software: Lightwave 3D
Lightwave 3D (by NewTek) started off being used by video editors in the film and TV industry. But because of its ease of use, video game designers and animators quickly took a liking to it. Lightwave handles 3D modeling, 3D scene building and animation, as well as 3D rendering. Each is done in a different phase of the program, which makes it time consuming for designers to make changes to elements. Because of its ease of use many 3D game designers refuse to use any other 3D game design software.
Summary Of 3D Game Design Software
There are dozens of 3d game design software applications for game artists and designers to choose from. However the most popular titles are recommended because of their ease of use, or depth of functionality. Smart game design students will spend time getting experience with each of the top 3D game design software programs.
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