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  • Writer's pictureAbimbola Fapohunda

Popular 3D Animation Software You Should Know

Updated: Jan 8, 2020

As a 3D animator, there is nothing more fascinating than to see your content receive wide acclaim. Animated content catches people's fancy when they have interesting storylines alongside captivating visuals. Creating aesthetically appealing characters and environments is achieveable if you are are skillful in the use of the appropriate digital software.

So, if you have ever wondered what the essence of Animation software packages are, or you are confused about the specialised use of the various digital software systems available in the animation pipeline, this piece is for you. I have identified five digital software packages that will automate your content production process.

Autodesk Maya

Maya is a paid 3D animation programme that is used for animated graphics and 3D printing. It is highly comprehensive as it includes a toolset of computer generated features such as time editor, rigging, texturing, lighting, shading, and effects simulation. Maya is the most commonly used 3D software package because of its custom tools and high-end plug-ins. It is recognised as the industry standard 3D software and is used in many Animation studios. Digital artists use Maya for a wide range of tasks including motion graphics, 3D models, game development, and visual effects. It is commonly used in the production pipeline of feature films, including award winning movies like Avatar, Hugo, Snow White, and The Lion King.

Autodesk 3ds Max

3ds max is a 3d modelling and animation application. It is basically used for character and props modelling, game development, rendering, and animation. It is also used for creating virtual reality environments. 3ds Max is used for architectural design and its use cut across the educational, medical and tech space.


Blender is a free and open source animation toolset. It is used for creating short films, adverts, visual effects, and video games. Blender offers a wide range of features which include rendering, 3d modelling, compositing, masking, video editing, and audio controls. Blender is often used for personal projects due to its robust features and free accessibility. You can do virtually everything you do on Maya and 3ds max with Blender.


ZBrush is a digital sculpting tool used for creating medium to high resolution 3d sculpt. It is the most advanced 3D sculpting software. It is used for creating films, games, and animated content. With ZBrush, you can easily model a character or prototype an idea without investing so much time and effort, unlike other traditional sculpting tools. Its flexible workflow allows digital artists to bring their creative vision to life.

Cinema 4d

Cinema 4D is a paid 3d modelling software. It is easy to use and contains a set of tutorials that makes it easy for beginners to understand and gain mastery of the art. It is used to create motion graphics, feature films, and visual effects. Cinema 4D is basically used for commercial purposes.

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