Introduction of 3d visualization software

What is it exactly?

Computer graphics software allows a person to manipulate images or models visually on a computer. The purpose of 3-D software is to allow users to design, control, and visualize a graphic element, an object, or even an environment in a three-dimensional space.

Then vs Now

Before introducing 3d modeling software tools, people used to draw manually their creative ideas. This would be very time-consuming and leave a lot of room for error. The job for architects and designers became significantly easier with the appearance of 3-D modeling and rendering software.

The industry flourished with the appearance of 3-D visualization software and impacted all industries worldwide. It is hard now to imagine designing without it. It reduced work time and the length involved in each step of the creation, and its availability and accessibility explain its popularity in various fields and industries.

Basic Phases

3-D computer graphics can be divided into three parts:

  • 3-D modeling: refers to the process of forming a computer model of an object.
  • Layout and animation: the placement and movement of an object within a space.
  • 3-D rendering: it takes into consideration light placement, surface types, and other qualities to calculate and generate an image.

Mainline 3-D Visualization Software

Here are five top 3D visualization programs that are making waves in the industry and can compete with mainline staples such as Autodesk Revit, 3DS Max, Rhino, Sketch-Up, and Blender. If you think there is no point in learning a brand new piece of software, think again. These newbies have a lot to offer in terms of accessibility, functionality, and usability.

Autodesk Revit

1. Autodesk Revit

This software is used in different fields such as in TV commercials, video game developing, architectural visualizations, and sometimes even for movie effects and movie pre-visualization. It also has modeling capacities and flexible plugin architecture.

Mainline 3-D Visualization Software


  • Great conceptual modeling tools
  • Large-scale environment creation
  • Strong rendering capabilities


  • UV mapping is more difficult to achieve
  • Weak normal align tools


2. Rhinoceros 3D

Rhinoceros 3D is also nicknamed “Rhino”, or “Rhino 3D”. It is computer-aided design software. This 3-D visualization software is mainly used in architectural trades, industrial design and even

Rhinoceros 3D


  • Minimal user interface: this is a good thing because it makes it even more powerful. It has all the options you need for advanced visualization minus the clutter.
  • Great and incomparable speed
  • Powerful animation: allows to quickly create fluid animation with real-time update and playback.


  • Some problems with transparent materials
  • Rendering light problems can persist


3. Blender

This software is amongst the most popular in the architecture world. It is one of the most complete rendering software because of its plethora of features that you need to design houses, skyscrapers, and bridges.

Although if you are new at this, it will take you a few hours to start learning how it works, the good news is that the Blender community on the Internet is helpful and friendly and chances are that your first experience will be a positive one.

This is one of the most famous and used 3-D visualization software. It is widely used in a variety of projects, such as BIM-related projects.



  • The software has a broad toolset and is a professional modeling and authoring system
  • It is customizable and extendable via API and other means
  • Its BIM-modeling software supports architectural, technical and structural designs


  • Single platform so you cannot run it easily on MAC
  • Requires an in-depth understanding of its complex software mechanism, so you can get lost when navigating it
  • Revit projects often have a huge need for custom Family development, this makes it a huge effort in the project

3DS Max

4. Autodesk 3DS Max

jewelry design. This computer-aided design offers users support from start to finish by creating rapid prototyping all the way up to production. Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages.

It should also mention that Grasshopper which is a visual programming language and environment runs within the Rhino. Grasshopper is primarily used to build generative algorithms. This plugin mostly used to make parametric elements. By changing the data in the algorithm, the result of

3ds max


  • Internal renderer that features a good quality result.
  • Best cost-benefit in the market.
  • Great features for space visualization and 2D images


  • Does not work if you have a Mac
  • Very software heavy
  • Unit precision and point accuracy could use some help


5. Sketch-Up

This 3-D visualization software is one of the simplest and fastest 3d programs. It has continued to grow in complexity over the last years offering users high quality level of features. It can be used for animation, still images, real-time ray tracing, color libraries, material templates, and toon shading.



  • Open sources: meaning it is free to use and distribute
  • Friendly and resourceful community
  • Extremely capable renderer


  • Time-consuming: to master this software, be prepared to invest a number of hours in it as it is a learning curve.

Which 3-D visualization software best suits you?

We selected the most popular software in 2020, but keep in mind that there are many more out there that could suit your needs. To know which one to opt for, ask yourself these questions.

  • What will you mostly use it for?
  • What is the target audience?
  • How much experience do you already have?
  • Are you under time constraint? If so, how many hours are you willing to invest in learning a new 3-D visualization software?

The answers to these questions might help you narrow it down. Also, who said you could not use more than one 3-D visualization software depending on what you specifically need to do? If you are new at this, take your time to look and ask around, sometimes the best answers can come from our inner circle instead of through an online ad.


Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and explore these complex and fascinating tools that will allow you to create an amazing 3-D world. The tools are there to support you and make your life easier, now just be patient and have fun with it!