Best rendering software

There Are many different Rendering Software for a 3D artist to pick from, here are my top 5 picks that i think are the best.

When you 3D model a scan or a character you want the best photorealistic rendering possible. How do you get to that point? It all starts with having a good 3D model and good textures applied on the 3D model you cant expect a bad 3D model to look amazing. i feel like 90% of the work for a good render is seating up proper, lighting, texturing an making a good 3D model and the other 10% is setting up a proper Render setup.

iv seen many times where somebody dose an amazing job 3D modeling a character or scan but the render set up is not good and they end up getting a bad render, this sometimes discourages people from doing 3D modeling,

#1 RenderMan

pixar renderman

most 3D artists have seen a Pixar movie and it’s no surprise that RenderMan is my #1 pick for the best 3d renderer, it’s powerful, easy, fast and it integrates with maya and many other 3D software, If company such as pixar uses it then it must be good, In my mind i think pixar has set the bar and all other companies are trying to be as good as pixar.

what i love about RenderMan is they offer a Free Non-Commercial RenderMan is fully functional, without limitation or watermark. be sure to check out

#2 Arnold

take a look at this Arnold Showreel this was back in 2013 wow and it’s 2016 now

the first time i heard about this software was from a 3D character artist that loved the rendering engine. at first i tough he said my name Arnold and thought to my self, maybe he just mispronounced it but then i realized he was talking about a render software , Arnold is a Ray tracking 3D rendering program created by Solid Angle, This rendering program was used in all kinds of movies such as , The Avengers, Cloudy with a chance of meatballs, Captain America, X-men, pacific Rim, and many many more.  You start to think to your self I have seen those movies That must be a good rendering program AND IT IS. be sure to check out there gallery to see some cool projects rendered with Arnold

#3 V-Ray

take a look at this V-Ray Showreel this was back in 2015

You will normal see V-Ray in 3ds Max, i feel like v-Ray dose an amazing job on rendering architectural renderings & industrial design, I’m  always impressed to see 3D models that have bean made in 3ds Max and then rendered in V-Ray

Developer: Chaos Group V-Ray works works as a plugin in 3dsMax, Cinema4D, Maya, and Sketchup among others with 3dsMax being the most popular
License: Proprietary commercial software

#4 Mental Ray

mental ray

You will normally see Mental Ray in Maya, i have used mental Ray for a long time in Maya and dose a great job rendering character and scans. Mental Rey comes in as a plug in for AutoCAD, Revit, Inventor, 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage, CATIA, Creo Elements/Pro, Cinema 4D, FreeForm, Domus3D, ViSoft

#5 Maxwell

maxwell render

Like V-Ray Maxwell is a Standalone plug in that works with software like Maya, Cinema3D among others it uses unbiased rendering this gives you real world accuracy BUT it takes a long time to do so. it can get to a point where the renders are indistinguishable from photographs. Be sure to check out there website to see there Gallery, Education, and products

No matter what rendering program keep in mind that it’s just a tool, it’s almost like saying what is the best pencil for drawing, it’s just a tool and different artist can get different results out of the tool.