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The world of 3D animation has exploded over recent years, and with this explosion there is now an abundance of choice when it comes to 3D animation software. Each bit of 3D animation software will offer you something different, with its own detail for different experience levels.

Here are some of the best 3D modelling programs that you should check out:

Bryce (DAZ 3D)

What started out as a fractal geometry program, all the way back in 1994, has been developed and updated almost every year. It is now one of the best, and most popular, outdoor environment modelling program, which also allows the user to use their new animation features. Its interface is very simple and clean, and is very much targeted at beginners to 3D animation, and does not offer too much for the more advanced animators.

Blender (The Blender Foundation)

This 3D animation program is a great all-rounder, as it provides all the cool features at the touch of an animator’s fingertips. Another great benefit of using Blender is that it is free to use. Yes, it is free. Blender has a great community spirit, and through their very own courses and tutorials, as well as the advice given on the forums, you can get to grips with the program quickly and easily.

Poser (Smith Micro Software)

During the late 1990s, Poser was the 3D graphics program to use. It was quite ahead of its time. However, more recent program developments have seen the Poser slip down the pecking order. Poser is still great, and can offer you a program which helps you to easily animate 3D characters. It has a free library of meshes (both human and animal) which you can use however you like, as well as a fully fledged feature list which helps you fine tune your 3D animation.

Maya (Autodesk)

Acquired by Autodesk in 2005, Alias’s Maya was tipped to be the leading animation software to be used within the movie industry. However, like some tips, this didn’t really happen. Maya offers its users an easy to use interface, cloth and particle physics engine that will cater for all of your simulation needs. One of the huge perks Abouting Maya is Maya Live’s motion tracking tool.

3ds Max (Autodesk)

This has to be one of the most respected 3D modelling software in the world. It is just a fact. It can cater for Havok physics engine, fur effects, facial morphs, character studio and particle effects. However, like with most well established programs, the competition has caught up and these features can be improved upon if you use another program.

Cinema 4D (Maxon)

If you are really into 3D animation, and you know all the latest movers and shakers in the market place, Cinema 4D Studio does not need an introduction. It is behind a number of Hollywood blockbusters over the last few years. The true benefit of using Cinema 4D is that it offers the complete 3D art package, which does just about anything.