Links:3D Applications

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3D Modelling and animation applications


"Blender, the open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback.""

Wings 3D

Wings 3D is a polygon mesh modeler inspired by Nendo from Izware. Wings real strength is in modeling." Texturing&co is construction, but does support UV mapping and even automated it.

  • Homepage:
  • License: BSD-style license: read license.terms
  • Operating system: Linux, Windows, Mac
  • Formats:
    • Image: BMP, JPEG, PNG, TGA, TIFF. To use DDS textures, you'll need png/jpg version, then change names in MTL files when converting to/from BFXM.
    • Import: Nendo .ndo, 3DStudio .3ds, Adobe Illustrator .ai, Lightwave or Modo .lwo/.lxo, Wavefront .obj, Adobe Postscript .ps/.eps, StereoLithography .stl, .SVG path.
    • Export: Nendo .ndo, 3DStudio .3ds, BZFlag .bzf, Collada .dae, cartoon edges .eps, Kerkythea .xml, Lightwave or Modo .lwo/.lxo, Wavefront .obj, POV-Ray .pov, Renderware .rwx, StereoLithography .stl, VRML 2.0 .vrl, Directx .x.
  • External Render: Kerkythea, POV-Ray
  • Plugins: It uses plugin architecture, but for some reason there isn't a big library of addons written under ERLANG.
    • See "How To Install..." for Vegastrike XMESH Plugin (if you want to rebuild it, because it's outdated).

Misfit Model 3D

Misfit Model 3D is an OpenGL-based 3D model editor that works with triangle-based models. It supports multi-level undo, skeletal animations, simple texturing, command-line batch processing, and a plugin system for adding new model and image filters. Complete online help is included. The primary design goal is to be easy to use.. No more advaced stuff - yet.

  • Homepage:
  • License: GNU-GPL
  • Operating system: Linux, Windows, Mac
  • Formats: See in Features.
    • Fully supports: Wavefront OBJ, Milkshape MS3D, Quake MD2.
    • Partially supports: 3DStudio (3ds) read-only via plugin, Quake MD3, Cal3d, Caligari trueSpace COB, AutoCAD DXF, Lightwave LWO read-only.
  • Plugins: as source code only for now.
    • 3DS import, Triangle Stripping, Texture Filter (support for gif, pnm, tiff).

Art of Illusion

"free, open source 3D modelling and rendering studio." Easy to learn. Its main strength is in the procedural side (generated objects, boolean modelling, procedural textures and materials), so it's most useful for creating primary models used to bake textures and converting them into tri- or quad- meshes, as well as making effect animations or pre-rendered backgrounds. Conversely, less useful for editing meshes, though it does support skeletons, and allows to explicitly sets coordinates and edge smoothness. If you want to do it anyway, backup the source OBJ and check the result, you may need to change rounding value. Or not, if it looks good anyway.


POV-Ray (Persistence of Vision Raytracer) is a high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The source code is available for those wanting to do their own ports. With its unique scripting approach and through a large base of available texture, pigment, and material functions there are almost unlimited possibilities to creating any kind of graphics.

A terragen clone for POV-Ray can be found here: Project Tierra


YafaRay is a free open-source raytracing engine.


Terragen is a free (for non-commercial use) scenery rendering software capable of creating photo-realistic results for landscape visualization, special effects, art and recreation.


Fracplanet is an interactive tool for creating random fractal planets and terrain areas with oceans, rivers, lakes and icecaps. The results can be exported as models to POV-Ray and to Blender, or as texture maps for more general usage.


K-3D is free-as-in-freedom 3D modeling and animation software. It combines flexible plugins with a visualization pipeline architecture, making K-3D a versatile and powerful tool for artists. Not beta anymore, but a lot of features actually using the potentially powerful engine are still yet to be implemented - e.g. Texture Mapping (though it's planned).



3D Graphics Modeller


Free 3D Animation Software

Pretty Poly Editor (PPE)

WolfPack Entertainment

3D Canvas

3D Canvas is a real-time 3D modeling and animation tool that incorporates an intuitive drag-and-drop approach to 3D modeling.
The free version exports to POVRay only.

Panorama home page




Caligari trueSpace

An old and well-rounded 3D authoring tool that in part inspired Blender. Was acquired by Microsoft in 2008, freeware for a while, discontinued in 2009 and completely closed in 2011. For those stuck with some old files, there are importers for its format to other software - e.g. in Links:3D_Applications#Misfit_Model_3D.






GooseEgg 3D



Free Animation and Modeling Project


3dom - A3D Object Modeler



Addons and helper applications


"The visual, procedural and structural way to create complex materials."


Lightweight 3D viewer. Allows to preview models in many formats, usually much faster than loading or importing them into modeler.


" for the modelling of 3-Dimensional humanoid characters. Features [...] highly intuitive GUI and a high quality mesh, optimized to work in subdivision surface mode (for example, Zbrush). Using MakeHuman, a photorealistic character can be modeled in less than 2 minutes"

  • Homepage: (has extensive documentation section)
  • License: GNU AGPL (code) / special (MakeHuman mesh) / CC0 (content derived from its data)
  • Operating systems: "32-bit and 64-bit for Windows, Linux, and Mac (Intel & PPC)"
  • Extras: MakeTarget -- "a new development tool to create morph targets libraries for MakeHuman".


MORSE, the Modular OpenRobots Simulation Engine, is an generic simulator for academic robotics. It focuses on realistic 3D simulation of small to large environments, indoor or outdoor, with one to tenths of autonomous robots. - in case you want some moving mechanisms to look realistically in different scenes. In MORSE, simulations are small Python scripts that describe the robots and the environment.

See also

main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=6604&g2_serialNumber=1&ext=.png Links:Graphic Applications main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=6608&g2_serialNumber=1&ext=.png Links Links:Converters main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=6606&g2_serialNumber=1&ext=.png