The 20 Best Programs For Drawing, Painting, Graphic Design and 3D Modeling (including Free Software and Full paid versions)

The best programs for drawing, digital illustration, 3D sculpting and modelling, Free and Full versions, with download links and tutorials

On this list you will find the best programs for drawing, digital painting and illustration, graphic design and 3D sculpting/modeling.

For each of these programs I have added links so that you can download them, either in full paid version or in free or trial version, if available. You will also find links to useful tutorials to get you started using them as quickly as possible.

The software on this list is for graphic design, drawing and painting, digital illustration, concept art, photo retouching, vector image editing or sculpting 3D models.


To make things clear, this post is organized in the following sections:

Software programs for drawing, painting and digital illustration "in 2D" (paid, although with free trial versions)

Vector software for graphic design (paid, although with free trial versions)

Free drawing software and free graphic design programs, both bitmap and vector

3D sculpting and modeling software (paid and free)



I hope you find this list helpful.


Best Programs for Drawing, Painting and Digital Illustration "in 2D"

First of all, the following software programs are not free, although they do have free versions. If you are looking for free drawing software, look FURTHER DOWN. However, these programs are extremely powerful ones, in some cases industry standard, and they are worth checking out.

Clip Sutiod Paint interface (previously known as Manga Studio 5)

[ Clip Studio Paint is one of the best programs for digital illustrations, it is extremely powerful and affordable. You can get it here ]

Manga Studio 5 is now called Clip Studio Paint. This is a digital drawing software that, in spite of its previous name, is not only to draw Manga but also to draw comics of any kind or for digital illustration in general.

Clip Studio Paint is the best compromise between the complexity of Photoshop and the simplicity of other programs like Paint Tool SAI. Clip Studio Paint is one of the best drawing software suites in terms of value, not surprisingly it has already sold more than 4 Million copies.

If you are using an iPad to draw digitally or you are thinking of buying on with that purpose, here is some good news for you: since the end of 2017 there is an iPad version of Clip Studio Paint. The interface is a bit different with respect to the PC version, but apart from that it is very similar. And it will let you draw and design anywhere with your iPad, which is a great plus.

If Photoshop seems too complicated but Paint Tool SAI is too limited, then get Clip Studio Paint. (It is much cheaper than Photoshop)


Get Clip Studio Paint PRO for Windows/MacOS: you can download a 30 day free trial version from their website, however you won't be able to save any work and many commands are disabled in the trial version. For what it costs it's worth getting the full version.

Download Clip Studio Paint for iPad, you can get it on the App Store or on the official Clip Studio Paint website. 

Clip Studio Paint Tutorials, pretty comprehensive, covering first steps to intermediate to advanced, on the official website: https://tips.clip-studio.com/en-us/official/


Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop, the Ferrari of digital drawing and painting programs

Adobe Photoshop is the most professional software suite for illustration and photography. It is an extremely powerful tool and its use is so widely spread. Talking about Photoshop can be a vast subject, but here is the basic ideas you should know about Photoshop:

What is Photoshop and what is it used for? Photoshop is an image editing program used for creating digital images and illustrations, graphic design, photo retouching and many other applications. In summary, Photoshop allows you to do pretty much any image editing task that you can imagine. It is not a coincidence that Adobe Photoshop is used by professionals, companies, students and digital artists of all kinds.

What Photoshop versions are there? The full version is Photoshop CC (until 2012 it was Photoshop CS6). Photoshop CC is the full paid version, however there is also a compact version called Photoshop Elements, which is cheaper and still has enough power and features to do digital drawing and to create awesome digital illustrations.

Does Photoshop run on Mac? Yes, Photoshop can run both on Windows and Mac.

Pros and Cons of Photoshop? Pros: it is a very powerful tool, widely used at professional level (if you can use Photoshop you have access to many career options as a graphic designer, illustrator or digital artist), and there are plenty of tutorials available to learn how to use it. Cons: having so many options and features at the beginning can feel daunting, and it requires a bit of time to learn how to use it to its full potential. Another disadvantage is the cost of the license for the full version (although it is cheaper for students), but there are alternatives such as free trial versions and the Photoshop Elements option which is very affordable.


Download Photoshop CC:

   ► If you want to buy the full version of Photoshop (Photoshop CC) you have to subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud, paying either monthly or per year (students and teachers get a 60% discount from the official website). You can download the trial version here which is free and lasts 7 days, after which it will ask you for a license activation code.

   ► If you don't need all of the functionality of the full version (for example if you only want it to draw or paint digital illustrations) then you can get Photoshop Elements at a much lower price. Photoshop Elements is also a good option for beginner and intermediate users who don't need all the professional features and technicalities of the full version.


Tutorials to learn how to use Photoshop quickly:

   ►If you want to learn how to draw and paint with Photoshop: I highly recommend that you look at the free video tutorials of Ctrl+Paint or else pick a tutorial that you like from photoshoptutorials.ws, where you can find a good selection of tutorials to learn how to use Photoshop from zero, with small fun projects such as drawing Hulk or a Vintage poster. If you want something more basic, Wacom's website has some beginner tutorials that will allow you to create your first sketches in Photoshop, and if these are too easy for you then you can check out this compilation of Photoshop tutorials on DeviantArt.

   ►Photoshop courses and tutorials for graphic design: if you want to learn graphic design with Photoshop seriously, then you should investin a step by step course such as this one on Udemy or this one on Skillshare. If you are serious about it, it is worh paying for a course since that way you will learn step by step to do things properly from the beginning, and you will save time scanning the internet for bits of information. You will end up saving time and effort.

   ►An interesting Photoshop tutorial from the official Adobe website and an example of how to do a professional digital illustration in Photoshop, here.


Looking for a Drawing Tablet?

These are the best Graphics Tablets and Pen Display Drawing Monitors 🙂

Autodesk SketchBook

Sketchbook pro, another great drawing program

Sketchbook is a well chosen name for this drawing program. Autodesk SketchBook is a digital painting program more reduced in features than Corel Painter and Photoshop, but extremely versatile and powerful.

Although Sketchbook is not the same kind of beast as Photoshop or Corel Painter, its best strength resides in its ease of use. Many designers and digital artists reckon SketchBook is the easiest to use drawing program.

With SketchBook you can use PSD files (the native format of Photoshop) keeping all layers intact.


Copic library in SketchBook: Something that only SketchBook has is the Copic Colours library. Copic markers are a very well known brand of markers used by plenty of designers, artists and illustrators. Well, in SketchBook you can use the colours of all real life Copic markers, so you can draw with Copic markers on your computers as you would do on paper (see the image above).


Download SketchBook, you can install it for free for one month trial period from the official website: https://www.sketchbook.com/thankyou 

►SketchBook download for students and educators: if you are a student, Autodesk gives you free access to SketchBook for 3 years. You will be asked to enter the name of your school or university, other than that the registration process is really simple.   https://www.sketchbook.com/education

►SketchBook Tutorials (very straight forward and effective, from the official website): https://www.sketchbook.com/help/knowledge-base/getting-started-with-sketchbook/


Corel Painter

Corel Painter is a quality piece of drawing software, very much oriented to digital painting

Corel Painter is a strong competitor to Photoshop. As well as Photoshop, it is an extremely powerful program that is full of really useful features and capabilities, which will allow you to create professionally looking digital illustrations.

It does stand out from Photoshop in various aspects, such as the user interface which is organized in a slightly different manner, and the brushes which use a different technology under the hood. However it would be hard to decide which one is better than the other.

Some professionals reckon that Corel Painter is more specialized than Photoshop in pure digital painting, as it simulates the effect of real life brushes in a more realistic way (such as oil, acrylic paints, watercolors, pastel, etc.), while others claim that Photoshop is more powerful when it comes to photo retouching, applying advanced filters, etc.

In theory Corel Painter gives you a more organic feeling when you are painting, as if it simulates the texture of real life brushes better, whereas Photoshop is more convenient for photo manipulation. Again, the differences between these two are small and it depends on personal taste of each individual artist.

In any case, both are without a doubt incredibly powerful pieces of digital drawing software.


Corel Painter download (free trial version) from the official website: https://www.painterartist.com/en/product/painter/

Corel Painter tutorials: https://www.painterartist.com/en/pages/tutorials/ 


Paint Tool SAI

Paint Tool SAI user interface

Paint Tool SAI is a bitmap image editing program characterized by its simplicity but at the same time is capable of producing pretty good results.

It is powerful and feature rich without being nearly as complex as Photoshop. For this reason Paint Tool SAI is often used as the go-to drawing software by beginning digital artists and those who don't want to overcomplicate things.

Since it is a more simple solution, it also takes up less disk space than Photoshop and the installation process is faster.

Many people use Paint Tool SAI as their preferred drawing program to start a piece, and then switch over to Photoshop to do the final touches to their image such as filters and advanced effects.

Its main limitation is that it has a more reduced number of layer "modes" than Photoshop, less options to export files to different formats, etc. Depending on what you are going to do, Paint Tool SAI may be the best option for you. If you are starting out in digital painting then it may be a good choice of drawing software for beginners given its simplicity.


Paint Tool SAI download: from the official website ( https://www.systemax.jp/en/sai/ ) you can download it for free, install it and start using it right away, as you can use the program for free for 31 days. After that period, it will ask you to purchase a license key in order to keep using it.

Paint Tool SAI tutorial: Here is a a good tutorial to get started quickly on Paint Tool SAI.

Vector Image Editing Programs (Graphic Design Software)

First of all, you should be familiar with this basic concept: Difference between a vector image and a bitmap or raster image.

► Bitmap or raster images are made up of pixels, while vector graphics are made of lines, control points and their coordinates, which the vector image editor takes care of rendering on screen.

► When you enlarge or zoom into a bitmap image you start to be able to see the actual pixels (it looses resolution), while a vector image does not loose resolution.

► Bitmap images are more adequate for realistic, organic, detailed images, whereas a vector graphic is more frequently used for images with flat color and geometric patterns in graphic design.

This is a general definition, for more details about this you can find more information here, where you can read more about the differences between raster and vector images.

Difference between a bitmap or raster image and a vector graphic

A continuación te muestro los programas vectoriales más utilizados para diseño gráfico.

Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is one of the most commonly used vector image editors, possibly the most used one

Adobe Illustrator is the most widely used graphic design program to create and edit vector images. These vector images are then used for logos, marketing campaigns, personal or corporate designs to be used online or for print.

Illustrator is used to create vector illustrations, graphics, logos, diagrams, web elements, cartoons and much more. But its use is not limited to graphic design, as it is also often used for certain areas within industrial design. For example, some companies may use Illustrator to design their products, such as some brands of shoes, mobile phone enclosures or packaging for all sorts of products. It can also be used to create graphics that will go into motion graphics for TV and film.


As you can imagine, being such an industry standard kind of tool, being able to design with Illustrator may open you many doors into various career paths as a graphic designer.

Illustrator is designed to work seamlessly with other creative software suites from Adobe such as Photoshop and InDesign. It is part of a common workflow for a graphic designer to design a vector image in Illustrator to then export it over to Photoshop to manipulate it or apply some visual effects, or to bring it over to InDesign to get it ready for print. Illustrator works both in Windows and MacOS.

Given its vast array of features and tools, Illustrator is like Photoshop a very comprehensive graphic design software suite that requires going through somewhat of a learning curve to be able to get full advantage of its capabilities. But it is definitely worth it.


Download Adobe Illustrator CC from the official website:

   ►If you want to purchase they full version of Illustrator (i.e. Illustrator CC) then you have to take up a subscription which can be montly or per year (if you are a student you have around 60% discount from the price). Here you can download the free trial version which has the complete set of features for 7 days, after which it will ask you to purchase a license.


Illustrator tutorials:

   ►A very good tutorial to get started with Illustrator, from the official website, teaching you how to create a logo with Illustrator, step by step, here.

   ►Another Illustrator tutorial, intermediate level, to get used to working with shapes, text and images.

Corel Draw

Corel Draw, another powerful vector editing alternative

CorelDraw is another powerful graphic design program, with some similarities with Illustrator but also some differences.

CorelDraw has an intuitive tool that Illustrator does not have, this is called LiveSketch. This tool is useful to draw vector graphics with a graphics tablet, taking advantage of the pressure sensitivity to vary the type of line as you draw. Most vector image editors can be used with a graphics tablet, however CorelDraw's LiveSketch goes one step further (it allegedly uses Artificiaformulario_de_resolucion_de_dudasl Intelligence to recognize your drawing marks in a natural way as you draw). Here you can see how LiveSketch feature works.

Another useful feature of CorelDraw is a search filter for frequently used fonts, which allows you to quickly find the most appropriate fonts for your project.

It also has some enhancements regarding how it handles the control points in vector shapes, which some users find to be more convenient and user-friendly.

Additionally, it has an interface that is compatible with touch screens, which makes it easy to work with when you are using a pen display tablet or an actual tablet computer for graphic design.


Important Note: CorelDraw is not compatible with Mac. In order to run CorelDraw on Mac, you need to use some software to emulate Windows on Mac, such as Parallels or BootCamp.


►Download: CorelDraw offers a free trial version that you can use for 15 days (if the previous link doesn't work, try this one which will take you to the official website for download).

►Tutorials: here is a good CorelDraw tutorial to get practice with line, properties and shape tools.

►This other tutorial teaches you how to create a logo in CorelDraw.


​Sketch (for Mac)

Sketch is positioned as a vector graphics design software targeted at Mac OS, at professional level.

Have a look at the video above and you will get a good idea about how the interface looks like and what it allows you to do.

Sketch is very much oriented to designing iPhone apps. It is certainly an expensive piece of software, but if you are thinking of doing graphic design for iPhone apps, you may find it useful.

If you are looking to quickly create applications that use the standard Apple app elements, Sketch is the starting point.

It features an additional application that allows you to see all your creatings in all Apple devices, in real time. That is, you create something on your Mac and it immediately gets synchronized across your devices so you can see it on your iPhone right away. 

It comes with a vast library of Sketch vector elements, which means pre-made elements that you can use directly on your design, customize them and give them the look that you are after. This is a huge productivity booster for professional graphic designers working on iPhone apps.

Another strength of this graphic design program is that it facilitates "pixel-accurate" design, that is, with ultimate precision down to the very last pixel. This is an important feature for professional designs targeted at mobile applications.

Sketch is, however, not the strongest graphic design solution when it comes to dealing with complex vector shapes (Illustrator is better suited for that), so you may find yourself having to resort to creating these assets in other software suites and then importing them back into Sketch.


►Download Sketch: from the official website. It is a paid app, but you can download a free trial version.

►Sketch tutorials: in the official website you can find Sketch tutorials for Mac, from beginner to advanced. Some of these tutoriales require you to register to be able to see the whole thing.


Affinity Designer

User interface of Affinity Designer vector editing software

Affinity Designer was created for graphic designers used to the Mac work environment, but it is now available on Windows as well.

One of its key advantages is the fact that it allows you to instantly switch between "pixel mode" and "vector model", all within the same graphic design program. That is, you are designing somethe vector graphic, and all of a sudden you can switch over to "bitmap" mode so that you can paint with brushes, add textures, add masks, select pixel groups, etc.

Allowing you to create pixel based layers as well as vector objects, we could say that Affinity Designer is a kind of hybrid between Illustrator and Photoshop.

Affinity Designer allows you to create pixel layers with enormous precision (on the official website they claim a zoom precision of 1 Million percent). This helps you create very precise designs, given that "pixel-accurate" or "pixel-perfect" design is increasintly important for professional and clean looks.

Learning how to use Affinity Designer is not a big deal if you are familiar with Illustrator or Photoshop.

Another advantage of this graphic design program is its cost: it is much cheaper than Illustrator. It requires just a one-off payment rather than a recurring subscription.

Therefore, Affinity Designer is a good graphic design editor option for beginners with enough power to be used as well by freelance designers and professional artists. 


►You can Download Affinity Designer from the official website (you can also find a free version there).

►Affinity Designer tutorials, here.

​Snappa

Snappa is an app that you can use to create and edit vector graphics online

Snappa is an online app designed to create and edit vector graphics. Being an online app, you don't have to install anything on your computer. You simply acess it from any computer connected to internet.

Snappa is very different from the image editing software that we have reviewed until now. This is more geared towards to creating graphics for social networks, blogs or websites by users that are not expert graphic designers. Hence, its main focus is ease of use.

It relies heavily on the use of templates instead of starting your graphic creation from a blank page, and this speeds up the creation process.

It is obviously much less versatile than Illustrator or Photoshop, since it is oriented to graphics creation by non expert graphic designers while still producing good looking results.

One main advantage of this app is that once inside the application you can access a vast library of free high resolution images, which means that if you are using Snappa you are less likely to end up buying stock photos and you won't have to be searching for these kind of images on other websites.

To start using the app is really easy, you simply sign up with your email and you are taking straight to a quick start tutorial that will show you the steps to start making your own creations in no time.

Disadvantages of using Snappa: apart from its limited features, being an online app it is important that you have a stable internet connection while using it, otherwise you could have issues with losing work if your internet connection drops in the middle of your graphic creation process.


►How to get started using Snappa: it does not require any download, you just access directly their website. It is a paid suscription but you can try it out using their free version.

►Tutorials: Snappa is so user friendly that it doesn't quite need any tutorials, just start using it and it will guide you through the steps to create your first graphics online.

​​


Free Drawing and Graphic Design Software Programs

Free drawing, painting and graphic design software, both bitmap and vector editors.

Don't be misled by the fact that these drawing programs are free, as in reality these are really powerful pieces of software that many people use to draw, paint and do graphic design with really good results, even some professionals use them.

Krita (bitmap drawing program, free)

Krita is a powerful and free and open-source drawing program

Krita is one of the most popular free and open-source drawing software programs out there. It's a raster image editor designed for digital painting and animation. This free drawing software has a user interface that they call "low-distract", which is supposed to have all the necessary tools easily accessible for you but with minimum clutter around the workspace.

It supports advanced realistic brushes, layers and masks, it allows layer grouping and it also supports vector graphics import. Krita works well with graphics tablets with pressure sensitivity, and it is powerful enough to allow you to create really breath-taking digital illustrations.

Being a powerful and free drawing program, many beginner users choose Krita combined with a decent graphics tablet as their first drawing program for beginners, in order to learn how to draw digitally while they get used to their first graphics tablet.

This software runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Need a Drawing Tablet?

These are the best Graphics Tablets and Pen Display Drawing Monitors 🙂


Download Krita (free) from the official website: https://krita.org/en/download/krita-desktop/

Krita Tutorials from the official website: https://docs.krita.org/Category:Tutorials 

Gimp (bitmap editor, free)

Gimp is a well known free bitmap editor

GIMP is a free and open-source bitmap image editor. It is quite commonly used for image editing and retouching, to draw on the computer or to switch between different image formats.

GIMP has been around for a long time and there are professionals who even say that it may be a good free alternative to other professional drawing software packages (depends on the user's needs). GIMP has many functionalities that Photoshop has, however some very specific and professional features of Photoshop are either limited or unavailable in GIMP. But for a free program, GIMP does cover many bases. 

It runs on Windows, Linux and macOS and it is compatible with graphic tablets, and it supports pressure sensitivity.


Download GIMP for free from the official website: https://www.gimp.org/downloads/ 

GIMP Tutorials to learn how to use it, on the official website: https://www.gimp.org/tutorials/

ArtWeaver (bitmap editor, free)

Artweaver, another interesting free drawing program

ArtWeaver is a free raster (bitmap) graphics editor for beginner artists and professionals. It is specially useful if you are familiar with programs like Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter.

Although it's in essence a free drawing program, it is a very powerful one. It is compatible with graphics tablets, pressure sensitivity, etc. It supports the use of layers, transparencies, gradients, realistic organic brushes... It allows you to simulate various kinds of tradiitonal media such as oil painting brushes, acrylics, pastel, pencils, airbrush, etc.

A funny thing about ArtWeaver is that it allows various users to work on the same document at the same time. That is, a few people connect through internet to the same document, they all start editing and they can paint on it at the same time. This could be real fun for things like one person working on the background of an image while another user works on the foreground.

ArtWeaaver is compatible with graphics tablets and it supports all the usual graphic tablet features such as pressure sensitivity. It runs on Windows and Linux  (not sure if it works on Mac, if you know a version that works on macOS feel free to let us know in the comments).

ArtWeaver comes in two versions, one is the free version and the other is the Plus version which is paid but quite cheap (around 30$) and it gives you more advanced tools, compatibility with Photoshop filters, the possibility to work with larger images, etc.

​​

To donwload ArtWeaver: https://www.artweaver.de/en/download . Here you can download the free version and the Plus version which is paid. You can actually also download the Plus version for free for a trial period.

ArtWeaver tutorial: this is the official ArtWeaver user manual in PDF. https://www.artweaver.de/direct/Artweaver_EN.pdf 

Inkscape (vector graphics editor, free)

Inkscape is a free and open source vector graphics editor

Inkscape is a free and open source vector graphics editor. Its interface is clean and user friendly. It supports SVG format (Scalable Vector Graphics) which is considered to be a widely used standard format for vector graphics.

This program works on all platforms, inclusing Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

Many Linux users use Inkscape for their vector graphic design needs.

Its key advantages are its ease of use and the handling of nodes or control points within vector objects. Apart from the fact that it is free and open source.

The main disadvantage of Inkscape is that it does not support CMYK colours for print, hence if you want to prepare a document for rpint you will have to export it across to another image editing program that supports CMYK colours for print.


►Donwload Inkscape: from the Official Inkscape website

►Inkscape tutorials: also downloadable from the official Inkscape website

Gravit Designer (vector graphics editor, free)

Gravit Designer es un programa gratis para diseñar vectorialmente con una interfaz muy atractiva

Gravit Designer is a free vector graphics editor that can be used for marketing design, web design, icons, UI design, presentations, or simply to create good looking images for any application.

Gravit Designer can be used both by downloading it and installing it on your computer, or directly using it online through a web browser on the official website.

It works across all main platforms: Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome and on any web browser.

It has a very intuitive interface and a very effective system to export vector graphics to other formats including PDF, PNG, JPG and SVG. It is also good for print jobs, as it gives you many unit option to work including pixels, milimeters, centimeters, etc.


You can donwload it or use it online on your web browser through the official website: https://www.designer.io/ 

►Here is a pretty good tutorial for Gravit Designer: Getting Started With Gravit Designer.


Best 3D modeling software, Free and Paid

Software programs for 3D modeling, sculpting and 3D animation, including free and full versions.

3D Studio Max

3D Studio Max, probably the most widely used 3D modeling software at professional level

3D Studio Max, also known as 3ds Max, is one of the the most widely used 3D modeling programs in the videogame industry, if not the most used one.

With 3D Studio Max you can create entire virtual worlds in 3D, and all sort of breathtaking 3D models to help teams visualize their designs such as environments, buildings and very detailed characters.

3ds Max has been around in the videogame industry for decades, and it works with most rendering engines such as Arnold, V-Ray, Iray and Mental Ray.

Given how much of an industry standard it has become, we could say that "3D Studio Max is like the Photoshop of 3D".

Many studios and videogame companies use 3D Studio Max to create assets, props, characters and environments for their titles. Good examples of this are Ubisoft (Assasin's Creed) or Eidos Montreal (Avengers Reassemble, Deus Ex, Rise of Tomb Raider).


►From the official Autodesk website you can download the free trial version of 3D Studio Max: https://www.autodesk.eu/products/3ds-max/free-trial 

►They also have free versions for students and educators here: https://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/3ds-max 

3D Studio Max Tutorials from the official website: http://docs.autodesk.com/3DSMAX/16/ENU/3ds-Max-Tutorials/ 

►Advanced 3DS Max courses (paid): https://www.pluralsight.com/browse/creative-professional/3d-vfx/3ds-max

ZBrush

Zbrush, more than a 3D modeling program, it is a 3D sculpting program

Zbrush has become famous worldwide as one of the most powerful 3D sculpting software packages.

With its particular style of sculpting in 3D, you can push, pull, carve, bend, add, take away and do all sorts of manipulations to your 3D model until you get an astonishing 3D design in front of you. It is akin to playing with clay.

Nowadays Zbrush is used in virtually all videogames and film requiring special effects. Here are some prominent examples: Avatar, The Lord of The Rings, Avengers, The Incredible Hulk, Tron, Star Trek, Iron Man, Pirates of the Caribbean... Although this is such a versatile piece of software that it is also being used for other more "cartoony" style productions such as the Minions from Despicable Me, Entangled, Rango, etc.

Zbrush is also used for designing 3D models of characters and props for videogames such as Fallout 4, Paragon and many more.

The funny thing about this program is that because of its enormous versatility its use is spreading out to other industries outside videogames and films, such as digital illustration, marketing, 3D printing, industrial design and even jewelry design.


Download: On Pixologic's website you can download a free version of ZBrush lasting 45 days: https://pixologic.com/zbrush/trial/

Tutorials to learn how to use ZBrush quickly: https://pixologic.com/zclassroom/workshop/how-to-start-in-zbrush 

Maya

Maya es un potente programa también muy utilizado en la industria a nivel profesional

Maya is a powerful 3D modeling software used for animation, modeling, simulation and rendering of 3D objects and scenes. It is used at professional level for animation, environments, virtual reality and character design.

Many professional studios use Maya for their 3D creations for videogames and films.

A good example of a professional studio using Maya is Couter Punch Studios. This company has done 3D for renowned videogame titles such as Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, NBA 2K15, Doom, Uncharged, Mafia III... and for films like DC Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl among others.

Maya was also used in the famous indie cult movie "Kung Fury" to give life to the (crazy) characters and creatures featured in the film.

When it comes to power and versatility, some professionals consider Maya as being very close to 3ds Max. Maya is used both for films and videogames, whereas 3ds Max is more heavily used in the videogame industry.


Download: From the official website you can download the free version of Maya for students and educators: https://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/maya

Tutorial showing how to model and render a robot in Maya.

SketchUp

SketchUp stands out from other 3D modeling programs for its peculiarly intuitive workflow

SketchUp is a 3D modeling program used for a wide variety of applications ranging from architecture, interior design, landscaping, civil and mechanical engineering to film and videogames.

One of its main characteristics is its ease of use and its particularly intuitive workflow. SketchUp uses a set of very intuitive commands that allow you to create 3D forms by "lifting up" from their silhouette in a very easy manner.

Many experts claim that SketchUp is so intuitive that it can be learnt in a matter of days, whereas other more traditional 3D design programs such as AutoCad can take months by the time you go through the learning curve.

SketchUp is available in Freeware version (SketchUp Make) and a paid version (SketchUp Pro), which gives you access to additional more advanced tools.

Two remarkable things about SketchUp: the first one is that there is an online library of 3D objects (such as doors, windows, cars...) that users can access and they can use objects from that library and add their own models to it. This library is called 3D Warehouse. The second one is that SketchUp allows you to place your models on Google Earth to see how they fit in a real environment. Here you can find out how to do this.


Download Sketchup from the official webiste (remember SketchUp Make is the free version and SketchUp Pro is the paid version): https://www.sketchup.com/download

SketchUp video Tutorials to get the hang of it incredibly quickly (I recommend you to do the "Getting Started" video tutorials step by step, which takes very little time and they are really hands on and clarifying): https://www.sketchup.com/learn 


Clara.io

Clara.io is based on the cloud so there is no need to install it on your computer

Clara.io is a complete 3D modeling and animation software solution based "on the cloud", that is, you access it through your web browser and you don't need to install anything on your computer.

Clara.io is Freemium, meaning that it has a free version and you can pay to access the full version with additional tools.

With Clara.io you can build complete 3D models, create photorealistic  renderings and share your creations, all of it without needing to install any software on you computer.

It is developed in HTML5, JavaScript and WebGL, which means that it doesn't need any special plugin installed on your web browser. Therefore it works fine on any web browser including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.

As you can see on the examples shown on the official website, you can create really advanced and spectacular 3D models with it.


Access Clara.io for free here: https://clara.io/

Tutorials on the official website: https://clara.io/learn/tutorials


 

Now it's your turn to start drawing and designing like a Pro

These, together with your creative spirit, are your tools to bring spectacular creations to life.

If you are thinking of making graphic design, 3D modeling or digital art your profession, check out this blog post about the many professional possibilities of graphic design, 3D and digital art.

To get the most out of graphic design programs, both 2D and 3D, you should be thinking about switching from using a mouse to using a graphics tablet, as it is the best way to draw and design on a computer, and the one that professionals and studios use.

I hope you find this helpful. All the best with your creations!


Need a Drawing Tablet?

These are the best Graphics Tablets and Pen Display Drawing Monitors 🙂

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