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3D MODELING SOFTWARE

From beginners to professionals, Autodesk has 3D modeling software designed to meet your needs.

Image courtesy of Binyan Studio

Image Courtesy Serhat Sezgin

What is 3D modeling?

3D modeling is the process of using software to create a mathematical representation of a 3-dimensional object or shape. The created object is called a 3D model and these 3-dimensional models are used in a variety of industries.

The film, television, video games, architecture, construction, product development, science and medical industries all use 3D models to visualize, simulate and render graphic designs.

What is 3D modeling used for?

3D modeling is used across a wide range of industries

  • FILM & TV

    VFX and animation studios use modeling software to create CG assets and characters for films and TV shows

    Image courtesy of Qvisten Animation

  • GAME DEVELOPMENT

    Game developers create 3D environments and characters for games and cinematics using modeling tools.

    Image courtesy of Axis Studios

  • PRODUCT DESIGN

    The manufacturing industry uses 3D modeling software for product design, engineering, and concept rendering.

    Image courtesy of Diamond Works

  • ARCHITECTURE

    The architecture industry uses modelng software to render interiors and exteriors of proposed buildings and environments.

    Image Courtesy of Alt/Shift

Our top 3D modeling software for games, film, TV, and VFX

Our top 3D modeling software for industrial and product design

Our top 3D modeling software for architecture and construction

Image courtesy of AJ Jefferies

How does 3D modeling work?

The artist starts by generating a 3D primitive such as a plane, cube, cylinder, or sphere, which are each made up of numerous polygons. This object is then further developed by using various modeling tools to change and define its new, desired form. The workflow involves adding vertices, while adjusting their placement and manipulating the object’s mesh by subdividing its polygons with the goal of creating a new 3D object.

Watch 3D modeling in action

  • Creating realistic characters with Maya

    In this video series, 5 artists demonstrate their respective technique in creating realistic 3D characters.

    Image courtesy of Yin Shiuan

  • Real-time product rendering with 3ds Max

    In this first video we see how to setup the scene and 3ds Max's viewport for optimal visualization quality.

    Image Courtesy of Jose Elizardo

  • 3D modeling with AutoCAD

    Learn how to create 3D geometry using AutoCAD solid, surface, and mesh tools and how to apply texturing and materials to 3D objects.

Get started with 3D modeling for games

Getting into 3D modeling and game design has never been easier. Autodesk has everything you need to get started.

Image Credit Jonas Schlengman

Modeling software for 3D printing

Fusion 360 is a cloud-based 3D CAD/CAM/CAE software for 3D product design and modeling. Use Fusion 360 to bring your visions into 3D reality. 

Free 3D modeling software for beginners

  • Tinkercad

    Tinkercad is a free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It's used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything!

  • Fusion 360 in 60 minutes

    Fusion 360 is a cloud-based CAD/CAM/CAE tool for collaborative product development. Get started with 3D modeling, sketching, 2D drawings and assemblies with these quick tutorials. Learn how Autodesk Fusion 360 can help you bring your designs to life.

  • Autodesk Design Academy

    Help students get started in design with Autodesk® skill-building videos. No experience is necessary – each video covers everything your class needs to complete an exciting 3D design project. Just select the Autodesk design software you’re using and your class’s skill level, and you’re ready to go.

Inspirational 3D modeling galleries

Find inspiration with these digital art and CG (computer graphics) galleries.

  • AREA

    Get inspired by 3D models created by artists all around the world in the AREA artists gallery.

    Image courtesy of Andrew Krivulya

  • FUSION 360

    See what people are making with Fusion 360 in the product design gallery.

  • CGSOCIETY

    Get free training, participate in forums, and access a free texture library in the CG gallery.

  • CG ARCHITECT

    Check out this website from one of the largest Arch Viz online community.

    Image courtesy of Alt/Shift

Free 3D modeling resources

Get started in 3D modeling with these tutorials, guides, tips and communities.

  • Is Fusion 360 still free for 3D modeling hobbyists?

    Autodesk offers its Fusion 360 software free to qualifying startups, hobbyists, and makers through a simple three-step verification process (US site).

  • Does Autodesk have any 3D modeling software for mobile devices?

    Autodesk makes it easy to develop 3D modeling projects on your mobile device (US site). You can share, view, and comment on 2D and 3D DWG, DWF, Navisworks, and Revit software files. You can also review 3D models and animation in multiple formats and even create digital designs that are ready to be 3D printed.

  • How can Autodesk software help speed up 3D modeling workflows?

    Built-in modeling and sculpting tools in 3ds Max allow you to quickly model 3D characters, environments, and elements. Its efficient and flexible modeling toolset allows you to automate your workflow, so you can focus on producing high-quality renders in less time.

  • What collaboration features are included in Autodesk 3D modeling software?

    Autodesk software is designed to allow you to securely collaborate on 3D files in one location with easy design review in a web browser. You can maintain an associative link to non-native CAD data and convert configurable 3D models into BIM objects.

  • Where can I find learning content for 3D modeling?

    Watch free tutorials on 3D modeling for Maya and 3ds Max on AREA, your hub for all things 3D. Find written and video tutorials for beginners to the most advanced users.

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