While designing a car, home, game, furniture or even a building; nowadays designers use lots of expertise of computers. Computer aided design or CAD is the concept which has enhanced the creativity of all these designers extensively. Novices like many of us can take help of the software available in the market. Of course, some are for free and some asks for little bit of investments. What you select will totally depend upon your need and budget. I did some research and tried to understand which one can be the best bit for new designers. Journey and result of my research both were pretty interesting and here I am providing that list of amazing 2D & 3D software for novice designers. Have a look!
Owned by “Smith Micro” Poser is a 3D rendering and animation computer program. It has been skilfully optimized for models that depict the human figure in three-dimensional form. Designers also use it for posing and rendering of models and characters. Equipped with some specialized tools for walk cycle creation, cloth and hair Poser is a nice choice.
I was just thinking that there is something I am missing and that what this nice software. It is beautiful 3D animation software owned by the owners of Maya and Mudbox from my list, Autodesk. Industrial designers and architects favourite Studio Max is gaining popularity in film and video game industry as well.
Another one for special effects is Lightwave which is very professional 3D animation software. It helps in movie creation and has lot many features to be learned by the user for its proper usage. You get 30 days free trial. Quality is good but comes with a price. It supports Mac OSX and Windows.
No one can beat Toon Boom when comes to usage. It is extensively popular among designers for 2D animations. Several features with graphics make it cool choice. I added this entry as there are some novices who may have money and want to begin with the best. Supporting Mac OSX and Windows it is the one if your budget allows.
This is the one for those designers who are quite realistic about the time for learning. It is amazing software when it comes to creative freedom. It is free open source software and allows you to explore a lot.
When we are talking about something related to designing with computers how can we forget about our own Adobe? Flash the Adobe’s animation tool is still the best 2D animation software available in the market. It’s easy to use feature and flexibility for web development makes it one of the favourite among designers. Not just this it has sustained its position in the era when new software coming daily. But it may not be that good with innovation and lacks some tools which can help designers who keep on experimenting. OS supported are Mac OSX, Windows and let me remind you it is not free.
It is owned by Autodesk and has become the benchmark for 3D software for designing animations, movies, games and more. Its major usage is in the film, television, and gaming industry. With regular updates and fantastic shading and lighting effects it is the most popular choice among those who are or want to become professional designers. It may sound bit expensive but no good thing comes cheap. It supports Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
I am a google person and hence when I wanted something to help me in designs I looked something by this company. How could I be disappointed when it was Google; I got this beautiful CAD software. It is a free download and despite of that it is pretty decent for novices. In fact it works quite well in animations even when you are facing processing power issues. It may not look like the best but don’t go by its looks it is quite impressive. One thing which attracts all novices is that it is simple and quick to master and amateurs can use its different kinds of model creation feature extensively. This one is for Windows (7, XP/Vista). Sketchup can make smart presentations within minutes even when you have no prior experience of creating CAD or 3D animations. But yes if you are hard-core designer and looking for more accuracy in the details of your design then it will take some time to grasp its features. Again, its website will help you with several videos and training options according to your pace, throughout your learning journey. All I can say is if you are thinking to have one such software then it should be definitely there in your list.
If all what you need is a simple 3D animation and that too in your budget then Blender can be your choice of first preference. Large studios may not be using it but for simple yet beautiful cartoon for small project Blender is nice software. Yes it is free and may not be able to compete with other highly advanced ones but looking at the no cost feature it is a safe bet. It supports Mac OSX and Windows and comes with plenty of features like as rigging, tracking, fluids, sculpting, painting etc. This one is an open source and has strong following. One feature which amazed me was its compatibility with Python Script to alter and modify its functionalities. If you enjoy customizations then as a beginner it will give you a good learning and creative experience.
Finally what you select will depend upon the scale and budget of the project. Before choosing one make sure what are your priorities and what you would like to do with the software. I hope this list must have guided you and you are all set to create some real good stuff. Best Wishes!