3D rendering software (very important in the creating processes of a 3D configurator) has made great strides over the last 10 years. Architects and designers are increasingly dependent on lifelike renderings of their work. Fortunaly, due to the existing 3D rendering software, you don`t need a server farm or a master`s degree in computer science anymore.

Nowadays there are many good 3D rendering software and plug-ins, so the choice is not always easy. Most users stay with the software they started with.

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However, if you are a beginner and would like to expand your repertoire of software skills, you should learn more about the popular 3D software. The following collection of 3D rendering software does not cover everything that is currently available on the market, but it represents the most popular programs used by architects, artists and designers.


V-Ray is the cream a la cream in 3D and has risen to the top of visualization software in the last 5 years. V-Ray was developed by the Chaos Group and is known for its huge library of textures and unsurpassed realism. If you are a designer and want to recreate the highest possible realism in color, light and shadow, then V-Ray is for you.

Due to the large number of different functions and the high flexibility V-Ray can be quite complicated for beginners. However, there are numerous tutorials and learning units online, so that beginners can quickly get help with emerging problems. The core of V-Ray are the light and shadow functions.

VRay as PlugIn is compatible with 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Google Sketchup, Autodesk Revit, etc. This makes V-Ray ideal for designers who frequently switch between different software solutions.

Mental Ray.

Mental Ray is probably the only render engine in this list that doesn`t  have to fear comparison with V-Ray. The choice between V-Ray and Mental Ray is often base on personal preferences and brand loyalty. Mental Ray is a little more user-friendly than V-Ray, but does not reach the level and quality of realism that VRay ic capable of. Overall, Mental Ray is an excellent product that absolutely deserves its reputation as an excellent renderer.

Mental images was developed by Mental Ray in 2007 to create a universal rendering engine that can be used by a variety of designers and artists. Its ease of use and versatility make Mental Images ideal for architects. For beginners, Mental Ray is better than V-Ray. You will be amazed what Mental Ray is capable of in the rights hands.


Many complain that Maxwell is slow. But if you have enough time, you can`t do much wrong wirh Maxwell. Many users prefer Maxwell and the cause seems clear. Maxwell uses a unique lighting engine called Unbiased Rendering, which uses real modeling techniques instead of tricks and shortcuts used by other renderers. The compromise for realistic light is the long render times that can result from complex, high-resolution images.

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A helpful addition to the visualization software is Maxwell Fire: a lightning-fast engine that allows you to see a grainy version of the rendering you are creating. This low-resolution image predicts light, color and materiality without waiting. This is a great addition for architects and designers. Users get a presentation in advance without spending precious hours waiting for the fuss of print quality rendering.

Cinema 4D.

Cinema 4D is not just 3D modeling software and not just a simple renderer. Cinema 4D is the total package that gives users the ability to use both 3D models and 3D rendering capabilities in presentable presentation quality in the same package. Build, model.texture, animate and render. With Cinema 4D almost anything is possible and impressive creations can be created. However, you should allow plenty of time to get used to Cinema 4D.

And if you`re one of those rebellious architects who swear by AutoCAD, you should put Cinema 4D at the top of their list of add-ons because they work seamlessly together.


Despite its lesser-known name, Modo is probably best suited for architects. Like Cinema 4D, Modo is an all-in-one 3D modeler equipped with a powerful rendering engine. Modo is characterized by the ability to model and render in the same application. With Modo, you don`t have to switch between different halves if the same program, and importing and exporting data is easier.

In addition, Modo has one of the fastest preview functions. Even with a limited amount of processing power, Modo allows you to preview scenes with realistic precision in a fraction of the time. A huge plus for architects looking for a simple, low quality program that works fast and always works flawlessly.

The only thing Modo lacks are options. If you want to control everything, Modo is certainly not the right solution for you. However, if you want quick results, want everything under one roof and don`t want to spend a lot of money, you can`t do much wrong with Modo.

3ds Max.

In terms of rendering, 3ds Max is certainly not the most acclaimed 3D rendering software. But nobody can deny the popularity of 3ds Max. While many users have switched to more realistic renderers like V-Ray and Mental Ray, Max still has a renderer on board that can still be used in an emergency. Similar to Modo and Cinema 4D, 3ds Max has a renderer that works  in conjunction with the 3D modeling software. One of the biggest advantages of 3ds Max is that it works well with other Autodesk products such as AutoCAD and Revit.

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If you create many 3D models in Revit, the 3ds Max renderer can become a valuable asset. Revit also has a renderer, but its flexibilty and end results are quite limited. With 3ds Max you can import your Revit models and edit textures in a way that is much more intuitive that the often clumsy Revit interface. But 3ds Max undoubtedly has its advantage.

We hope you enjoyed our listing. Working yourself into a software is usually connected with a very high expenditure. You will have to spend hours to achieve good results. All software solutions are complex tools that have to be learned before they can be mastered. But if you go about it with the appropriate diligence and patience, you can hardly do anything wrong.