20 Best free rendering software for professionals, amateurs, and beginners

Best free rendering 3D Rendering

Intro

With professional 3D rendering software, it becomes much easier to create unforgettable design projects. Now, you can turn your ideas into beautiful models and prototypes and use them for different purposes. These programs allow you to create models from any level or any complex. Choosing the most suitable 3D rendering programs is often difficult, as it is not easy to find one that has all the features you need. Some 3D editors are free, but still good enough. So, we offer you the list of the best free rendering software. Below you will find our selection of rendering programs and a description of each of them. Read and learn how you can make 3D rendering for free. You may find some of these programs in the article about the Best 3D rendering software. Information is relevant for 2022.

Top free 3D rendering software

Name Level Use OS Version Last version
BlenderFor professionals and amateursModeling, design, animation, architectural renderingWindows, macOS, LinuxFree2022
CyclesFor professionals and amateursModeling, design, animation, architectural renderingWindows, macOS, LinuxFree2021
SketchUp FreeFor professionals and beginners3D modeling Windows, macOSFree2021
LuxCoreRenderFor professional and amateursArchitectural rendering and visualizationWindows, macOS, LinuxFree2021
ArnoldFor professionals3D rendering, animationWindows, macOS, LinuxFree trial2022
Indigo RendererFor professionals3D rendering, animationWindows, macOS, LinuxFree version2019
ArtlantisFor professionals3D rendering, animationWindows, macOSFree trial2021
ModoFor professionals and beginners3D rendering, modeling, animationWindows, macOS, LinuxFree 30-days trial2020
Verge 3DFor professionals and beginners3D rendering, modeling, animationWindows, macOS, LinuxFree2021
KerkytheaFor professionals and amateursAnimation, architectural rendering, texturing, modelingWindows, macOS, LinuxFree2019
Sweet Home 3DFor professionals and beginners3D interior modeling and visualizationWindows, macOS, LinuxFree2021
Houdini ApprenticeFor professionals and amateurs3D modeling, animation, renderingWindows, macOS, LinuxThe free version of Houdini FX2021
EnscapeFor professionals and amateursArchitectural visualizationWindowsFree trial 2021
Daz StudioFor professionals3D modeling  Windows, macOSFree2021
VectaryFor professionals3D modeling Windows, macOS, LinuxFree version2021
ClarisseFor professionals3D rendering Windows, macOS, LinuxFree learning edition2021
Guerilla RenderFor professionals3D rendering Windows, LinuxFree2022
Wings 3DFor amateurs3D modeling Windows, macOS, LinuxFree2020
FurryBallFor professionals and amateursAnimation, architectural renderingWindows, macOS, LinuxFree2017
Render ManFor professionals 3D rendering, animationWindows, macOS, LinuxFree for non-commercial purposes2020

Best free 3D rendering software in details

1. Blender

blender logo image

Level: For professionals and amateurs

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Use: Modeling, design, animation, architectural rendering

Certainly, Blender has to be on the top of this list as the best 3d rendering software free. Unlike LuxRender, Blender is already a full-fledged 3D graphics and animation editor. The app is free and includes modeling, animation, post-processing, and video editing tools with audio, and most importantly, rendering tools.

Blender is considered a good alternative to paid software. However, it is a little off the beaten path. So, if you ever want to switch to something else, you might run into difficulties. Still, Blender can be a good program to learn. Images and animations are competitive compared with other programs. It is one of the best free 3D modeling software.

Use our 3D Walkthrough and flythrough animation services to see how we create such videos with this free rendering program.

2. Cycles

Level: For professionals and amateurs

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Use: Modeling, design, animation, architectural rendering

If you are going to use an open-source Blender, you have to know about its unbiased render engine Cycles, that built-in GPU-accelerated. It is a flexible and speedy engine.

You can create Photorealistic 3D renderings of any complexity with a system of nodes used for materials. The great advantages of the engine are the ability to quickly view the result directly in the 3D viewport, as well as rendering using GPU. So, it is an excellent choice for beginners. This free 3D software allows the creation of stunning characters for games and various architectural objects.

3. SketchUp Free

Level: For professionals and beginners

OS: Windows, macOS

Use: 3D modeling 

SketchUp Free is a free version of SketchUp. The program is used for 3D modeling. You can add new details, textures, and all kinds of elements to your models. Sketchup free rendering software comes with built-in realistic textures.

This 3D modeling software free has a simple and user-friendly interface, shadow setting functions, and the ability to use various plugins and download ready-made scripts. SketchUp free renderer is an optimal program for novice 3D modelers and designers, in comparison with complex and overloaded counterparts. 

The free rendering program also includes a plugin 3D Warehouse. 3D Warehouse allows adding, searching, viewing, and downloading SketchUp models. Also, there is a 30-days free trial for professional use and personal projects.

4. LuxCoreRender

Luxcorerender logo png image

Level: For professional and amateurs

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Use: Architectural rendering and visualization

LuxRender belongs to the category of photorealistic or physically accurate (no assumptions) renders. It is a free rendering tool with a user-friendly interface. Scenes for LuxRender can be prepared in various 3D programs such as Blender, 3ds Max, Maya, etc. On the developer’s site, you can download a scene, which is recommended to be used for testing.

Since LuxRender is a photorealistic rendering software, the rendering process can take an infinite amount of time. More precisely, it lasts until the user stops the process when a satisfactory quality is achieved. The user interface of this free 3D renderer allows you to set the conditions upon which rendering will stop. 

LuxRender is free for both personal and commercial use. It works with all the major 3D software, including 3ds Max, Blender, Maya, Cinema 4D, and SketchUp. It includes a variety of material types. You can save and continue a rendering at any time. Upcoming releases look to support optionally biased path tracing. Great rendering tool for Exterior rendering.

5. Arnold

Arnold logo

Level: For professionals 

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Use: 3D rendering, animation

Arnold is a program designed to render a wide variety of objects. This free 3D rendering software will be useful for professional animators and studios involved in video processing with the addition of visual effects and the creator of animated videos. This free 3d visualization software will add all the special effects you need quickly and unexpectedly without taking up a lot of PC memory or overloading the processor.

Arnold is also extremely flexible. With this 3d render software free, you can get photorealistic images, impressionistic images, or anything in between. Arnold is very reliable and easy to use, which is why he is a leader in the film industry. However, Arnold does not have a fully functional texture renderer. They are only available in a limited mode. The controls and user interface are simple and intuitive.

6. Indigo Renderer

Indigo render logo

Level: For professionals 

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Use: 3D rendering, animation

The Indigo Renderer software is a powerful rendering tool for modeling lighting effects. This freeware rendering software allows you to work with lighting types such as daylight, night, indirect and direct lighting, using one kind of rendering. The product includes a material editor that allows you to create any kind of material from sand, leather and wood to car paint and water. This is the best option for you if you are trying to achieve maximum photorealism.

The 3d rendering free software uses a hybrid GPU acceleration system to support real-time editing of footage and camera data. The Indigo Renderer also has powerful rendering features available for architects, product designers, 3D models or artists. Indigo offers full support for network rendering and multicore processors. That free GPU renderer is easy to manage and comes with pre-made materials and lighting, so you can focus on your projects without spending hours tweaking materials and settings.

7. Artlantis

Artlantis logo

Level: For professionals 

OS: Windows, macOS

Use: 3D rendering, animation

Artlantis is a unique 3D visualization program that allows you to quickly and easily get high-quality project photos, panoramas and virtual reality scenes, as well as animation. Artlantis has an intuitive interface and powerful management tools and is very easy to use. This 3d rendering program free is well compatible with ArchiCAD. ArchiCAD exports a virtual building model in Artlantis format using a specialized extension. It is also compatible with such programs as SketchUpPro, Autodesk Revit Architecture, Rhinoceros, Vectorworks.

The 3d rendering software free is presented in two versions – Artlantis R (Render) and Artlantis S (Studio). Artlantis Render is more suitable for creating very high-quality renderings. An excellent solution for architects, interior designers, landscape designers, urban planners, etc. Artlantis Studio is an ideal tool for creating not only high-quality static renderings but also various animations, VR Objects and iVisit 3D panoramas. Created specifically for Artlantis, Artlantis Media elements make it easy and fast to simulate believable scenes with realistic environments.

8. Modo

Modo logo

Level: For professionals and beginners

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Use: 3D rendering, modeling, animation

A program for 3D construction of objects, drawing dynamic scenes, rendering, network visualization, “sculpting” sculptures and creating architectural projects. The Modo spatial visualization application allows you to create realistic objects based on geometric shapes. The program interface offers deep customization of almost all work items. The free 3D rendering program contains ready-made object templates and a large set of drawing tools. Also, free 3d programs such as Modo allow you to create your own special tools for the personal needs of the user.

The 3d rendering freeware provides a large set of tools for transforming objects. It can be used both for simple sculpting (similar to ZBrush), and the implementation of complex animation scenes. The application is popular among designers, advertisers, special effects developers, and architects. It has features such as the creation and processing of 3D shapes and storylines, an integrated set of palettes, brushes and effects, modeling working surfaces, advanced UV processing, and elastic drawing on a plane and in perspective.

9. Verge 3D

Verge 3d

Level: For professionals and beginners

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Use: 3D rendering, modeling, animation

Verge3D is a powerful real-time 3D renderer and related toolkit for creating and displaying interactive 3D graphics in browsers. Verge3D uses WebGL technology. This free real-time rendering software allows users to create interactive content using 3D modeling tools (currently supported by Blender, Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya) by converting 3D scenes into a form suitable for viewing in a browser. 

The free renderer has an intuitive toolkit. This free rendering app can be used for online stores, creating interactive animations, 3D presentations, 3D portfolios, educational materials, and browser games. This 3D rendering software is free to download on Windows, macOS, and Linux systems.

10. Kerkythea

Level: For professionals and amateurs

OS: Windows

Use: Animation, architectural rendering, texturing, modeling

Kerkythea is a free and closed-source rendering engine that helps in the creation of photorealistic images. The program offers to use physically accurate materials and lighting. Kerkythea has a simple and user-friendly interface and supports various types of objects. Kerkythea is often used in creating images for commercial purposes. Order our Commercial rendering services.

This 3D rendering program comes equipped with a material editor, allowing artists to create and manipulate their texture libraries for repeated use. Kerkythea provides: material editor, general visualization and renders adjustments, GL real-time viewer. It also has a free exporter for SketchUp. Users can work in two rendering methods: biased or unbiased. You can both install it on your device and use it online. The rendering tool has an advanced toolkit, so the scene setup can be easily automated.

11. Sweet Home 3D

Level: For beginners

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Use: 3D interior modeling and visualization

An open-source program that allows to quickly create a new interior and exterior and view it from different angles. It is very important before renovation, redevelopment, or even rearrangement of furniture. Sweet Home 3D has a simple and convenient interface and support for many useful plugins. One of the best free rendering software for students.

Sweet Home 3D allows you to simply create a plan for a separate room or the whole house, arrange furniture, windows, doors, and stairs, and generate videos for project presentation. This design rendering software has a special catalog with furniture samples useful for Interior 3D rendering. For greater user convenience, it is sorted into categories. You can download new furniture models from the developer’s website for free. If you are looking for Interior rendering software, Sweet Home 3D is definitely a great choice. 

12. Houdini Apprentice

Level: For professionals and amateurs

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Use: 3D modeling, animation, rendering

Houdini Apprentice is a free version of Houdini FX. The free rendering software is mostly used by professional artists, students, and amateurs to create personal non-commercial projects. Houdini Apprentice gives you access to all the virtual features of the Houdini FX. You can bring in your scene files and render them directly using Houdini Education at a higher resolution and without a watermark.

Houdini Apprentice allows working on 3D modeling, animation, physics simulation, rendering, and compositing. This rendering program free also has a large set of light sources, light shaders, material library. Houdini has a set of tools that allow you to work with surround sound. Support for various renderers: Mantra, Render Man, Mental Ray, and others.

13. Enscape

Enscape logo image

Level: For professionals and amateurs

OS: Windows

Use: Architectural visualization

Enscape is one of the best architectural renderers. This is a paid program that offers a great free trial. This free architectural rendering software allows the application of various stylized modes such as paper, sketch, and polystyrene models. In Enscape you can get the content you need from many programs, such as SketchUp, Rhino, Revit, and ArchiCAD. 

Enscape will provide you with options for using files as standalone executables. Send walkthroughs of flythroughts to clients or other team members becomes so easy. Here, you can find features for designing process support. Thanks to them, you are free to monitor all your changes to have an idea of how the final picture will look after rendering. With this tool, it is easy to achieve a realistic effect. 

14. Daz Studio

Level: For professionals

OS: Windows, macOS 

Use: 3D modeling 

Daz Studio is a powerful yet completely free 3D modeling software.  One of the features of the program is the creation of GPU-accelerated 3D images during rendering, which makes it possible to create very realistic models. Daz Studio also has support for creating scenes and functionality for animating models. It is not an easy-to-learn tool.

Daz Studio is a free rendering program for animating ready-made 3D shapes. It allows artists of any skill to create 3D animations based on existing models of people, animals, vehicles, accessories, environments, and other objects. So, it is a really powerful engine with high-quality rendering.

15. Vectary

Level: For professionals

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Use: 3D modeling 

Vectary is a free 3D modeling tool for students. It is a great program for quickly creating complex 3D models. Every model is created in the browser and saved in the cloud. It is easy to use tool with a simplified user interface.

Vectary is used by designers of all levels to create, share and customize 3D models online. The program allows the creation of interactive 3D configurators with custom materials, animations, and shapes.

Vectary offers step-by-step tutorials for new users. They can access their designs from anywhere since it is a browser-based program. Besides, it has a rich library of assets, like free 3D scenes, models, and materials. Vectary is great free online CAD software.

16. Clarisse

Level: For professionals

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Use: 3D rendering 

Clarisse is not only fast 3D rendering software. The software encourages artists to create their scenes cost-effectively and intelligently. Clarisse’s rendering capabilities are very advanced. For example, it facilitates the integration of rendered images from other 3D rendering software using deep rendering. To break it down, Clarisse outputs depth information for each pixel.

You can learn Clarisse for free with the Personal Learning Edition. Clarisse is the best 3D rendering software for commercial studios trying to streamline their production process.

17. Guerilla Render

Level: For professionals

OS: Windows, Linux

Use: 3D rendering 

Guerilla Render is an unbiased 3D rendering software that has been used more than once in the creation of famous feature films. Guerilla Render also uses progressive rendering inside its viewport. 

Thanks to its physically based rendering features, it can quickly produce photorealistic stills, 3D renders, and sequences. The 3D rendering features also include subsurface scattering and cycles renders. The lighting system of Guerilla is highly flexible. 

The software offers a free unlimited single-seat license. It allows uncapped usage of the program for a single user, providing your connection to the internet.

18. Wings 3D

Level: For amateurs

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Use: 3D modeling 

Wings 3D is open-source software for modeling and texturing. Users are provided with many tools with which to create very realistic models. It is convenient to create realistic prototypes with it. You can present the customer with variants of character images to determine the concept and further work with it.

Wings 3D has a customizable interface. The program does not support animation, so to create scenes in the dynamics of the figure, you will have to export to other software.

19. Render Man – Pixar’s Free version

Level: For professionals 

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Use: 3D rendering, animation

There is has to be mentioned, that Pixar has made Render Man photorealistic rendering software free for non-commercial use. The free version of RenderMan has no restrictions or watermarks. It works on macOS, Windows, and Linux, supports Maya and Katana plugins, and works with Cinema4D and Houdini. Plugins for 3ds Max, Modo, Rhino, Lightwave, and Blender are listed as possible. The studio also launched a community of program users, where you can discuss work and upload your projects. It offers advanced technology for shading, lighting, and rendering. 

20. FurryBall

Level: For professionals and amateurs

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Use: Animation, architectural rendering

FurryBall is another unbiased/biased GPU renderer. The software will give you a live progressive preview. You don’t have to wait for final renders to see the results of your changes, which can speed up your workflow. Also, it is an extremely fast rendering system. It offers a real-time progressive preview in the viewport.

This 3D rendering software is also available as a plug-in for Maya, Cinema 4D, and 3ds Max. The plugins also support all the special components and third-party plugins of the main programs. Users are able to manipulate particles, liquids, and hair. You can download the free version (with 20 hours of rendering), to test this 3D rendering software.

FurryBall is a great choice if you’re not satisfied with the built-in standard 3D rendering software Maya, Cinema 4D, or 3ds Max. FurryBall offers a free version for noncommercial use, like final render. It is also can be used as a standalone renderer.

“Thank you for the years you have used FurryBall. Its development was discontinued in 2018 and now in 2022 due to server upgrades the website has been discontinued. Thanks”

Best free rendering software for SketchUp

Name Price Level OS Last version
V – Ray$350/ year.Free trialFor professionals and beginnersWindows, macOS2021
KeyshotFrom $995.Free trialFor professionals and beginnersWindows, macOS2020
Lumion LiveSyncFreeFor professionals and amateursWindows2020
Twilight Render
$99.00/Pro license.Free for hobbiesFor professionals and amateursWindows2020
SU Podium$198.00/commercial version.Free trialFor professionals and amateursWindows, macOS2021

Free rendering software for SketchUp in details

1. V-Ray

Price: $350 per year with a 30-days free trial

OS: Windows, macOS

Level: For professionals and beginners

V-Ray is a real-time rendering software great for interior design. It is a pretty fast rendering program, that supports other 3D design software. It also has global illumination with unique lighting effects.

V-Ray can combine vector art with a 3D image, and simply drag and drop the layout into place. With the V-Ray plugin for SketchUp, you can draw and edit in layers and update the entire layout. This photorealistic rendering software will help you to create unforgettable designs. Definitely, the best free render for SketchUp.

Order our Interior rendering service and get great photorealistic renderings.

2. Keyshot

keyshot logo png image

Price: $995, with a free trial

OS: Windows, macOS

Level: For professionals and beginners

Keyshot is one of the easiest to use and technologically advanced renderers on the market. Keyshot also happens to interface smoothly with SketchUp, giving users a rendering engine without complex options,  preferences, and sliders. With Keyshot, SketchUp visualizations become unsurpassed.

This free render software for SketchUp allows tweaking textures, camera, lighting, and even massing and instantaneously viewing the rendering results. It is a powerful real-time rendering program. It can import your models into the base rendering program for quick use.

3. Lumion LiveSync

Price: Free

OS: Windows

Level: For professionals and amateurs

Lumion LiveSync for SketchUp is the free, real-time rendering plugin that seamlessly connects your SketchUp 3D model to a live Lumion project. This free renderer for SketchUp lets you visualize architectural designs online while you work with them in CAD. By enabling LiveSync between SketchUp and Lumion, you can view all of your designs, modifications, and tests in the stunning, detailed Lumion environment.

Whether you’re working with a BIM model or 2D drawings, you can import your models into Lumion and quickly create photorealistic or conceptual images that convey the beauty of design ideas. The rendering tool allows you to instantly import your 3D model without interrupting the rendering process. Lumion gives you the best render quality for landscape or exterior design. Lumion LiveSync is also a pretty good software for Exterior rendering

4. Twilight Render

Price: $99.00 for Pro license, free for hobbies

OS: Windows

Level: For professionals and amateurs

Twilight Render is a visualization tool for professionals and hobbyists alike. It is the user-friendly interface SketchUp, with a powerful rendering engine that can produce photorealistic images.

Twilight Render is a quality and fast rendering program that offers multiple render methods. It has easy-to-adjust templates and a deep material editor. This free 3d rendering software for SketchUp has many settings, which allow you to change various aspects of the drawing process.

5. SU Podium

Price: $198.00 for the commercial version, with a free trial

OS: Windows, macOS

Level: For professionals and amateurs

SU Podium is an easy-to-use rendering plugin for SketchUp. SU Podium was designed from the ground up specifically for use with SketchUp. The 3D rendering program allows any user to manipulate shapes within their drawing space.

With this free rendering software for Sketchup 2021, the user can create virtual tables on the computer, including complex shapes such as oval and polygon. This free architectural design software also allows the user to save and share their work with other users via the Internet, email, or social media OS. It is possible to create multiple copies of one picture. Once rendering is complete, the user can tweak settings such as brightness, contrast, and color filters, adding flexibility to the entire process.

Best Architectural rendering software free

Talking about free rendering software for architectural visualization, we have selected for you the next list listed above:

  1. SketchUp Free
  2. Blender 
  3. Cycles
  4. SU Podium
  5. SweetHome 3D
  6. LuxCore Render
  7. Enscape

It should be added that Autodesk also offers free software for students and educators. It also can be useful for you. Best 3D rendering software for architecture also may be interesting for you. Follow the link and learn about all the features of each program.

Conclusion

When choosing the best 3D rendering software, you can frequently face the problem of high or simply unaffordable prices. In the quest to create high-quality and realistic renderings, this can be a significant obstacle. That is why the search for professional but free rendering programs is becoming popular and relevant. So, we have selected for you the top 20 free rendering software that will best meet all your needs. With these solutions, you can render for free and realize all your ideas. In addition, above, you will also find a separate top free rendering software for SketchUp and architectural rendering. 

Finding the right and convenient rendering software is the first step to making your rendering or animation as high quality and realistic as possible. However, often you can not afford it because of the high price. Or you just want to try a certain version for free first to see if it works for you. That is why we have selected for you the top 15 free rendering programs that will best meet all your needs. In addition, above you will also find a separate top free rendering software for SketchUp. It should be added that Autodesk also offers free software for students and educators. It also can be useful for you. 

Ira maksymova author

Author of Applet 3D articles. In passion about art, so writing about design, architecture, the animation is a great chance to enjoy my work. Rule of life - set little goals but achieve big results.

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