11 Best Free Rendering Software

11 Best Free Rendering Software in 2021

The final step in creating animations is 3D rendering, so the quality of a product depends heavily on a rendering software you use. It allows you not only to animate the picture but also create volumetric simulations and customize the set lighting.

Top 11 Free Rendering Software

  1. Cycles - The fastest rendering process
  2. Enscape – The best architectural renderer
  3. Lumion - With free elements library
  4. Blender - For super-realistic rendering
  5. LuxCoreRender - Provides HDR rendering
  6. Kerkythea - The most customizable
  7. Clarisse - For science fiction videos
  8. Arnold - The most accurate result
  9. Indigo Renderer - Suitable for industrial design needs
  10. Wings 3D - For beginners
  11. V-Ray - With the most flexible engine

Photo rendering software is very important for architects, graphic designers, video editors, artists, video game developers and other professionals. They have different functionality, applications, and require various skills. You may install software on your computer or tablet, others can be used online.

1. Cycles – Our Choice

 
The fastest rendering process
  • Stunning interaction
  • Includes material nodes and viewport rendering options
  • Impressive documentation
  • Very quick
  • Not found

Verdict: Cycles is great free rendering software with one of the latest feature sets. Thanks to the nodes system, this Blender’s young brother is very easy to use. It works fast and is an excellent choice for novice users as it does not have complex features. Moreover, this open-source design software is rather convenient to work with.

Although this software is quite simple, it contains all the necessary tools for creating realistic pictures. You can apply hair rendering, Blackbody emissive materials, volumetrics, tone mapping, and customize the stunning global illumination. Capabilities of this free 3D software are suitable for creating awesome characters for games and various architectural objects.

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  • cycles rendering software interface

    2. Enscape

     
    The best architectural renderer
    • Runs on multiple platforms
    • Light view mode
    • Easy-to-use and fast
    • Contains cool assets to achieve a realistic effect
    • Lack of extra rendering samples
    • You can’t animate such objects as people, cars and ocean

    Verdict: Enscape does not require downloading elements from BIM software and transforming data into still images or movies when creating presentations.

    You can directly get the content you need from many programs, such as Rhino, SketchUp, ArchiCAD and Revit. This free architectural design software also includes options for using files as standalone executables. In this way, you can send walkthroughs to clients or other team members.

    You can also find features for designing process support here. Thanks to them, you can monitor all your changes to have an idea of how the final picture will look after rendering. You may use this rendering software free to apply various stylized modes, such as paper, sketch and polystyrene models.

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    • enscape rendering software interface

      3. Lumion

       
      With free elements library
      • Speedy
      • Tools for people, trees, cars animation
      • Simple learning curve
      • Nice documentation tools
      • The full version isn’t cheap

      Verdict: This universal software is very popular among digital design specialists who need to add various visual effects to their projects and who are looking for a powerful rendering tool. You can use this software with various AutoCAD alternatives, including SketchUp, Revit, Rhino, 3ds Max to add 3D elements to your designs.

      Lumion has a huge selection of content in its library. If you didn’t find what you need, you can download the missing elements from the sites for free 3D models.

      To achieve outstanding results, you can add various effects and styles to your models. This 3D visualization software has all the tools you need to quickly create 360 panoramas, wonderful videos and images.

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      • lumion rendering software interface

        4. Blender

         
        For super-realistic rendering
        • Includes impressive feature set
        • Supports various file formats
        • Polimodeling tools operate quickly
        • GPU rendering
        • Can be difficult to learn

        Verdict: Download this Revit free alternative if you want to receive incredibly realistic results. It contains a huge collection of rendering tools, including awesome animation options, skinning, rigging, soft body simulation, smoke, particle, match moving features, etc. The built-in path-tracer engine also helps achieve a more realistic look.

        A user-friendly interface is one of the advantages of Blender rendering software. It includes many icons and tools that allow you to render quickly. You can also use available shortcuts to automate some actions. This 3D software features the grease pencil tool for creating 2D animations.

        Blender is a good choice for 3D project specialists, graphic designers, artists, etc. You can use it alone or as team software. This is not only a decent rendering tool but also one of the best free graphic design software.

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        • blender rendering software interface

          5. LuxCoreRender

           
          Provides HDR rendering
          • Several rendering algorithms
          • Physically based rendering
          • Final animation looks very realistic
          • Supports external rendering for FreeCAD
          • You can’t change settings after the process has begun
          • Sometimes lags

          Verdict: This free rendering software boasts an excellent set of complex processes. It includes volumetrics, subsurface scattering, and physically-based materials to imitate the stream of natural light in physically precise space.

          This software can be used in various areas of design due to its high dynamic range rendering capabilities. Its environment and orthographic cameras are great for architectural projects while the natural flow of light feature can be used by filmmakers to create the most realistic 3D models. You can download this 3D rendering software free and take advantage of its biased mode and instanced objects to speed up your workflow.

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          • luxcorerender rendering software interface

            6. Kerkythea

             
            The most customizable
            • Cross-platform support
            • Rendering customization is very simple
            • Supports various types of objects
            • It is possible to choose the appropriate rendering technique
            • Seems complicated at first

            Verdict: Kerkythea is great free rendering software for Mac, Linux and Windows OS. You can both install it on your device and use it online. The scene setup can be easily automated thanks to its advanced toolkit.

            This software contains many powerful features for creating impressive art projects. You can use material editor, GL real-time viewer, visualization general and render adjustments, and so on. Besides, physically accurate materials and light can achieve impressive results.

            This free rendering software offers users two rendering methods: biased or unbiased. The biased mode is faster and sporadically applied. At the final stage, you may notice so-called disturbing artifacts or, in other words, blotches.

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            • kerkythea rendering software interface

              7. Clarisse

               
              For science fiction videos
              • Original 3D layering system
              • Quick preview feature
              • Interface can be easily adapted
              • Node-based system
              • Poor content creation feature set
              • Interface customization may seem overwhelming

              Verdict: This free 3D software is very popular among the creators of science fiction movies. It works on a layering and node-structure system. Thanks to the layered structure, the previous work of animators and designers remains unaffected during rendering.

              This software gives you the opportunity to have professional mage output at your disposal as it has close integration with other popular render applications. As a result, you can add depth to your rendered pictures. Moreover, you can enhance the content with outsource image editing programs.

              If you are a beginner in this area, you can figure out how to work in this photo rendering software by reading the detailed tutorial – Personal Learning Edition.

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              • clarisse rendering software interface

                8. Arnold

                 
                The most accurate result
                • Motion blur feature
                • Customizable samples
                • Great settings for camera control
                • Scalable tracing option
                • Free trial is limited in functionality

                Verdict: Arnold includes many cool tools for your projects, such as feature-length animation, 3D scenes rendering and advanced visual effects. Moreover, it is considered one of the best free animation software.

                Its rendering method is based on Monte Carlo ray tracing, also known as path tracing. Thanks to this, the software previews the end lighting based on the number of possible variants of light paths at each pixel.

                Recently, developers have added the ability to use GPU rendering method. It allows you to render approximations of your final picture almost immediately, see how certain textures and lighting will look together.

                It is one of the best free rendering software that includes a node-based material editor. As a result, Arnold is very clear for users. Another advantage of this software is the ability to create your own nodes.

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                • arnold rendering software interface

                  9. Indigo Renderer

                   
                  Suitable for industrial design needs
                  • Highly-realistic pictures
                  • Supports many OS
                  • GPU rendering
                  • You can customize functions according to your needs
                  • Full version costs much

                  Verdict: You can use this online render software free to create industrial designs. The preview option allows users to monitor the appearance of the image after applying each tool and make changes if necessary.

                  Thanks to shader programs written in special Indigo Shader Language, you can customize any material to suit your needs.

                  This free rendering software can be used not only with a CUDA capable NVidia graphics card. It is also compatible with the OpenCL standard used by AMD. If you want to make the rendering process faster, it’s possible to organize a powerful system of slave renderers.

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                  • indigo renderer rendering software interface

                    10. Wings 3D

                     
                    For beginners
                    • Cross-platform
                    • Offers great projection tools
                    • Camera control feature
                    • Huge content library
                    • Lack of panorama creation

                    Verdict: If you are looking for the best 3D modeling software you should pay attention to Wings 3D. This standalone software works on physically-based raytracing and unbiased method. It contains an excellent collection of tools for creating 3D designs with refraction, multi-layer reflection and image-based lighting.

                    A large library contains a wide selection of different content for creating models, materials and scenes. This allows novice designers to use the software more conveniently.

                    In general, this 3D rendering app is not difficult to use. It has many customizable features for working with multi-layered materials, scenes, modifying lighting settings and effective scene rendering. You can also use various free textures to get breathtaking results.

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                    • wings rendering software interface

                      11. V-Ray

                       
                      With the most flexible engine
                      • It is possible to apply plug-ins
                      • Awesome content library and resources
                      • Realistic rendering
                      • Speedy animation
                      • Complex learning curve

                      Verdict: This is one of the fastest photo rendering software that provides professional-level results. It works on the biased raytracing method and is compatible with both CPU and GPU equipment.

                      This free rendering software has a wide range of applications. It contains tools for tasks of varying complexity. You can render both small scenes and the longest routes. V-Ray includes great image editing features.

                      You can achieve super-realistic results by carefully working out the settings for light and shadows. This software is used in many industries. It will be of interest to video game creators, architects, designers, etc.

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                      • vray rendering software interface
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