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Free/Open-source 3D Graphics Software

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3D computer graphics software refers to programs used to create 3D computer-generated imagery. There are typically many stages in the "pipeline" that studios use to create 3D objects for film and games, and this article only covers some of the software used. Note that most of the 3D packages have a very plugin-oriented architecture, and high-end plugins costing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars are often used by studios. Larger studios usually create enormous amounts of proprietary software to run alongside these programs. But thankfully, there are always free/open-source software alternatives that can help produce highly commendable 3D animations like it did in the short film entitled “Elephants Dream”.

These are some of the software applications that will let those with artistic touch create beauty out of freedom:

*Blender is a free software 3D animation program. It can be used for modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging, skinning, animating, rendering, particle and other simulating, non-linear editing, compositing, and creating interactive 3D applications. Blender is available for several operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, IRIX, Solaris, FreeBSD, OpenBSD with unofficial ports for SkyOS, MorphOS and Pocket PC. Blender has a robust feature set similar in scope and depth to other high-end 3D software such as Softimage|XSI, Cinema 4D, 3ds Max and Maya. These features include advanced simulation tools such as rigid body, fluid, and softbody dynamics, modifier based modeling tools, powerful character animation tools, and a node based material and compositing system and Python for embedded scripting.

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