3D Rendering Tools and Equipment
5 Effective Software + OS Combinations
With cutting-edge 3D rendering tools and equipment, the very process of creating product images has become faster and more budget-friendly. No more waiting for prototypes and renting expensive photo studios! Furniture manufacturers and retailers simply contact a 3D rendering company, and get highly photorealistic visuals in just 48 hours and at a reasonable price. How cool is that?
In addition, CG artists can use the same 3D product model for various CG tools — from simple product images on a monochrome background to breathtaking 3D animation. Using special 3D software, they can tailor models and scenes to create static or motion CG solutions for any marketing purposes.
But different 3D programs don’t always work equally effectively with the same operating systems and their use may be limited. In this article, we talk about CG tools and equipment focusing on their compatibility with different OS. Without further ado, let’s get straight into the topic!
#1. V-Ray Collection
V-Ray is one of those 3D rendering tools and equipment that needs no introduction. It’s been used for architectural and interior rendering, as well as product design development and visualization for over 10 years. Originally, this legendary CG tool was created for 3ds Max. However, later developers adapted it to other popular 3D software and equipment such as Maya, Blender, SketchUp, Rhino, Revit, ArchiCAD, Cinema 4D, etc.
As for operating systems, the V-Ray tool works with Microsoft only (Windows 8.1 or 10). And considering the premium quality of V-Ray renderings, the OS factor is not that big of a disadvantage. However, it brings certain limitations to CG artists who are obliged to use Windows for 3ds Max and V-Ray equipment.
#2. Corona Renderer
Corona from Chaos Group is a 3D rendering tool that is considered a competitor to V-Ray as it also delivers first-class 3D visualizations. Moreover, in the very beginning, these two plugins were meant to work mainly with 3ds Max. Today, however, Corona CG equipment is available for Cinema 4D too. Also, Chaos Group is currently developing ArchiCAD and SketchUp Corona versions.
Many CG artists opt for Corona Renderer due to the wider range of operating systems it supports. This 3D rendering equipment works both with Windows and macOS, the Linux version planned. Corona is compatible with Microsoft Windows (7, 8, 8.1 or newer). As for Apple macOS, starting from Corona Renderer 7, OS versions supported are only Mojave (10.14), Catalina (10.15), and Big Sur (11.x).
Blender is an open-source 3D software that is famous for being a cutting-edge CG tool that can be used for free. Optionally, users pay only $11.50/month for Blender’s features on a Cloud base. Quality-wise, this software is not inferior to even the fancy 3D equipment as it provides high-end 3D modeling, texturing, sculpting, rendering and animation.
Surely, Blender’s freeware status is one of the main reasons why CG artists prefer it over other 3D rendering tools and equipment. But also, it runs on every major operating system which is a deal-breaker for many CG professionals. Blender works on Linux, macOS (macOS 10.13 Intel · 11.0 Apple Silicon), Windows (Versions 8.1, 10, and 11), Android, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, DragonFly BSD, Haiku. Because Blender doesn’t need installation, the OS is not a number one factor here.
Lumion is a great 3D software for visualization with extensive libraries of textures, 3D models and rendering effects. It provides an optimized and realistic CGI rendering process and advanced tools such as a video walk-through. Lumion is compatible with Revit, 3ds Max, SketchUp, ArchiCAD, Rhino and many other CG tools and equipment which makes it highly effective for architectural and interior projects.
Lumion 12 requires Windows OS (Version 10 1809 or newer, or 11 version 21H2 or newer). Developers recommend using the updated Windows with the “Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling” feature which boosts the performance of Lumion even more.
Unlike other 3D rendering tools and equipment, KeyShot provides real-time 3D visualization which makes the whole design development process fast and effective. KeyShot also offers more than a thousand realistic pre-made materials and 3D textures for any type of project — from architecture to furniture design.
Its compatibility adds to KeyShot popularity. It not only supports the most common file formats but also runs on popular operating systems such as Windows and Apple macOS. Developers recommend using the latest KeyShot with Windows 8 or 10, or Windows Server 2012 and above. For macOS users, they should go for a Version 10.13 High Sierra or higher.
On the final note, the range of 3D rendering tools and equipment for CGI is so wide that CG artists can easily pick ones they are more comfortable with. That’s why many of them opt for CG software that is compatible with their operating systems. Some 3D tools such as V-Ray and Lumion are mostly tailored to Windows, while others run on various OS. At the end of the day, it’s not the operating system that guarantees the quality of CG services, it’s the provider.
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