which 3d software should I seriously learn?


As a young european graphic designer, I learned the basics of 3d software at school
I like to model furniture and lighting products in my free time thanks to rhino 3d but I’m far from beeing proficient.
I would really like to improve myself in 3d modeling, but I want to pick the right tools.
That’s why I need your advices.

My contract is ending soon and I’m planning to move to canada in 6 month.
I know that 3d knowledge is a plus in some agencies, so I wondered if rhino was spread among canadian professionnals.
Should I keep on working on this one or should I dive into something else (3ds or solid works?)

I know that the quality of a design is not related to the software that was used, but I also know that some job offers are sometimes really rigorous about the tools applicants should master.

Thanks for sharing your opinion.

As a surfacing tool, Rhino is a great place to start. Solidworks is also valuable, but ultimately as a young employee they would rather see a portfolio of what you can currently do fluently with any 3D tool, rather than read on your resume you are familiar with several tools, but not proficient in any of them.

If you have been using Rhino I would keep up with it and develop your skill rather than trying to jump ship to a new tool.

thansk for your quick reply.
I will definitely try to improve myself in rhino .
I’m finding the rhino embedded rendering tools quite week. As a rhino user, which one are you using to showcase your products?

Ditto to the above advice. Just keep getting better at the path you’ve already gone down. At this point, you might dabble in other programs for fun, but don’t personally invest your own money in new programs.

When I was in school, we learned one parametric program (one semester) and one surface program (Alias) and that was it.

I’d say Rhino/Alias are the go-to surfacing platforms (most commonly used), and Solidworks/Pro-E are the most common parametric ones.

Keyshot is kind of the standard rendering platform right now. Others have a little more high-end potential, but Keyshot is probably all you’ll ever need. You can go further with it too, but rarely need to. If you buy it, make sure you get the HD Keyshot package and not the basic one, which is super-low resolution (like below your monitor’s pixel resolution).

Key shot is probably the best choice for an easy to pickup, quick to get good results, renderer right now. I used to be a big Autodesk Showcase fan but they totally ruined the product.

The cheap version of Keyshot is probably fine (they also have a trial with watermark I believe) if you just want to learn the tool or do web-sized renders.

Thanks cameron and cyberdemon.
I will try keyshot hoping to find interesting tutorials
Sorry for this silly question but:
is surface 3d program more for creating concepts and parametric program for prototyping?
Do you think canadian creative agencies use the same tools than the american one?
I have read a topic here, dealing with “the design scene in Canada” but it was more related to R&D.

I agree with the other sentiments, but as a broad CAD software user it can suggets you will do well to know Rhino and one or more parametric modeller like IronCAD or SW. IronCAD is my pick but it may depend on what company you end up working for. i have had to learn SW and Solid edge and afew others but i chose IronCAD for my own private projects. Much better alrounder and much faster to use and make changes. not many of my collegue had ever heard of it but when i show it to them they are alway impressed. your porolio and your approach to design will be of most value I feel though.

I agree that you can better work mainly on your design skills and creativity in this phase, and go along with one tool of your choice to get your designs ready for prototyping/production.

The disadvantage of Rhino is that it’s not parametric, so you can’t dynamically alter the dimensions of your designs much. Wrong! :slight_smile: It has become possible to do parametric design with the recent (and free!) Grasshopper plugin, which works fantastic. It is a completely different way of modeling but I would highly recommend learning it if you’re already familiar with Rhinoceros. It opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.

And I can’t think of a single reason why Canadians would use different software tools. Is that even true for USA and Europe? Maybe Alias is used more in the US, I don’t hear much of it over here, but that’d probably be one of only a few differences.

In school I learned Rhino in a beginning 3d modeling class and moved on to solid works in the advanced class.

That being said, if you have access to solidworks, I suggest spending a little bit of time to get familiar with it.

It has a different approach then Rhino but uses many of the same principles. Put simply, your knowledge or rhino will make it pretty painless to learn solid works quickly.

I tend to use solid works more because I can create a general outline of a design then dial in the details pretty easily and efficiently. The things I make in solid works tend to look a little more professional than the the things I model in rhino. Solidworks is especially effective when designing that you plan to create in real life because it is grounded in many of the manufacturing processes.

The most important thing to remember with all 3d modeling programs: Youtube, Lynda.com and Keyshot are always your best friends!

I suggest looking at Manufactures that you would love to work with … for example Trek uses SolidWorks, Caterpillar uses Pro/ENGINEER & Alias. Make your decision from looking at the job descriptions

Dude, Creo…

I feel ProE/Creo has become an amazing program defiantly worth learning over solidworks for surfacing.
The Style tool is essentially like opening up a rhino window inside parametric modelling that is independent of order of operations but still retains relationships (therefore, will update). You can go into style and go absolutely surface crazy make a million features whatever you want because in the end, when you leave style all your left with is a single parametric surface and one tidy feature in your tree, nice. Creo also has your standard surfacing toolsets outside of style, but I almost never use those now.

Solidworks I feel has become a flashy program and to execute the same model from Creo would likely take you twice as long with a backlog of re-builds. As a beginner I remember being infuriated by solidworks because of the errors and how it was just slow and confusing to do what I wanted.

Since ProE and solidworks at their core are very similar, I would have put my education on ProE/Creo had I known about Style tool back then(or had it existed). If you like Rhino surfacing, but also want some orderly parametric CAD too, I would defiantly say Creo all the way.

Just my 2cents…

I read once about someone using AutoCAD to make parametric 3-D wireframes and then using them in Rhino, sounded completely insane and in no way better than just using SolidWorks (or other).

The one thing this new Alias Speedform has that I know Power Surfacing does not have for SolidWorks and I don’t think (though not sure, it might have now) TSplines for Rhino does not have is to be able to make a single surface into a Nurbs surface that can be manipulated with TSplines. I think when Parametric modellers get this (it seems Creo does from a previous post) than pure Nurbs and subdivision modellers will be unnecessary so I would recommend going for SolidWorks personally, and Creo on the side.

you can learn Autodesk 3DS its a totally free!

Why not Blender?
I design my products (shoes) in Blender.You’ve got everything you’d need,free license,modeling,sculpting,animating,texturing and also rendering with Cycles engine or Eevee or even easy to exporting your mesh to other softwares like Substance Painter for texturing as I do,or exporting to ZBrush.You can do everything in one software.And it is open source…for free.

IMHO, Blender is best known for it’s creative and advanced 3D animation capabilities, but this open source tool has some seriously powerful non-linear video editing functions, too.

I agree with many here - learn Rhino and build a serious knowledge-base of Keyshot to provide lots of value to the “front end” of development. Then if you want to provide lots of value in the “back end” become a master of SolidWorks (retaining your aesthetic sensitivities adds even more value to knowledge of Solidworks).

I have used blender to model some of my blacksmithing projects…but it was more a matter of me using what I know as opposed to picking the best tool for the job… ymmv

Add the Unreal Engine to your toolset. It is the future.

Unreal Engine is the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D creation platform. Continuously evolving to serve not only its original purpose as a state-of-the-art games engine, today it gives creators across industries the freedom and control to deliver cutting-edge content, interactive experiences, and immersive virtual worlds.

Photoreal rendering, animation, physics, AI, and more—in real time.

After all, design is an immersive virtual world until it becomes a reality.