What Software Will I Need for 3D Visualization?

The question I get more than any other is “what software do you use to do visualization?” The short answer is that visualization is a process, not a software.

This post is the long answer.

I covered the most important applications in the Civil FX Podcast (Episode 2 and Episode 3). All seven of those programs are included below along with a longer list of software that may be needed.

No one will probably ever use every software package on this list in a single 3D visualization but it would be rare to use less than three or so. Depending on what software the design data was created in (Microstation or AutoCAD) I have used up to six different programs for a single visualization.

Note that this is not a comprehensive list but should cover the majority of uses (at least in the United States in civil engineering).

Design Software

Modeling Software

Game Engine/Rendering Software

Additional Software

Let me know what I missed in the comments below!

Image Credit Archion Archiects (Revit)

One thought on “What Software Will I Need for 3D Visualization?

  1. Jordana 7 years ago

    Hi Paul,I was also glad what improvements and feautres Autodesk have done until I came to Appearences.I am a week with Inventor 2013 but did not start to work yet.So far I still have unseccessful atempts to return simple colors I used to have in 2012.The simpliest custom libraries I am trying to make in different ways either do not work or make Inventor to crush. All I want is ability to choose between BLACK, RED, GREEN and etc withot reflection, bumps and ather stuff instead of Anodized Aluminiun Red plus reflection and transparentand St Elmo’s fire with tiny stars arround for example Regards, Orest

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