The biggest advantage of being a design student is that you receive a free license for many design software from the University, which means that you can have open access to various paid software that professional designers use in real-time. There is also some software which is available to all free of cost. And trust me, these are the underrated ones. Most people straight away jump to expensive software, without having prior mastery. Being a design student, we must first affirm our foundation and have a good grip on the basics of designing. So here is a list of free software, every beginner should wield before coming into the substantial field of designing:
- Autodesk Maya
Autodesk grants a three-year educational license to university students to discover their creativity without worrying about the payment of the software. The formal monthly subscription for Autodesk Maya is $205 which is around 15,000 Indian Rupees. That’s way too much to pay for a month! But in the corporate world, professional designers use this software a lot, and they are even ready to pay for it, as ‘quality work’ is the demand of society! No brand wants their products or advertisements to be displayed in poor disposition. Highly rendered and realistic work increases the aesthetic value of the product. It is a fundamental marketing strategy, as a customer buys what he sees.
Thus, getting free student’s access to such expensive and efficient software is quite a good excuse to say “yes, I’m still a student!” Jokes apart, the earlier you learn it, the more benefits you yield in the future. Maya runs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. You can generate some high-quality 3D assets for films, television, and video games. You must have seen various studio-quality rendering and animations on Instagram and other multiple social media platforms, the majority are developed in Maya!
Dear iPad users, there is something useful for you too on this list. Shapr3D is a newbie in the world of 3D solid modeling yet, it has managed to win the Apple Design Award! No doubt it a decent solution to ‘design anywhere’. You can model offline on your iPad using the same Siemens Parasolid engine as Solidworks. It is quite equivalent to designing on paper, which is quite a promising feature for newcomers who have not yet been exposed to three-dimensional prototyping, as most beginners have a traditional approach when it comes to sketching.
Shapr3D is highly recommended for the students of Mechanical Engineering, Architecture, and Product Design, as when it comes to developing a prototype of your concept, this app comes in very handy. One can construct a wide range of products and architectural components through this application. From the crankshaft to a city, the possibilities are endless. For importing your file in STL, DXF, DWG, JPG, PNG format, one needs to take an ethical subscription. Other than that, it’s all free and you can always take a screenshot of your 3D model.
‘All Loves Blender’ I bet there won’t be any debate on this statement, cause that’s the truth. Blender 2.9 has been released and we are already loving it. It has hands down the most decent open-source and free 3D computer graphics toolset. One can build varied 3D characters, animation films, surreal environments, motion graphics, virtual reality, and gaming assets. One can render and 3D sculpt their two-dimensional visions. You are provided with various options like fluid and smoke simulation, particle simulation, and soft body simulation, which are heavily used in VFX and compositing.
The biggest asset of this software is it provides free access to all, no such license is required. Though to beginners, the interface might seem quite complex but with regular practice it becomes clear. One can play with shadows, lighting, texturing, and a myriad of other tools. Even NASA uses Blender for their 3D resources page. It was even used in the animatics of Spider-Man2. Multiple shots for the movies like Annabelle: Creations, Wonder Woman, and Lights Out were created in Blender! This says it all! Blender lessons are a must-have for every design student.
A fun fact about ‘Suzanne the Monkey’ from Blender: it was named after the orangutan from the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and The largest Blender contest winner is awarded the Suzanne Award!
Hope you all found something beneficial from the read.