Autodesk 3DS Max replacements – Bloat Busting Part 2

I’m sure you all would have heard about software bloat and Bloatware. Bloatware is a term used to describe software that is so packed with features that it becomes like an overkill. Most of the people don’t use most of these features and some features aren’t used by anyone. But still they exist, and eat up valuable space of your memory and HDD.

In this article of the series, I’m going to cover replacements for Autodesk 3DS Max, a 3D modeling suite that is very popular among enthusiasts.

Autodesk 3DS Max 2012 alternatives

3DS Max is packed with features up to its brim, for the kind of audiences that it caters to. 3D animators, illustrators, those in entertainment industries etc. are quite happy having so many features in one huge, expensive package.

But not all are! For students learning modeling, it is overkill! And that’s the reason why its piracy is rampant too.


  • Bryce 7Bryce is a software which was earlier commercial, owned by Corel. But now it is owned by Daz 3D and is available both as free and commercial (Although not open source). Bryce is known to be easy to use and learn, and it uses objects like cones, cubes etc. and adds subtracts materials to make models. It is specialized to make terrains and is made for landscape modeling. Gives satisfying results too! It is currently available only for Windows and Mac. Get it from here.

  • Blender: Blender is small and free. The software can create complicated 3D models in a way that 3DS Max does and provides some good renders while not being heavy on resources. Blender is also cross platform, and although it has a learning curve to it, once you get the hang of it, be prepared to be amazed! Homepage.

  • K-3D: K-3D is a great software for beginners. New artists will find it easy to understand, and professionals feel right at home. K-3D is intuitive, fast and professional at the same time. Available for all platforms, K-3D is simply the best 3D suite available for free. Get it from here.

Amongst these 3, I’d recommend Bryce to anyone on a learning path, although its Windows and Mac exclusivity leaves the Linux guy for blender. K-3D and Blender both are quite powerful and can create models as powerful as Max’s.
Stay Tuned for the next one in the series!