Best Tools for a 3D Artist

Creating 3D and 2D art is a big part of the game development process. People responsible for that are called 3D Artists and their job is to create characters, vehicle, or environments from scratch. To do so, they use a wide variety of applications. Down below, you can read about some of them which our team of artists use.


Autodesk 3DS Max

This computer graphics software is one of the oldest animation programs. From today’s perspective, it is a classic most companies used to create graphics in the past. At first though, its price was relatively high. Nowadays, the publisher offers monthly payments, so the software is more available than it ever was.  

It includes a wide variety of model creation tools such as mesh and surface modeling, open shading language support, or the ability to auto-populate crowds of characters. Apart from those, it offers other useful tools for creating textures – UV mapping, mirroring, or the creation of tailing textures.

In 3DS Max, you can even use the feature of skinning that is especially useful when it comes to your models and characters. After you are done with skinning, you can use the built-in tools to animate them. 

There are many plugins for 3DS Max that are enhancing its features. Its structure is not the newest one though, as it is such an old application. Nowadays, the developer focuses on catching up with the competition rather than on fixing long-lasting bugs. 

Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya is a reliable, swift, and powerful 3D modelling studio used by professional artists to create 3D scenes. Because of that, it has been recently acquired by the Autodesk 3DS Max developer. This software provides a number of features artists can use to create realistic, detailed models that move and interact accurately in 3D environments.

In Autodesk Maya, you can add fur and hair to your characters and the software will accurately simulate individual hair’s reaction to any physical force such as collision. If you have mastered Maya, you can use its visual programming environment Bifrost which is capable of simulating particle effects such as snowstorms, explosions, or dust storms.


Blender started off as a small application trying to offer an alternative to the larger, much more expensive modelling and animation programs. Compared to them, it has a huge advantage though – being open-source and thus free to use for everyone. In Blender, you can model, use skinning, animate, or create high-poly models. Moreover, it is a sculpting program also useful for rendering.

In recent years, the developers have done a lot of work to make the application better, especially when it comes to its UI that is now more user-friendly. In consequence, the software can very often offer the newest features first as well. It is swift, reliable, and stable and it contains every feature you can think of. If any feature is missing, there probably is a plugin that can add it.


Zbrush is a digital sculpting and modelling application commonly used for creating organic forms. It can also be used to make paint textures and UV maps, enabling you to create entire figures with clothing and props. This software also contains a polygon modelling toolset called ZModeler, featuring tools to manipulate points, edges, and faces.

In this program, you can create quick sketches of 2D and 3D concepts and realistically render them with lightning and atmospheric effects directly in the app. Moreover, ZBrush uses 3D pixels technology for creating its models, and each pixel then contains values such as material, color, depth, or orientation.

Substance Painter

Substance painter is a powerful 3D painting tool whose main feature is creating texture models. It contains advanced masking and procedural texturing tools to create textures that are extremely difficult to make in purely 2D programs such as Photoshop. It is widely used in the gaming industry, as it allows to quickly generate realistic PBR textures in a relatively small timeframe.

One of its most powerful features are baking tools. Baking is a process of saving information from a 3D mesh to a texture file. This process involves two meshes that are baked together afterwards – a high poly one and a low poly one. The low poly mesh has much less polygons than the high poly one, so it is “cheaper” to store and render. After baking, you get the best of both worlds – low performance from the low poly mesh, and high-level detail from the high poly one.

Fanatic Games – Professional Game Graphics Artists Since 2000

We are Fanatic Games, game graphics experts from the Czech Republic. In our over 20 years of experience, we have worked on dozens of titles such as Uncharted, Euro Truck Simulator, or Vigor. Thanks to our expertise and experience, we can guarantee a smooth cooperation and never missing a deadline. Our portfolio speaks for itself. Contact us here and entrust your graphics to professionals.