Top software for hard surface modeling
1. Autodesk Maya (Editor’s Choice)
Maya’s impressive collection of powerful modeling tools puts it ahead of the competition by miles.
Even better, the interface has recently been overhauled and now comes with a revolutionary UV toolkit with enhanced tools and functionality.
You will thus love how it makes everything flow easily starting with the easier symmetrical modeling as a result of the improved symmetry tool.
Likewise, its famed sculpting tool set help sculpt and reshape models more intuitively and artistically.
In the same way, Maya’s efficient library improves consistency in Boolean operations making it awesome for polygon modeling.
The interactive workflows, look, and feel are all designed to help hard surface artists work faster and to deliver jaw-dropping hard surface creations.
Sure, the software is a bit pricey but its brilliance fully compensates for the hole it burns in your pocket.
You can download Maya Free Trial and enjoy its goodness for 30 days.
2. AutoDesk 3ds Max
3DS Max is considered faster for demanding hard surface modeling projects. As a matter of fact, some of our editors felt that its UV projection tools and smoothing groups are immensely better than almost every other tool from Autodesk.
Consequently, there’s a widespread impression that 3DS Max is the benchmark as far as hard surfaces are concerned.
Well, when we scanned its abilities, it’s hard to disagree.
First, you can create models in numerous intuitive ways. You can also easily extract information for your model to help inform planned modifications.
You can as well blend and mix up to six materials to create realistic hard surface models.
The software’s spline-based modeling features have also been earning rave reviews as they are super-efficient when creating/ editing poly formats in surface modeling.
Bottom-line? The 3DS Max software offers 3D hard surface models of the highest possible quality in much less time.
While a lot of artists know Zbrush as an organic modeling tool, the software also comes with infinite powers for hard-surface modeling.
From typical hard surface modeling tasks like extrusions to finding edge hardness to using dynamesh for creating sophisticated hard surfaces, this has it all.
And it makes some of the tougher designs look like child’s play…
For example, its features allow you to use the customizable toolset to dynamically add/reduce polygons as desired.
Then, the software also offers a refreshing way to blend multiple pieces of essential geometry together.
Still there, applying live Booleans has never been easier while the panel loops make creating elevated/lowered panels a breeze.
Like the rest of the top 5 tools, Zbrush’s hard surface workflow is superb and it, in general, makes hard surface modeling fun.
These powers and precision have, unsurprisingly, endeared Zbrush to film studios, game developers, illustrators, and countless designers globally.
And, oh Zbrush’s price is far much affordable.