Software used by artists for Game Development. All resources curated by PolyCount. Check their wiki for more awesome stuff!
These are “complete” 3D packages with a wide variety of art tools.
These packages are used mostly for 3D modeling, but they often have additional features as well.
These tools are used to create a high-resolution 3D model with a series of painting strokes, using a pressure-sensitive tablet or screen
To decimate means to reduce the triangle count of a highly-detailed model.
Re-topology means creating a new mesh surface from scratch, that conforms to an existing “messy” mesh, often created via digital sculpting.
These tools are for conforming an existing mesh to another mesh.
Many of the main packages include bare-bones 3D paint tools, and most sculpting software also has 3D paint.
These packages are used specifically for creating normal maps from 3D meshes. See also 2D Normal Map Software.
These packages are specifically for creating UV texture coordinates for a 3D mesh.
These are “complete” 2D packages with a wide variety of art tools for photo manipulation, texturing, concepting, etc.
These packages are most often used for painting concepts and illustrations.
These packages are used specifically for creating normal maps from 2D images.
These packages are used for creating vector graphics, commonly used for user interfaces or print media.
These tools are helpful for overlaying reference images, drawing quick review comments on artwork, remote collaboration, marking animation reference points, etc.
These packages are used for browsing image collections and for displaying reference imagery while an artist is working.
Record your screen to a video file.
These are tools that help with using a tablet or Cintiq.
Best known for: Voxel sculpting for topology-less sculpting, texture painting and advanced retopology capabilities including auto-retopology which can generate all-quad meshes using nothing more then a few basic guide splines drawn by the user.
Best known for: the power of its modifier stack for modeling. Features powerful viewport shaders such as Xoliul’s Shader and the 3Point Shader.
Best known for: being a free alternative to more expensive packages, and as a very inclusive package with it’s own compositor, sequencer, sculpting system, and game engine.
Best known for: being used in the production of Avatar film, and can handle multiple 32k resolution textures. Mari is a 3D painting app best known for it’s high res texture painting capabilities.
Best known for: being well a supported and innovative sculpting package. Zbrush’s Ztool system allows for minimal use of a traditional 3D package, while its tools attempt to bring digital media as close to traditional, physical media as possible.
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