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CG Society 3D Comparison Chart

CG Society LogoIf you have visited CGSociety (CGTalk) recently you may have noticed that they now have a CGSociety Wiki. One page of interest at the wiki is the 3D software comparison chart.

The chart has seen rapid growth, and is already a quite useful resource for getting an overview of the capabilities of the assorted 3D software packages.

As you can see in the chart, Blender compares quite favorably with the majority of 3D software packages.

If you would like to contribute to the chart, there are a number of ways you can help, such as adding more functions and their keyboard shortcuts, or suggesting additional categories to compare the software on. In order to contribute you will need an account at

If you make changes or additions to the chart, be certain to only refer to functions that are in a released version of Blender, not just testing builds.

While at CGSociety, you might also want to check the wiki page related to Blender, or visit the discussion forum at CGSociety dedicated to Blender.


  1. this chart has quite some errors.

    maya has no patch tools? well ...

    and the chart does not give any information about the depth of tools.
    also carrara has a particle system. a good one? no.

  2. I agree with cekuhnen... this chart has some mistakes...

    It says Blender doesn't have cloth simulation... What is softbody dynamics for uh?

    They say Blender don't do smoke and flame. It does ! Wait... no that's just Windows burning my CPU :P...
    Blender can do flame and smoke with particles... okay it doesn't have a dedicated flame plugin... that might be what they mean...

  3. aws357,

    Softbody dynamics is for softbody dynamics, which is already in the chart :) At a minimum you need self intersection for cloth, a feature which has only just recently been added to the softbody code. Thus with 2.43 Blender will have cloth. Smoke and flame are in the simulation category, basic particle effects are under basic particles. Claiming Blender (or any other 3d application) has a feature which by any objective measure it doesn't would be a great disservice to potential users.


    I'm not thrilled that the depth of a feature isn't covered. I proposed a system whereby an objective rating scale could be done, but others seemed to object. Add your voice to the discussion page of why you think it should provide information on tool depth, and how you think an objective method to do so could be done.


  4. Primary, are bundled/internal renderers, some application bundle more than one renderer. As stated when posted, this isn't complete and you are allowed to add things to it, so please feel free to sign up and add additional renderers for Blender.


  5. Well, the list is right. At least Yafray is the only renderer (not primary) for Blender. The reason is when u download Yafray it installs with Blender to be used as Plugin or renderer. Exporters like the PovAnim or Sunflow, even Indigo are not renderes to blender, they are just render engines, the exporter writes all the scene info in a file, sometimes XML or other that the renderer supports. But any of them acts as renderer with Blender all are Standalone. So... if thats is the case i can write a XML or plain text file with scene description and render it with Sunflow for example and I could say I have done it with any 3D software, you can do it with Yafray too, but Yafray is the only embedded renderer in Blender I know. Blender2Pov does not count, its just a mod that calls Pov. The fact is that u can only use photons with yafray making this a secondary "internal" renderer with its own options inside Blender (like Mental Ray in 3D or Maya). The other ones are scripts made by users to export ur files into the renderer standalone machine. (with some options too)

    Well thats my opinion as far as i see it. If anyone knows another renderer that meets the Yafray description for Blender, please let me know.

  6. Phrozen,

    any renderer that has an export script written for it could go in that category.


    it has nurbs they just are not very robust. This is what was mentioned earlier, it doesn't differentiate on how well supported/implemented a feature is or how complete.


    uv sets are in CVS I think so should be in the next release.


    good question, I've heard NURBS called NURBS patches. I think general patches can use other types of curves than are used in NURBS, but not sure.


  7. I think, the external renderers section for blender would have povray, sunflow, indigo, mental, etc.

    And CGTalk would add a section for Composite Nodes.

  8. According chart: Blender supports RIB via a plugin. That's interesting for me. A quick google didn't give we a usefull mature plugin.
    What is the best plugin to use and where do I find it.


  9. The most interesting and completely right part was "Interface and Customization". Blender lacks in that department. For now that isn't a big deal, but with a growing list of features the ability to customize menus and key-bindings will become more important.

  10. Michael Crawford on

    maya also does not have smoke or fire. It has a neat little script that creates a particle system for you with everythign set up for smoke/fire (really not that convincing at all), but the same could be said of blender. You could get a similar effect with blender's particle system.

    I also wish they would be more specific as to the version of Maya. Unlimited has fluid, cloth, hair, psd file support, and a range of other features that Complete does not have. Overall, Maya is overpriced, bloated, and full of bugs. I used it for several years but stopped after blender started meeting my needs (and then some).

  11. Well folks at the end of the day the price comparison shows value for money. Blender is a highly competitive product in relation to what it can do in the 3d world, so in this sense at a price tag of exactly 0, it wins hands down! I have used 3ds max, Maya and Maxon Cinema 4d in the past, and to be honest Blender out ranks them all in all departments. Ease of use interoperability intuitive interface (though after a little learning). The use of particles easily rivals Maya and others for cloth Fire, smoke etc, after all these are simply scripted particle functions grouped together for marketability. Most important of all, is the fact that eventually the small amount of features Blender perhaps lacks presently will no doubt find their way into future releases for the extra price of?... yes you guessed it = 0!

    Keep Blending!

  12. @tom

    Patches in 3ds max is done with bezier curves. Basically you have a bunch of bezier curves in a patch, and where a number of vertices and edges make an enclosed shape, it creates a face, which is curved according to the curvature of its containing edges. The topology of a patch can be whatever you want, like in mesh modeling. It is like sub-surf modelling with more control, but it can be a pain because of all of the curves and control points you have to manage.

  13. I think the number of workable polygons stated for Blender is way off. 1,000,000? On 3ghz with 1 gig RAM? I happen to have those specs and my system really starts choking at around 500,000.

  14. "I have used 3ds max, Maya and Maxon Cinema 4d in the past, and to be honest Blender out ranks them all in all departments."
    This is the most uninformed and groundless statement ever made about 3d software.

  15. nemyax : ditto!!!

    please keep this forum for related constructive discussion, this is my personal opinion from my experience, and from a cost effective ease of use perspective, which in this present case depends highly on what the intended use of such software is to be. In this regard I have no qualms in stating the tools I get for 0 cost compared to for £8000 Blender outranks them. If this is not a shared opinion that is completely acceptable, but it remains my own personal belief and opinion. I would appreciate restraint from such rude criticisms in such a forum!

  16. gruvysco,

    "ATI Radeon 9600. I know Open GL is going to be worked on but, IMO the million poly claim is a little over the top."

    Also the poly count includes virtual polys, ie subsurfed mesh. If you still think it is high, I'll lower it though.


  17. Steve,
    I'm sorry if I was rude, but your comment was misleading. In terms of price/quality ratio, Blender is a clear winner, but sadly not in terms of quality alone.

  18. Howitzer,

    depends on what industry (Animation industry?, Illustration?, Games?, CAD? Product visualization?) and what you mean by standard.

    I think for low to moderate end users (truespace, lightwave, cinema 4D) it could become totally dominant (50% + marketshare) within 5 years.

    For high end professional users and for niche markets it really is unpredictable, maybe 10 years maybe less, maybe never.


  19. "I think for low to moderate end users (truespace, lightwave, cinema 4D) it could become totally dominant (50% + marketshare) within 5 years."

    Not if Blender continues to ignore interface requests from non-Blender users. This isn't to start a flame war although it generally does but the #1 complaint about Blender seen on non-Blender forums is UI. Lack os some specific features such as ngons will be a set back too unless they get added. I'm sure if these things continue to get ignored, Blender will still be around and probably still gain in popularity but, taking over the low-mid end by 50%, not likely IMO.

  20. No worries, Nemyax

    Apology accepted, perhaps my statement was a tad unclear, it was based on the business idiom of most resources for least cost. Blender still falters on some more comprehensive features compared to the industry players, however I do believe that this will be overcome as the Blender community pushes to develop more tools under O-Source which would meet the deficit in the future. However it is interesting to see the comparison for Blender actually doesn't fall that much behind in many areas to Blender or 3Ds max yet these tools are extremely expensive I am curious as to why Maya for example comes in at around £8000, any ideas? I have used Cinema 4d quite a lot, and its quite a strong tool, especially the latest release (9.5?) yet it comes in at around £1000 tops (though some additional costs for the extra modules) this, whilst expensive in comparison to blender is still affordable for many individual users or hobbyists.

  21. I do model normaly in the renage of 1mio+ polys and Blender handles that jus fine.
    Its much more a matter of the gfx board then the cpu, the classification table on the cgsociety site is imho simply stupudly wrong in that regard.

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