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What are the alternatives to Maya and Blender?

Updated: Mar 15

maya blender

For 3D animation, two major players dominate the stage:

  • Maya, historically the most popular 3D software, especially in VFX and feature film production.


  • Blender, a free, open-source powerhouse in the realm of 3D software.

They both employ a very similar approach to animation, utilizing rigs, keyframes, and the graph editor.

If you've tried them and found their workflow unsuitable, there's good news – more software options are emerging, and they are rethinking the traditional animation process.


They have recently enhanced their software with AI. Whether it's a genuine addition or simply riding the wave of AI's popularity, I'm not certain yet. However, they are undoubtedly revolutionizing the animation creation process. It's like playing with action figures – no longer requiring extensive technical skills to animate.

Take a look at some of their videos to grasp their philosophy.

Prices are really competitive, even Free for under 100K/year revenues.

Cascadeur price


For Rumba, the animation process still follows a similar approach to Maya and Blender, but the user interface is more user-friendly. Gone are the days of a multitude of controllers cluttering the workspace; now, you can simply select an area on your rig to animate the shape of it. Additionally, they place significant emphasis on the Layered Animation process, which is fantastic!

Prices are really competitive, even Free if you want to try it for non commercial use.

rumba price


Houdini is not (yet) widely known for animation, but mostly for VFX. However, it is increasingly engaging with animators. I wouldn't be surprised to see it being used in production one day. Take a look at their latest announcements regarding animation tools:


I am not yet well-informed about Unreal, and I am eager to give it a try. However, learning to animate on Unreal can be an asset in today's job market, setting oneself apart from peers accustomed, like myself, to Maya or Blender. In my opinion, Unreal is poised to become increasingly prevalent in our productions.

In conclusion,

3D animation continues to evolve, and these alternatives promise to stimulate innovation and offer new perspectives to enthusiasts in the animation world. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a beginner, the future of animation appears exciting and filled with new possibilities.


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