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3 Simpler Alternatives to Blender

3D modelling software can seem overwhelming for anyone who is creating a basic game or just starting off with modelling. However, there are some applications that are slightly simpler than using software like Blender or Maya, these are Wings3D, picoCAD and MagicaVoxel. In this article we’ll compare these three pieces of software to help you come to a conclusion on which one fits your needs.


Wings3D is the first software we will look at, it's an open-source 3D modelling software that is designed for polygonal modelling with tools for UV mapping, texture painting and a simple user interface. The low poly models created in Wings3D are great for game development and it runs on macOS, Linux, and Windows.

Wings3D does not have any animation tools inbuilt and can export to a range of formats that can be used with a range of game engines.


picoCAD is designed to create and texture low poly models, its closed source and costs $4.95 USD and is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The limited set of tools and simple user interface make picoCAD much easier to use then other tools but does limit what it can produce.

The lightweight nature of picoCAD continues with the application being only 7mb to download which makes it a great choice for people with much older computers or slower internet connections. One of its really convenient features is that it can export GIF files which are perfect for sharing and getting feedback in social media.


The final tool we will look at is MagicaVoxel which is software that's specially designed for creating voxel art. Its open source and available for macOS, Linux, and Windows, MagicaVoxel supports created models from voxels, rendering, animation and using custom shaders too.

MagicaVoxel has support for exporting to a range of files including OBJ and FBX which helps with importing into whatever game engine you choose. Even though the modelling is voxel based it can be used to create complex scenes with effects and lighting added. Voxel modelling also might not be the right choice for your project if you want to use polygonal modelling tools in the future.

What’s the best one?

The best tool for your application depends on what you are doing, if you are creating a voxel-based model or game then MagicaVoxel is the best tool for the job as it can do complicated models and scenes in voxels and is free to use. If you are looking at creating something with the aesthetic of the Gameboy Advance it's hard to go past picoCAD as its simple interface and tooling is perfect for the task but does cost money compared to the other free options. But if you are looking for something that is like blender but just a bit simpler Wings3D is the tool to go with due to its easy interface and polygonal modelling that is more like Blender.

© Josh Mangiola 2024