3D Packaging Renderings

Hi All,
Im looking for recommendations for 3D software to create retail packaging renderings such as Shopping bags, jewelry boxes, etc.

Can you tell me what you use and the pros and cons? I know you can do it in illustrator, but we sometimes like to change the color of the interiors of the boxes and bags, etc. Im looking for something that will help me streamline the process so each rendering doesn’t take hours.

I see renderings from other firms and am wondering what they use. Any ideas are appreciated! Our company is very old and stuck in their ways and I’ve been here for a long time, so I am also behind on the times and technology.

Thank you!

I don’t think this is exactly what you’re looking, but it might help out.


If you are just talking about pretty pictures of your own packaging with different color mockups, if your packaging isn’t off-the-shelf, you may have to photograph it and make your own mockups.

This is what many, packaging manufacturers use.
It requires some CAD and assembly know-how, and if YOU do it wrong, you will make your package printer’s life miserable and they may hate you. You could ask your package manufacturer for mockup templates.

Illustrator is not a good choice for 3D work since it’s almost exclusively a 2D application.

When it comes to actual 3D work, there’s no shortage of software to choose from, but making that choice largely depends on how you’ll be using it, your budget and how seriously you want to dive into the 3D world.

Do you need something that will also create dielines for production purposes or are you just needing to create realistic prototypes? The prices of 3D applications run all the way from free to several thousand dollars. Maybe if you were a little more specific about your needs, someone could give you better advice.

I work as the in-house designer at a packaging finishing company actually-and we have just started digging into 3D mockups for clients that aren’t local.
I have begun with Blender, but we are looking at what @PrintDriver said, Esko. They license ArtiosCAD, which has capabilities to automate dielines with given substrates and dimensions, as well as generate 3D mockups with artwork that are interactive! We don’t have the income right now to invest in it, but that’s our next step is to purchase ArtiosCAD to move a lot in-house.

Here’s a few I’ve made with blender:

We use Solidworks for a lot of 3D mockup stuff here, but most of it has to be engineering grade, which is what Solidworks is. Learning curve is very steep. Mostly in the realm of the guys that drive AutoCAD for a living.

Adobe Dimensions is awesome and very simple to use. I highly recommend it.