The best AR and VR design software will help you change the way people interact with the environment around you. Creating digital but life-like objects via smart devices has the potential to transform every industry, from design and gaming to technology.
No matter your requirements, there is a wide variety of AR and VR design software available for every skill and purpose. If you plan to make your mark in the metaverse, you should consider the AR and VR tools listed in this article below.
On a similar note, see our feature on the Best VR Courses.
10+ Best Software for AR and VR Design in 2024
Our list of the top 10 best AR and VR design tools is based on features, price, popularity, and user reviews.
- Adobe Aero — The best AR design software overall (Editor’s Choice)
- Tvori — The best budget AR design software
- Masterpiece Studio Pro — The best value VR design software
- Vuforia Engine — The best AR design software for advanced users
- Unity 3D — The best free software for AR and VR design
- Oculus Medium — The best 3D design platform for Oculus headsets
- Gravity Sketch — The best video effects software for beginners
- ROAR Editor — The best AR design software for beginners
- Amazon Sumerian — The best web-based 3D design application
- Google Tilt Brush — The best VR design software for artists
What is Augmented and Virtual Reality?
Before stepping into knowing the best software for AR and VR design, you must understand what it is.
Augmented reality (AR)
Augmented reality is something that combines the physical and virtual worlds. This overlays digital images in your physical view.
Augmented reality gives you an enhanced version of the real physical world visualized digitally with the same effects and sensory sounds and elements.
Virtual reality (VR)
VR technology involves a computer-generated environment with objects and elements that appear to be real and make the user experience the same feeling as immersed in the environment.
Mixed Reality (MR)
This was created to make the user experience both visual and physical content in reality, so a user sees and interacts with the physical and digital world at the same time.
10+ Best Software for AR and VR Design in 2024 — Free & Paid
1. Adobe Aero (Editor’s Choice)
The best AR design software overallIn our experience, Adobe makes some of the best software for art and design, and Adobe Aero is no exception. We’ve created immersive augmented reality experiences using assets designed in other apps without any coding requirement!
In our opinion, Aero adds a whole new dimension to the way AR experiences are designed. You can use 2D images from Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator or 3D models from Adobe Substance 3D Stager and third-party apps like Cinema 4D to create compelling designs that will leave your users awe-struck.
We tried out the product and its robust yet easy-to-use tools also make it a fantastic option for beginners. We were able to export, publish, and share our AR designs on social media with just one click.
However, the best part about Aero is that it is compatible with both Mac OS and Windows, and you can also try it out for free on iOS devices.
|➕Compatible with both Mac OS and Windows
|➖Not compatible with Android
|➕Works with third-party apps and other Adobe products
The best budget AR design software
Whether creating story prototypes, shape XR apps, or full-scale animation films, we’re confident that Tvori makes everything possible.
You can learn as you go with Tvori, and no prior knowledge of 3D content creation is required before using the app.
We also found an extensive library of simple shapes, props, and effects to choose from; we could import 3D models, images, videos, and sounds to add to various projects.
With Tvori, you also have the option to export your work as videos, 360 videos, photos, 360 photos, VR experiences, and 3D models with animations.
Based on our experience, it is also very collaboration-based so it’s easy to share your creations with colleagues on VR projects.
Overall, it is one of the best VR design tools for beginners on a budget.
|➖Limited access to 3D models
The best value VR design software
Masterpiece Studio Pro is one of the best all-around options available for 3D modeling in VR.
From concept art to designs, we were able to draw, model, optimize, rig, skin, and animate directly with our hands in 3D and VR with a PC and headset.
You can also export projects to game engines and animation software for further development.
Additionally, we found that it boasts highly advanced features such as the auto-rigger and auto-skin functions that let you create an entire model in just one click.
Other functionalities include a simple UI, mesh processing tools, texture painting, retopology, stamps, and kitbashing. This makes Masterpiece Studio Pro a favorite among artists and designers.
Based on our experience with it, the possibilities are endless with Studio Pro, and it is suitable for all levels of professional as well as personal use.
|➕Advanced AI and features to simplify creating 3D content
|➖Requires high-end equipment to run smoothly
The best AR design software for advanced users
Vuforia Engine is at the top of the list of the most popular SDKs to develop Augmented Reality applications and with good reason.
First introduced by Qualcomm, Vuforia Engine is a comprehensive software that enables you to create engaging 3D product demonstrations and applications.
It connects people to products through an immersive AR experience.
It is the preferred choice of over 800,000+ developers thanks to its incredible performance, advanced computer vision, and cross-platform abilities that can be utilized to develop native apps for iOS and Android.
If you aren’t as tech-savvy and coding is your kryptonite, you can opt for Vuforia Studio which lets you build robust and immersive 3D augmented reality experiences without programming expertise.
|➖No free trial or integration services
|➕Works online or offline
5. Unity 3D
The best free software for AR and VR design
Unity 3D is the world’s most popular platform for creating 3D projects and has been the trusted choice of game developers, animators, and visual artists for years.
It is a complete VR development tool and has a vast asset store of 2D, and 3D designs and templates that you can directly import into the development environment.
It is backed by a large community of developers who are constantly working on improving the quality along with quickening the development process.
Combined with a high-optimization rendering pipeline, stereo instancing, spatial audio, authoring tools, and the rapid iteration capabilities of the Editor, it isn’t difficult to see why Unity is one of the world’s best 3D development platforms.
Unity 3D has been used to create games and build 3D solutions for the gaming, automotive, transport, manufacturing, film, and animation industry.
It is a testament to the software’s capabilities, and it is highly recommended if you are a professional AR and VR designer.
|➖Required to create everything from scratch
|➕Tested and trusted by animators everywhere
|➖Can be laggy when editing
The best VR software for character design
Another great tool by Adobe for VR design is the Oculus Medium. This VR tool is most appealing to character artists.
It lets you sculpt, model, paint, and create objects in a VR environment using the Oculus Touch controllers alongside the Oculus Rift.
That isn’t all; you can also create organic shapes, abstract art, and anything in between with this easy-to-use tool.
You can choose from hundreds of prefabricated stamps, including anatomy, letters, numbers, shapes, and various widgets, or export high-resolution meshes for 3D modeling and printing.
This app has been designed so that you can spend more time being creative rather than spending long hours designing, making it one of our top apps for VR design.\
|➕Easy to get started
|➖A bit difficult to add and export stamps
|➕Lots of materials available
The best 3D design platform for Oculus headsets
Whether it is creating concept sketches or detailed 3D models, Gravity Sketch is a 3D design platform with a wide variety of digital tools that will help you express any idea in real time.
It started as a sculpting tool used by the auto and shoe industry but has become one of the premier applications for VR design.
Its easy-to-use tools offer a truly intuitive experience. You can draw freehand in 3D space and import 2D sketches to trace over and bring your creations to life.
It also allows you to seamlessly communicate and collaborate with your colleagues, synchronize your files across multiple devices, and integrate them with the cloud via LandingPad.
Gravity Sketch previously charged a one-time fee, but since early 2021, it has become free of cost for individual users.
It is one of the best free VR design tools around, and it is highly recommended for beginners.
|➕Has a great set of tools to create and edit
|➖Has a learning curve
|➕Includes comprehensive tutorials
8. ROAR Editor
The best AR design software for beginners
If you are new to the world of augmented reality, there isn’t a more beginner-friendly app to learn about AR than the ROAR Editor.
It is designed for non-technical users and lets you create engaging AR experiences by dragging and dropping different elements such as video, images, buttons, text, 3D models, and more.
ROAR Editor has all the features you need to test, play, and deliver incredible AR models. ROAR Editor makes AR design simple and accessible as it does not require any coding or technical skills.
It is compatible with most platforms such as iOS, Windows, and Web, and supports all major social media platforms.
This is why the ROAR Editor is, without any doubt, the most easy-to-use AR design app available.
|➖Need its app for scanning
|➕Simplifies and makes AR design accessible
The best web-based 3D design application
Amazon Sumerian makes it easy to create browser-based 3D, AR, and VR applications. You can build highly immersive designs without technical skills or 3D graphics expertise.
Sumerian is supported by most platforms, including Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive, as well as Android and iOS mobile devices.
The Sumerian editor features ready-to-use scene templates and intuitive drag-and-drop tools that enable artists and designers to build interactive scenes.
Integration with AWS also means that you can easily access machine learning, chatbots, code execution, and more tools at once.
Since it is web-based, all your projects will be accessible via a simple browser URL and can be run on popular hardware for AR/VR.
|➕Easy to use
|➖Limited tutorials available
|➕Features drag-and-drop tools
|➖Has integration issues with iOS applications
The best VR design software for artists
For professional artists and amateurs alike, Google Tilt Brush is one of the best 3D design tools around. It lets you paint in a 3D space with virtual reality, using various dynamic brushes and shaders, from ink and smoke to snow and fire.
Using Google Tilt Brush, you can create artwork and designs that you can interact with and walk around in for an authentic one-of-a-kind experience.
The possibilities are endless with this app, and all you need is a VR headset to get started.
|➕Very intuitive program
|➖No features to refine brushes
|➕Features a variety of brushes to create a virtual world
|➖Has a learning curve
What are the Advantages of Using AR and VR Software?
This technology is new but has certain advantages it offers in all fields. The following are a few advantages of using AR software in businesses.
This technology makes it possible for potential customers to see and interact with your product or service before buying it. You can educate your customers so they may make more educated decisions about their purchases.
This technology allows you to implant various types of perspectives into your content. They will also help people to point at a real-life object to learn the necessary information instead of making them do their research.
It enables companies to train employees more thoroughly through documentation and meetings. This software makes it easy for the trainees to learn career responsibilities by visualizing them, instead of just reading them and memorizing them.
This helps improve workflow and processes of their work by making it easier. Say, for example, if a manufacturing company has a long process and a steep learning curve to follow, they can make it easier and more understandable with the help of AR and VR technology.
This makes their employees work efficiently which in turn improves the performance overall, especially for manufacturing-based companies and businesses.
Engaging the Audience
Advertisements for various products and services are overrun with print and television advertisements, to the point where consumers don’t pay attention to them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will AR and VR impact the future of mobile design?
Yes, it can with the right use of AR and VR software because designs can create immersive and interactive experiences. There are still a lot of glitches and problems around AR and VR in general, but there’s no doubt that the future of design is headed in that direction.
What do I need to apply Augmented Reality (AR) to my marketing strategies?
While you can study AR on your own, you can also hire an AR developer or an agency that specializes in AR. However, keep in mind that it’s a relatively new market so the development can be slow and expensive.
What AR and VR applications can I run from my phone (iOS/Android)?
There are now several AR and VR apps that our phones can run. Rec Room, Incell, Cartoon Village, and Within (formerly known as VRSE) are some of those applications.
AR and VR Design is the Future
Creating powerful customer experiences is crucial for any business, and AR and VR are revolutionizing how we interact with brands by creating unique and immersive experiences.
If you want to leverage this technology to build your brand, we recommend acquiring powerful software (and sometimes hardware) that can turn your creativity into real possibilities.
Also, don’t miss to check out our blog on the best VR fonts.
We hope you found this list helpful and if you’re using any of the software right now, let us know what you think in the comments below!