If you are interested in 3D software, there are actually a lot of good ones to choose from if you Want to learn 3D or if you Want to work on your projects.
Two of those good options are 3Ds Max VS SketchUp, especially when working on architecture projects.
Sketchup is being used for the most part by architects and architectural visualization artists, to work on interior and exterior visualization projects.
Using SketchUp you can actually bring 2D plans from a 2D drafting software such as AutoCAD, and start modeling the walls and so on, till you end with a finished building, both from the inside and the outside. The good thing is you can use SketchUp as a 2D drafting software as well if you want to. You can draw detailed and precise 2D plans using its layout tools.
If you are using Sketchup, then there is also a 3D warehouse to download what you need in your projects, for example, you are able to import things like furniture such as chairs, tables, lamps, etc. And later, you can change their textures and materials to what suits your needs. This is especially handy for those who just want a quick way to visualize their projects without needing to know too much about 3D modeling.
But if you are an experienced 3D modeler you can actually create 3D Models from scratch, if you want to, using the modeling tools in SketchUp.
Later on, you can render your projects using a lot of free and paid render engines to get realistic and believable results.
3Ds Max, on the other hand, is a fantastic 3D software that is being used to do many things in many different fields. Like game development, VFX for film and tv shows, commercials, and architectural visualization.
So, 3Ds Max has far more applications than SketchUp, and when it comes to architecture it is very popular as well.
It is a 3D package that allows you to do advanced organic and hard surface modeling, you can actually create every single piece of furniture or other elements in your scene with fine details. So, your experience is the limit.
One of the main differences in the 3Ds Max VS SketchUp situation is that 3Ds Max does not have the ability to create 2D plans because it is not a 2D drafting software. So, architects and designers who use it, usually rely on software such as AutoCad to do this.
When you are done with modeling, texturing, and lighting your scenes you can use the Arnold render engine that comes with 3Ds Max for rendering, and you can use third-party render engines as well if you want to.
The Learning Curve
The user interface of SketchUp is user-friendly, which allows you to understand how the software works rather quickly. The modeling, texturing, and rendering processes are also not that hard to learn either.
On the other hand, 3Ds Max can help you reach insane levels of detail and complexity when working on video-games and VFX projects. It’s why generally speaking, can be considered harder. But overall, it is easy when it comes to architectural visualization. But you still need to put in the effort.
In terms of pricing, SketchUp is more flexible than 3Ds max and has many different licensing options to choose from, whether you are a student, a beginner designer, or a professional, which is going to allow you to find exactly what suits your needs. You can actually use SketchUp Free if you are a beginner and later use SketchUp Pro for $300/year if you want to use it commercially.
3Ds Max license is far more expensive than SketchUp’s license because it costs around $1500/year, but you can use it for free for a limited period of time if you are a student.