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Blender 3.0 Released as a Massive Update with Many New Features and Improvements

Blender 3.0

The Blender Foundation released today Blender 3.0 as the latest stable version of this powerful, free, open-source and cross-platform 3D computer graphics software for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms.

Blender 3.0 is a massive update that introduces numerous new features and dozens of enhancements to the 3D modeling software. One huge change in this new series is the fact that Blender will use the Vulkan next generation graphics and compute API by default for better graphics performance with lower power consumption. This is not yet available in the 3.0 release, but it will come in a future update in the 3.x series.

Another big change in the 3.x series is the replacement of the BGL module with the GPU module. Also, Blender’s Cycles received a major revamp that leads to significantly improved GPU rendering performance and interactivity in Blender 3.0.

The new Blender release refreshes the default theme to celebrate the 3.0 series, makes opening a blend file that links to thousands or more data-blocks from the same library faster, supports loading of Zstandard compressed .blend files, and improves the performance when editing huge meshes.

The visual style of the panels have been updated as well, and there are numerous smaller changes to the user interface to make Blender offer a high quality and consistent UI, as well as a well balanced workflow on all supported platforms.

Blender 3.0 also adds support for 128 channels to the Sequencer, moves the Annotation Panel to new View tab in the Clip Editor, adds an ASC CDL color correction method and a transform overwrite mode, adds a new “Loose Edges” option to let you collapse only the edges without connected faces, adds support for flipping sides in mesh bisects, and there are several improvements to the Knife Tool.

For VR (Virtual Reality), the new release updates the VR Scene Inspection add-on with a new set of VR controller-based functionality, such as the ability to visualize controllers and navigate one’s way through a scene in VR using controller inputs. Moreover, higher color depths are now used for VR-displayed images, and there’s a new “Absolute Tracking” session option to skip eye offsets.

Among other noteworthy changes, Blender 3.0 brings multi-frame support to the Reproject and Move to Layer operators, adds the ability to reorder the mask layer list, adds support for converting Text to a Grease Pencil object, introduces a new option to use masks during view layer render, and brings a new Dot-dash modifier for generating dot-dash lines and assign different materials to segments.

Blender 3.0 also includes a new editor called The Asset Browser, which promises to make it easier to work with reusable assets. It supports several asset types, including Objects, Materials, Poses, and Worlds.

Apart from 100 newly added nodes, Blender 3.0 extends the geometry nodes with a re-imagined method for designing node groups, as well as a new attribute system and various new nodes for interacting with curves, data, instances, text, etc. Of course, most of the existing nodes received improvements.

Last but not least, Blender 3.0 adds a stable coordinate system for compositing using a canvas principle and adds support for all major silicon manufacturers, including AMD, Apple, Intel, and Nvidia. More details about the changes included in this massive update are available in the full release notes (with examples).

You can download Blender 3.0 right now from the official website as an archived binary that you only have to extract in a folder to run Blender on your favorite GNU/Linux distribution. If your distro ships Blender in its repositories, you should be able to update from a previous release in the coming days.

Last updated 12 months ago