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Blender 3.1 Released with Lots of Performance Improvements, Other Changes

Blender 3.1

The Blender Foundation announced today the general availability of Blender 3.1 as the first point release to the Blender 3.0 series of this powerful, free, open-source, and cross-platform 3D modeling software.

Coming two months after Blender 3.0, the Blender 3.1 update is all about performance and speed to make Blender faster and more reliable. For example, it brings performance improvements to Mesh Vertex and Face Normals, as well as to Blender’s procedural system, which also received 19 new nodes, mesh modeling tools, advanced Fields control, access to time, and much more.

Blender 3.1 also adds support for the new Point Cloud object to be rendered directly with Cycles when creating sand, water splashes, particles, or motion graphics, support for Pixar OpenSubDiv for modeling, rendering, as well as Alembic and USD import and export, and faster workflow by dragging sockets to get a list of automatically filtered nodes.

Performance improvements are also present in Geometry Nodes to make nodes multi-threaded and use less memory. Also multi-threaded is the Grid mesh primitive, as well as the Realize Instances and Set Spline Type nodes, and there are multi-threading improvements when working with medium-sized workloads.

With this update, Blender now uses up to 20 percent less memory, displays large node trees almost twice faster than before, processes single values with field nodes up to 2-3 times faster, and accesses Geometry Nodes up to 40 percent faster.

On top of that, the Cube mesh primitive is now about 75 percent faster, while memory usage was reduced up to 100x in large fields. Moreover, domain interpolation can now only calculate the necessary values, instances can now have their own dynamic attributes, and the long-anticipated Extrude node finally made it into Blender.

Among other noteworthy changes, Blender 3.1 brings many updated nodes, improves the selection of nodes inside frames, improves the PDB/XYZ importer, adds UDIM Substitution Tokens support, introduces a new Copy Global Transform add-on, improves NURBS Knots Calculation, and adds support for marking node groups as assets.

Also, the Image Editor has been updated to handle much larger images for preview and editing, there are massive improvements for files with Armatures in REST position, and there’s GPU acceleration support in the Subdivision modifier to make 3D Viewport’s playback much faster. For more details on the changes included in Blender 3.1, check out the video below and the release notes.

Meanwhile, you can download Blender 3.1 from the official website as a binary package that you can run on virtually any GNU/Linux distribution without installing anything.

Last updated 2 months ago