Blender 3.6 LTS Adds Light Trees Support on AMD GPUs, HW Ray-Tracing on Intel Arc

This release will be supported with bug and security fixes for two years, until July 2025.
Blender 3.6 LTS

Blender 3.6 LTS is now available for download as the latest and greatest stable version of this open-source, free, and cross-platform 3D computer graphics and modeling software for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms.

Blender 3.6 comes about three months after the Blender 3.5 release and it looks to be a long-term supported (LTS) series that will receive support for two years with regular updates that introduce bug fixes and stability improvements. The first long-term support release of the 3.x series was Blender 3.3 LTS, which will be supported until September 2024.

Highlights of Blender 3.6 LTS include a new add-on to easily create VDM brushes, support for importing and exporting the legacy 3DS format, support for light trees on AMD GPUs, hardware ray-tracing acceleration for Intel Arc and Data Center GPUs, as well as support for simulations on geometry nodes.

This release also introduces a new system to improve the performance of geometry nodes when copying large data chunks, adds the ability to select group socket subtypes in the Node Editor, extends the Paint Mask selection, adds support for viewing the scene duration in the status bar, and adds a new parent space transformation for aligning child objects and armature bones to parent space.

The Viewport Compositor has been updated to support several new nodes including Anti-Aliasing, Convert Color Space, Corner Pin, Denoise, Displace, Fog Glow Glare, ID Mask, Map UV, Mask, Plane Track Deform, Stabilize 2D, Texture, and Z Combine. Additionally, the Viewport Compositor now supports bicubic interpolation, multi-layer EXR images, and repetition along a single axis.

The Weight Paint mode received new tools including Average, Blur, and Smear, the UV Sphere Projection and UV Cylinder Projection functions now support the manual placement of seams, the UV Select Similar operator received new options for Similar Winding and Similar Object, and the performance of conversion from edit meshes to object mode meshes was improved through parallelization.

The UV Packing engine was updated to dramatically improve its performance when handling large meshes and also improve support for non-square materials, along with a new option to choose the shape of the UV Packing approximation, a new “Merge Overlapped” option to stick overlapping islands, and a new “Pack To > Original Bounding Box” option for packing islands into the original bounding box of the selection.

Blender’s user interface received several updates to hover highlighting of UIList rows, support Smooth View on the Node Editor, support operator enums in Quick Favorites, support Alt+Click to edit string properties for multiple objects, support Unicode 15.0 emojis on the Noto Emoji font, support filtering of Grease Pencil objects, and increase the default size of the “Open Recent” menu list to 20 items.

Other changes in Blender 3.6 LTS include support for the “Adjust Last Operation” panel in the mesh and color filters, a new trim orientation in the Box Trim UI, multi-threading support for light trees to use less RAM, the ability to configure multiple script directory paths in Preferences, support for relative paths when importing assets, and a new C++ based PLY importer and exporter.

Blender 3.6 LTS is available for download right now from here as a universal binary package that you can run on virtually any GNU/Linux distribution without installing anything on your personal computer. The source tarball is also available for download from the project’s GitHub page.

Last updated 10 months ago

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