Blender 4.1 Officially Released with Quality-of-Life and Performance Improvements

This release improves Linux CPU rendering performance by about 5% across benchmarks and adds AMD GPU rendering support for RDNA3 generation APUs.
Blender 4.1

The Blender Foundation released today Blender 4.1 as a new update to its powerful, free, open-source, and cross-platform 3D graphics computer software for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows systems.

Arriving more than four months after Blender 4.0, the Blender 4.1 release is here to introduce quality-of-life improvements and performance enhancements all across the board to make Blender more useful and reliable, especially for modelers or animators.

Highlights of Blender 4.1 include a new file handler API that lets devs extend traditional file “import” operators with drag-and-drop behavior throughout the Blender UI, adding support for the Alembic, Collada, Grease Pencil SVG, OBJ, OpenUSD, PLY, and STL file formats within the 3D Viewport and Outliner areas.

Also new is GPU-accelerated hardware support for OpenImageDenoise when using GPU rendering in the 3D viewport, supporting NVIDIA GTX 16xx, NVIDIA TITAN V, and all NVIDIA RTX GPUs, Intel GPUs with Xe-HPG architecture or newer, as well as Apple Silicon. For now, AMD GPUs are not supported due to stability issues.

Moreover, Blender 4.1 adds a new Soft Falloff option to Point and Spot lights to make the lights render the same as in Blender 3.6 LTS and earlier versions. The light texture radius acts as a blurring factor for the projected texture when the new Soft Falloff option is applied and it will be directly visible on the spherical light source when the new Soft Falloff option is not applied.

This release makes Bone Collections hierarchical by showing them in a tree instead of a flat list and allowing you to reorder them using drag and drop. In addition, double-clicking an object or collection icon in the outliner will now select all of its children, which has been one of the most requested features by users.

Blender 4.1 also adds a new “Bake Channels” operator to the Graph Editor that lets you specify a range to bake, define the distance between baked keys, remove keys outside the baked range, define an interpolation type for new keyframes, and bake modifiers to keyframes.

It also adds an option to create motion paths relative to the active camera, improves the speed of Dope Sheet by only calculating keyframes that are visible in the current view, and adds a new option in the Graph Editor to automatically lock key movement to either the X or Y axis.

Support for the Cryptomatte, Defocus, Keying Screen, and Vector Blur nodes was added to the Viewport Compositor, and the Keying Screen node has been updated to use a Gaussian Radial Basis Function Interpolation to produce smoother temporally stable keying screens.

Blender 4.1 improves the Viewport Compositor to cache multi-pass images, improves the Sun Beams node to produce smoother results, updates the Inpaint node to use Euclidean distance instead of Manhattan distance, and improves Linux CPU rendering performance by about 5% across benchmarks.

Among other noteworthy changes, this release replaces the Split Viewer node with the Split node, a new option lets users disable bump map correction, AMD GPU rendering support was added for RDNA3 generation APUs, and the mesh “Auto Smooth” option has been replaced by a modifier node group asset.

Furthermore, the new curve type supports new operators, a new render “simplify” setting adds the ability to turn off the calculation of face corner and custom normals in the viewport, the Musgrave Texture node was replaced by the Noise Texture node, and Python has been upgraded to Python 3.11, matching the VFX platform 2024.

For sculpting, Blender 4.1 adds brush settings for view and normal automasking values, adds a brush setting for input samples, and adds a scene setting for the automasking propagation step value. Also, the video Sequencer received many performance optimizations across the board, audio waveforms are now displayed by default, and the Sequencer Scopes got visual look improvements.

For more details about the new features, fixes, improvements, and other changes included in this release, check out the release notes. Meanwhile, you can download Blender 4.1 right now from the official website.

Last updated 3 weeks ago

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