Blender 3.1 Comes with Many New Features, Focuses on Performance

Blender 3.1 arrives just three month after the launch of the latest version of the libre 3D design software reference; Blender 3.0. You can read about the significant new additions below.

The Cycles Rendering System

In this new version of Blender 3.1 that presents, it is pointed out that a backend for the Cycles rendering system was implemented to accelerate rendering using the Metal Graphics API.

It also points out that it has implemented the ability to render a cloud object of points directly through the Cycles engine to create entities such as sand and spray. Clouds of points can be generated by geometric nodes or imported from other programs. The memory efficiency of the Cycles rendering system was significantly improved.

Speed of exporting files

Another novelty presented is that the speed of exporting files in the .obj and .fbx formats was increased by various orders of magnitude due to the rewriting of code used to export Python to C++. For example, if it is used to take 20 minutes to export a large project to an FBX file, the export time has now been reduced to 20 seconds.

Implementation of geometric nodes

The implementation of geometric nodes have reduced memory consumption (up to 20%). Support for multithreading and calculation of schemes of nodes has been improved.

More nodes for procedural modeling

On the other hand, we can find that 19 new nodes for procedural modeling have been added. Including nodes added for extrusion, scale elements, field in index and accumulated field. New mesh modeling tools are proposed.

The enhanced user interface

In addition, also highlights the enhanced user interface as well now, as it provides the ability to automatically display a list of filtered nodes when plugs are dragged with the mouse. It allows you to see only the types of plugs to which they can be connected, as well as added support for instances to set your own dynamic attributes. Also, implemented the ability to mark groups of nodes such as plug-ins as well as drag and drop to go from the plug-ins browser to geometry nodes, shading and post-processing.

New modifiers to the 2D grease drawing system

Also new modifiers were added to the 2D grease drawing system and animation of the grease, which allows you to create 2D sketches and use them in a 3D environment such as three-dimensional objects (a 3D model is formed based on multiple flat sketches at different angles). The fill tool allows negative values ​​for a partial fill along a path to create striping effects.

Other interesting changes

The following list are the other changes that stand out:

  • Expanded features of the non-linear video editor.
  • The graphic editor offers new tools for animation.
  • A new “point information” node has been added, which allows access to individual data points.
  • Supplied the use of GPU to accelerate the work of the modifier for construction by parts of smooth surfaces (subdivision).
  • The image editor offers the possibility of working with very large size images (for example, with resolution of 52k).
  • Significantly accelerated editing of polygon meshes.
  • Indexing in Asset Browser has been implemented, facilitating work with multiple objects, materials and additional environment blocks.
  • Added support to move data blocks and elements in drag and drop mode during viewing.
  • In the modeling interface, it is possible to give individual vertices an arbitrary sharpness.
  • Added support for Pixar OpenBDIV technology for modeling, rendering and export in Almbic and USD formats.
  • The Copy Global Transform plug-in is included to link the transformation of an object to another to ensure consistent animation.

Official video presentation

To finish, we leave you with the presentation video of Blender 3.1; where the developers teach you everything new in five minutes and what is more interesting, it is in motion; which is the best way to understand how it works.


André Silva

André Silva is the HyperbolaBSD Software Designer and Co-Founder Leader of Hyperbola Project, a distribution endorsed by the Free Software Foundation. More of 10 years of experience in system administration, shell scripting, software packaging and tech-writer with personal projects based on libre software.
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