Blender 4.1 has moved into beta and the Alpha version of Blender 4.2 LTS is now available. In addition, it has been decided to postpone EEVEE-NEXT, which was scheduled to be included in Blender 4.1, so we would like to provide this information as well.
EEVEE-Next release has been postponed
Last month,This pageThe decision to postpone EEVEE-Next has been announced. This decision was made by consensus of all developers involved in the development of EEVEE-Next. EEVEE-Next will be included in Blender 4.2 LTS. Below are some of the contents of the presentation.
■Reason for postponement
EEVEE-Next is known to have some performance issues with new settings for how shadow and horizon scans are evaluated. The status of each case is as follows.
- Solving the shadow performance issue is more complex than initially expected, and it is not yet clear how to mitigate it.
- For horizon scanning, the solution is more straightforward, but requires more development work. Additionally, performance is affected when used with less powerful GPUs.
■ EEVEE-Next has been removed in Blender 4.1
Due to a delay, EEVEE-Next is no longer available in Blender 4.1. Therefore, EEVEE-Next is not installed in the beta version either. EEVEE-Next is available in the alpha version of Blender 4.2 LTS.
They apparently considered releasing EEVEE-Next as a beta option for Blender 4.1, but it didn't happen due to several factors, including increased issues and the amount of development hours that could be spent.
■ EEVEE legacy improvements
Although EEVEE-Next is no longer included, changes related to improving BSDF compatibility with courses have also improved the quality of EEVEE-Legacy. These changes will not be undone and will be available with the release of Blender 4.1.
Blender 4.1 beta is now available
February 7, 2024 (local time) – Blender 4.1 beta and Blender 4.2 LTS alpha released. I may introduce it when it's officially released, but I'd like to briefly introduce some of the new features.
Animation and rigging
■ Collect bones
Skeletal groups are now hierarchical, with groups displayed in a tree format rather than a flat list, and can be rearranged and nested using drag and drop. The outline also shows the hierarchy of bone groups.
Visibility is determined by the group of bones itself and its origins, and hiding a group of bones also hides its children.
■ Chart editor
The graphing editor now has the option to automatically lock key movements to the X or Y axis. In addition, an option has been added to the right-click menu of an animated property to show its FCurve.
Demo showing F-curves for moving properties
■ Motion path
Added option to create motion paths related to active camera. This will appear in the screen area when viewing the motion path through that camera.
Bake (Bake node) has been added to save and load intermediate geometries. Duplicate data is properly eliminated in the baking process, resulting in much smaller files if geometry or attributes are identical. You can now also bake portions.
- Menu Toggle: Create a custom “bullet” menu to toggle options in the group interface.
- Split into Instances: Allows you to split the geometry into multiple parts based on the group ID.
- Switch Index: Allows you to select any number of entries by index.
- Item Sorting: Allows you to sort geometric items based on the sort key.
- The Musgrave Texture node has been replaced with an improved Noise Texture node. The existing shader node settings are automatically converted and the resulting display is identical.
- Added a 'Group ID' entry to the Fill Curve node to restrict fills to specific curve groups
- The Node tool is now supported in object mode
- The Rotate Rotation node replaces the Rotate Euler node, which is now a faster and cleaner way to adjust rotations
- The current camera object of the scene is added to the active camera input node.
■ Improve performance
- Extrude Mesh is now over 6 times faster for large meshes with many vertical groups.
- The Edge Shortest Paths node is now over 60% faster.
- Face Group Boundaries mode is more than 3 times faster. Face Group Boundaries mode is more than 3 times faster.
- The Edges to Face Groups node is now over 7 times faster.
■ Automatic smooth
The 'Auto Smooth' option for meshes has been replaced by the original 'Smooth by Angle' adjustment node group. This solves the long-standing problem of automatic smoothing and simplifies the process of calculating parameters. When you open an object with an auto-smooth-enabled mesh created in legacy Blender in new Blender 4.1, a geometry node group is automatically added.
The Node Group's “Smooth by Angle” asset is the main way to set sharp normals based on the angle of edges. Available directly from the edit menu.
■ GPU acceleration OpenImageDenoise
OpenImageDenoise is now GPU-accelerated on supported devices. This enables interactive, full-quality noise reduction within the 3D display.
GPU acceleration is automatically enabled when using GPU rendering in the 3D rendering and final rendering window. Disabling it in the Noise Reduction settings panel can reduce GPU memory usage at the cost of slower noise removal.
Supported graphics processing units
- NVIDIA GTX 16xx, TITAN V, and all RTX GPUs
- AMD RDNA2 or RDNA3 discrete GPU generation
- Intel Arc on Xe HPG architecture
- Apple Silicon with macOS 13.0 or later
This update includes several improvements to the user interface. I would like to introduce some of them.
▪You can now display UI lines of any thickness.
▪Improved color picker indicator display and feedback.
▪ File browser tooltips now show Blender version, image size, video details, and more.
▪You can now select all children by double-clicking on the group icon in the outline.
▪Modifiers can now be applied from outlines.
A tool button has been added to toggle the lock to show the camera.
Visual effects and video
All nodes are now supported in the viewport compositor, including newly added nodes:
- Vector blur
- Lock screen.
The Split Viewer node has been replaced with the Split node, and options have been added to existing nodes such as Kuwahara and Pixelate. There are many other changes and improvements as well.
Video Sequencer has a number of performance improvements across the board.
- The Timeline UI now redraws complex timelines 3x to 4x faster.
- Effects: Glow is now 10x faster than 6x, Scanning is 20x faster than 6x, Gamma Cross is 4x faster, Gaussian Blur is 1.5x faster, and Solid Color is 2x faster.
- Various parts of image conversion, reading and writing movie frames, color management, and audio resampling are now faster.
- Luma waveform display calculations are now 8x to 15x faster.
Other visual improvements include filtering and sequencing ranges.
Full list of new features in Blender 4.1from here
The official release of Blender 4.1 is scheduled for March 19, 2024.
Download Blender 4.1 Beta or Blender 4.2 LTS Alphafrom here
The mixer support isfrom here
“Travel maven. Beer expert. Subtly charming alcohol fan. Internet junkie. Avid bacon scholar.”