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    Blender 3.6 LTS Released with Amazing New Features

    Blender 3.6 LTS Released with Amazing New Features

    Blender Foundation and the online developers community proudly present Blender 3.6 LTS! It’s the last highly-anticipated long-term support release of the 3.x series.

    It brings Simulation Nodes, an upgraded UV Packing system, improved Cycles renderer, and more.

    WHAT’S NEW?

    1. Geometry Nodes: Simulations

    The highlight of the release is Geometry Nodes: simulations! The Geometry Nodes project takes a leap with initial support for simulations.

    Simulation is defined by the “Simulation Zone”, connecting the Simulation Input and Output. Check out how to use the new simulation nodes in Blender in the following introduction video:

    2. Faster scene loading and light tree building in Cycles

    Blender 3.6 can load large geometries into Cycles much faster, meaning rendering can start more quickly after geometry changes or switching to rendered view. Besides, the Light Tree feature introduced in Blender 3.5 is now much faster thanks to multi-threading and instancing support.

    3. Hardware ray-tracing

    Another key feature is that Blender 3.6 now supports hardware ray-tracing acceleration for AMD and Intel graphics cards in Cycles.

    It added experimental support for AMD hardware ray-tracing acceleration, using HIP RT. This improves performance on RX 6000, RX 7000, W6000, and W7000 series GPUs. Also support hardware ray-tracing acceleration for Intel® Arc™ and Data Center GPUs, using Embree 4.

    4. Packing UV islands has been greatly improved

    Thanks to a new UV packing engine, Blender 3.6 dramatically improves performance on large meshes and better support for non-square materials.

    Shapeshift
    Choose the final shape of the UV packing between Exact Shape (Concave), Convex Hull, or Bounding Box, giving layouts that use available space depending the geometry.

    Better Together
    The new Merge Overlapped option makes overlapping islands stick together during UV packing.

    Bounding Experience
    Pack To > Original Bounding Box allows islands to be packed back into the original bounding box of the selection.

    Packing UV islands has been greatly improved

    Image via Blender Foundation

    Besides, Blender Studio and the Blender community put together an asset bundle with a collection of human base meshes ready to use for sculpting, animation, texturing, you name it.

    THERE’S MORE

    • Modeling

    New Retopology overlay

    • I/O

    FBX: Faster import/export
    FBX: Export active color layer first
    New add-on: 3DS import/export
    New C++ based PLY importer/exporter

    • Performance

    Faster object linking and unlinking
    25% less memory usage in large geometries
    Better performance when exiting edit mode
    75% faster mesh conversion with multiple UV maps
    Up to 80% improvement in memory usage of face corner “split” normal calculation Extracting UV map data up to 3x faster
    Better Subdivision Surface performance on large meshes with no loose vertices
    Up to 44% performance improvement in meshes with custom split normals data

    • USD

    Curves/Hair export
    Path Mask import support for multiple primitive paths
    New “Prim Path” export option
    Set emissiveColor USD Preview Surface material input when exporting
    Author opacityThreshold USD Preview Surface material attribute when exporting
    Fixed texture alpha on export
    Fixed duplicate shader nodes

    • Node Editor

    Custom subtypes for group sockets
    Support for smooth view
    Added shortcut to Online Manual in node’s context menu
    Link-drag search can copy values of basic socket types
    Move data-block default values with link-drag search

    • Assets

    Show tooltips with full name and description
    Clear Asset now works for all selected assets
    Hide meta-data fields if asset is read-only
    New Relative Path option per asset library

    To learn more about Blender 3.6 LTS, please visit: https://www.blender.org/download/releases/3-6/

    See how the community is pushing the Freedom to Create on this reel:

    Tip: As the best render farm in the industry, Fox Renderfarm supports Blender cloud rendering and has joined Blender Development Fund as a Corporate Bronze Member! Fox Renderfarm is always willing to support the future of Blender and cares about the core Blender development. We'd like to work together to promote the prosperity and development of the CG industry.

    Source: Blender Foundation

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