The Blender Foundation has released a release candidate for Blender 2.80, meaning the final release is imminent. Assuming all things go well, this should be the final shipping version, or certainly close to it.
Blender 2.80 features a redesigned user interface that puts the focus on the artwork that you create. A new dark theme and modern icon set were introduced. Keyboard, mouse and tablet interaction got a refresh with left click select as the new default. Quick Favorites menus provide rapid access to often-used tools.
Templates and workspaces let you quickly get started with tasks like sculpting, texture painting or motion tracking. They can be customized to create your own efficient working environment.
Thanks to the new modern 3D viewport you will be able to display a scene optimized for the task you are performing. A new Workbench render engine was designed for getting work done in the viewport, supporting tasks like scene layout, modeling and sculpting. The engine also feature overlays, providing fine control over which utilities are visible on top of the render.
Overlays also work on top of Eevee and Cycles render previews, so you can edit and paint the scene with full shading.
The 3D viewport and UV editor have new interactive tools and gizmos, along with a new toolbar. These make it easier for new users to start using Blender, and for existing users to discover and use tools that previously required obscure key combinations.
Besides gizmos for tools, various elements like lights, camera, and the compositing backdrop image now have handles to adjust their shape or other attributes.
Eevee is a new physically based real-time renderer. It works both as a renderer for final frames, and as the engine driving Blender’s realtime viewport for creating assets.
It has advanced features such as volumetrics, screen-space reflections and refractions, subsurface scattering, soft and contact shadows, depth of field, camera motion blur and bloom.
Grease Pencil is now a full 2D drawing and animation system. This unprecedented integration of 2D tools in a 3D environment will enable you to create next-level concept art, storyboards and animations.
Cycles now provides industry-standard functionality such as Cryptomatte, BSDF hair and volume shading and Random Walk Subsurface scattering. Many rendering optimizations were done including combined CPU and GPU rendering, much improved OpenCL start and render time, and CUDA support for scenes that don’t fit in GPU memory.
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