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A brand new version of the free 3D graphics software Blender is here — and I’ll be honest: it looks amazing.

Am I skilled enough in the intricacies of 3D modelling, CGI, and visual effects work to the point that I can provide you with enlightened insight into the improvements — and boy are there improvements — on offer in this release?

Heck no! I can barely navigate the real world, much less a CGI one.

Blender 2.80 screenshot

But I, like many, champion this top-tier open-source program from the sidelines. Why? Because Blender, like Mozilla Firefox, VLC, and LibreOffice, is one of those go-getter pieces of free software that out-and-out excels at what it sets out to do.

It’s the sort of software that tops lists, wins awards, and (more importantly) allows people of all skills to unleash their potential.

And if, after all that breathless copy, you still don’t believe me, all I can say is: take it up with Big Buck Bunny.

Seriously, yo.

Blender 2.80 Features

Okay, so this post is shaping up to be less of a “news” article and more of a enthusiastic cheerlead, so I’ll try and claw some semblance of public service back with this second half.

Among the various new Blender 2.80 features that, amazingly, there’s NO slick promo video demoing, you’ll find the following:-

  • Totally redesigned user interface
  • Left-click selection is now default behaviour
  • New real-time renderer “EEVEE”
  • Cycles improvements
  • New widgets and toolbars
  • Grease Pencil 2D support
  • New “Application templates” regis the UI for specific tasks:
    • General (3D modelling)
    • 2D animation
    • Sculpting
    • VFX
    • Video editing

And that’s just a superficial overview.

There’s a bunch of other changes that fly over my novice head but certainly sound like the sort of stuff™ that the skilled, competent, and creatively minded chap and lady chaps will approve of.

So, on that note, make sure you check out the full (and I mean full) release notes for Blender 2.80. You’ll learn about every nut, bolt and detail on offer in this huge update — and then some!

Download Blender 2.80

Blender 2.80 is super new (at the time of writing) so it’s not yet available in the repositories of Linux distributions like Ubuntu.

But it is available to download for Windows, macOS and Linux. You’ll find both 32-bit and 64-bit installers over on the Blender project website.

Blender 2.80 is also available as a Snap application. The Blender Snap can be installed on Ubuntu 16.04 and up, as well as any other Linux distro that has snapd available:

View Blender on the Snap Store

Blender is also available on Steam:

View Blender on Steam

Chances are an unofficial package (or two) will pop up in one of the many Blender PPAs at some point. If you see/hear of one, do give me a poke and I’ll add a link (and erase this line from all of time and space).

Share your Blender thoughts, tips, successes in the comments!
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