A brand new version of Blender, the open source 3D modelling software (and then some), is now available to download.

Those of you familiar with this famed FOSS fave won’t be surprised to hear that the new release is jam packed with new features, new tools, and new capabilities, plus performance enhancements, workflow tweaks, and other changes.

“Building on the success of the 2.8x series, Blender 2.90 continues to polish the user experience, introducing improvements to EEVEE, Cycles, sculpt, VR, animation, modeling, UV editing and so much more,” the team says of the release.

And they aren’t pulling your leg:

For instance, there’s a new “physically based texture” for “simulating the colors of the sky” called Nishita. This might sound like a fairly innocuous addition but the amount of physics and engineering behind the feature is crazily involved.

Motion blur in EEVEE has been rewritten from scratch. Blender says the rewrite enabled them to add support for ‘mesh deformation, hair, and sub-frame accumulation for better precision’; while the powerful Denoise filter is now available in the 3D viewport and for use in final renders.

Other changes include improved shading to avoid ‘blotchy’ appearances; NVLink support for CUDA and OptiX; a cloth filter to simulate cloth on meshes; and two new deformation modes added to the pose brush: squash and stretch, and scale/translate.

blender post tools
New pose brush deformations

Other notable changes shipping Blender 2.90:

  • New interactive search menu
  • Drag and drop reordering of modifiers and other stacks
  • Scene statistics available as an overlay in the 3D Viewport
  • New lens distortion model
  • Cloth pressure gradient
  • Easily adjust UV and Vertex Colours
  • Support for open .vdb fluids
  • Various bevel improvements
  • Column heading tweaks
  • Initial Wayland Support

For even more detail on all of that do check out the official landing site for the Blender 2.90 release.

Blender doesn’t just get better with each release, but more popular and more capable too. Industry support for the software is snowballing — last month Microsoft joined the Blender development fund whose supporters already include Ubisoft, Intel, Unity, AMD, NVIDIA, Google, Ubuntu, and Epic/Unreal Engine.

The first version of Blender was released in early 1994

Blender 2.90 is free, open source software available to download for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The latest versions can be found on the Blender website.

Blender 2.90 is also available as a snap from the Snap Store:

Blender on the Snap Store

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