A new version of the free 3D creation software Blender is out and it looks phenomenal.

Blender 3.0 comes with new features and updates like an upgraded ‘Cycles X’ rendering engine, 2-3 times better mesh editing performance, and much faster file loading times thanks, in part, to Zstandard compression.

An open-source tentpole, Blender is the go-to 3D creation suite for creatives of all shades (animators, game makers, visual effects wizards) across all operating systems. Blender offers a complete end-to-end 3D pipeline, from modelling, rigging and animation, to compositing, motion tracking and video editing.

Am I versed enough in the complexities of 3D modelling, CGI, and visual effects work that I provide you with some insightful commentary on how these changes feel in practice? Hah, no — but even a layperson like me can tell that the arsenal of improvements announced as part of the release are substantial.

What’s New in Blender 3.0?

Blener 3.0 features reel

Among the many “highlights” touted by the Blender team, which are ably showcased in the video above, there are some other things worth knowing about.

Creatives enjoy between 2x and 8x faster rendering in real-world scenes thanks to rewritten GPU kernels and scheduling. Alongside NVIDIA CUDA/OptiX support, Blender 3.0 intros support for AMD HIP, albeit only on Windows for the time being. AMD HIP on Linux is expected to feature in Blender 3.1.

The Blender team has given the software a visual refresh in this release. They describe it as ‘new paint on the walls of your well known house’. The refresh returns panels to their appearance in v2.3, uses roundness in more of the suite’s widgets, and tweaks the opacity, saturation, and colours across the UI for better readability.

For a comprehensive look at very nut, bolt, and pin in this update refer to the official Blender 3.0 release notes.

Download Blender 3.0

Blender 3.0 is available to download for Windows, macOS and Linux direct from the Blender website.

You’ll also find Blender on the Snap store. The Blender Snap can be installed on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and up, as well as any other Linux distro where snapd is available. Several unofficial PPAs are available on Launchpad.

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