Blender 3.1 Has Major Performance Upgrade
Written by Alex Denham   
Thursday, 10 March 2022

Blender 3.1 has been released with improvements including a new Metal GPU backend courtesy of Apple, along with better multithreading and faster mesh editing.

Blender 3.0 was released in December, Twenty-one years after Blender 2.0. The free, open-source and cross-platform 3D computer graphics software for Windows, macOS and GNU/Linux platforms has now been updated in what the developers say is "a solid upgrade to an already outstanding release".


The Metal GPU rendering works for Macs with the M1 chip, and follows Apple choosing Metal over OpenCL technology in macOS. The Metal backend for Blender means it runs faster because it can not only use the GPU, but also works with the GPU built into Apple's M1 range of chips. The Blender team says this makes rendering times up to twice as fast with Metal GPU rendering compared to standard CPU rendering.

Blender 3.1 has also been improved to use less memory, and faster mesh editing. It also is better at multi-threading and uses less memory in Geometry nodes.


Alongside the improved performance, Geometry nodes has new mesh nodes, and various other utilities and features. The mesh editor now includes an Extrude node that the team says offers a whole different approach to procedural modeling. They give the example of modeling a chocolate bar procedurally through multiple steps of simply extruding and scaling. There are also 19 new nodes including arc, dual mesh, scene time and flip faces.

There's a new Point cloud object that can be rendered directly with Cycles to create sand, water splashes, particles or even motion graphics. This object is described as much more memory efficient, offering faster render times.

Ray Tracing Precision has also been improved, and many artifacts from rendering small, large and far away objects have been eliminated. The developers say that while there will always be object scales where numerical precision becomes a problem, that problem is now further out.

 Blender 3.1 is available now.



More Information

Blender 3.1 New Features

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 March 2022 )