|Blender 3.2 Adds Light Groups|
|Written by Kay Ewbank|
|Thursday, 18 August 2022|
Blender has been updated with improvements including light groups, shadow caustics, and volume motion blur. The developers say the new version also "revolutionizes polygon painting with new tools, usability improvements, and unprecedented performance."
The latest round of Blender 3.x versions began in December 2021, twenty-one years after Blender 2.0. Blender offers free, open-source and cross-platform 3D computer graphics software for Windows, macOS and GNU/Linux platforms.
Light Groups are a type of pass that only contains lighting from a subset of light sources. Examples of uses including modifying the color or intensity of light sources in the compositor without re-rendering.
Shadow caustics are another improvement. They enable support for selective rendering of caustics in the shadows of refractive objects. Example uses are rendering of underwater caustics and eye caustics.
Volume motion blur for gas simulations and imported VDB volumes is now supported. To use it, volumes must have a velocity field, defined either as a vector grid, or as a triplet of scalar grids for the X, Y, and Z components of the vector field.
AMD GPU Rendering for Linux has been enabled. Like Windows, this is supported for RDNA and RDNA2 generation discrete graphics cards, which includes Radeon RX 5000 and RX 6000 series, and Radeon Pro W6000 series GPUs.
Polygon painting is another area of improvement. A new painting toolset has been introduced to Sculpt Mode. The new Paint tools has parameters to control the tip hardness and size, wetness, along with the blending mode to make it easier to paint over meshes. You can also set masks within a specified color range, and use remeshing. This is a technique that automatically rebuilds the geometry with a more uniform topology. Remeshing can either add or remove the amount of topology depending on a defined resolution. This technique is especially useful for sculpting, to generate better topology after blocking out the initial shape.
Blender 3.2 is available now.
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