Aside from the fantastic new features geared towards existing users, which are described in detail & with pictures in the OP, this release also makes Blender a lot more user-friendly for those who haven't used it before. 3D software almost necessarily has a steep learning curve for new users, as you have to learn not only how to use a new program, but also how 3D content creation itself works. But in this release the developers and designers have made an effort to get rid of the biggest "gotchas" that many new users complained about when using previous versions of Blender.
If you've wanted to get into 3D content creation before, there's never been a better time!
The recently introduced 'Blender Development Fund' already recieves € 37245 every month in donations, which directly goes to hiring more Blender developers.
As impressive as 2.80 is, I'm really eager to see what 2.81+ brings, one area which looks like it will get a major improvement is 'sculpting' where a newcomer (Pablo Dobarro) has been making waves with a lot of interesting development in a separate branch, resulting in hints from the Blender Foundation of him being hired soon.
I’m wondering how complex can animations be, with reasonable frame render times, on macOS with Radeon Pro Vega 16? I know it’s a very open-ended question but I’m curious for any take.
(For some context, I’m completely unfamiliar with the pipeline/ecosystem, but wanted to hobby around with 3D for a while. Lacking a suitable GPU, now I’m considering how viable would this be on latest MBP’s graphics. If not so much, I might go for a cheaper GPU option & postpone my 3D experiments until I can have a fixed workstation with fast GPU in addition to laptop I use for work.)
Edit: I didn't test the RC yet. So maybe the performance is better now. Also, I never tried on a smaller display. It might work just fine on a 1920x1280 screen.
If you're having problems making use of an eGPU (that's supported by apple, which rules out nvidia!), you should report that. eGPUs will probably be a common use case.
edit: after some more reading I'm not sure if Eevee works on CPU, but I don't have blender 2.8 on a cpu-only machine to test this.
If you need to use Cycles, it'll still work fine with your CPU for now - and you can always either use an online render farm (there are many!) for more complex stuff, or buy a separate rig if you end up using it enough.
In the meantime, check out AMD ProRender . It appears to be a viable alternative to Cycles for most things and can run on Metal on macOS.
At any rate, for more substantial renders, I strongly recommend cloud farms. You can make your own using spot instances to save money, and fire up more servers to get your render done more quickly. Getting an overnight render done in less than an hour (without tying up your workstations) is super helpful since it gives you more freedom to iterate. This kind of task (where you need a huge amount of processing power periodically for specific jobs) is where cloud computing really shines.
And there is also Eevee, which is not a Cycles replacement, but I believe it is fully supported on macOS.
Even if my experiments won’t justify spinning up multiple instances, this should greatly reduce setup overhead.
> to try and make it easier for people to get started
What do you think about putting a simple GUI in front of this toolset—for those not proficient with CLI (I imagine many 3D artists using Blender may fall into that category)? I’ve been doing something similar as part of a consulting job recently, so couldn’t help thinking along those lines… Would be happy to help make it more accessible, should be an interesting exercise.
With that said, your initial 3d experiments should run just fine on cpu only.
'Too hard to learn' was a legitimate concern in the early days... even though the payoff is huge. Perhaps it still is some, but not more than most other 3d suites. The interface is so much discoverable, and has switchable key maps so that it's similar to other 3d apps.
I've heard that several times as this version has been in the works. Will this make most of the tutorials for Blender harder to work through until they are updated? I've heard that the UI will be pretty different.
The is the most frustrating downside - the side effect of all major software overhauls - all of a sudden the wealth of tutorials and guides are out of date!
The user would make and record a tutorial entirely in blender, and an interaction text file would be saved.
When a new version comes out, the interactions could be replayed, with the new menu tree, effectively re-rendering the whole video.
Doing so could also allow a user to upload a file summarizing their key bindings, and have any customizations shown in the tutorial.
It wouldn't be perfect, but it'd be neat if it existed.
Any 3D application is useful for the former so I'm not clear on what specifically you're referring to.
If you mean the latter then I'm aware of a "edit inside VR" add-on for Blender but unclear on what the AR connection might be.
Sounds like the best time is "in the coming days." :) But seriously: I'm not sure I want to cut my teeth on a version that hasn't been fully tested for bugs.
I'm tempted to start with a snarky comment like "only 19 years to get left-mouse select?" or "Microsoft shipped a Linux kernel before Blender got left-mouse select" but the fact is 2.80 is a huge UI improvement.
At this point, the UI is merely a bit odd, as opposed to inconceivably terrible. If you are a hobbyist or have only occasional need for 3D editing, Blender should absolutely be your go-to tool today. At this point it's no harder to learn and not significantly quirkier than Maya or 3ds Max, it's just different.
When the last major Blender UI update came out (something like 2.64? I can't remember) I recall saying "one more round of UI improvement like this and I'd consider starting my next studio pipeline around Blender rather than Maya." That was about 6 years ago. Today I'd consider building a studio pipeline around it but probably decide against, though one more round of improvement like 2.80 and I'd definitely start a studio on Blender over Maya which hasn't advanced significantly in more than ten years. 2025 FTW!
I haven't pulled down the RC yet (I'm still on the most recent beta) so this might have changed in RC but if you are considering shifting from your 3D editor of choice to Blender, you'll want to know that parenting relationships are still needlessly buried but accessible.
While it still remains a complex bit of software it is not has difficult as its reputation would suggest and 2.80 makes a lot of concessions to making the UI more familiar to newbies.
Blender 2.79 does support the importing of some .skp files. I'm unsure if 2.80 supports the same.
Unfortunately, as a casual user (opening it maybe once or twice a month), this release has the side effect of breaking all the interface tutorials out there. It is probably still for the best in the long run, but I've had to keep both 2.79 and 2.80 installed.
All the obsolete interface tutorials. There are plenty of new ones for 2.80.
> I think it is the only program for which I had to Google how to close a window
Jokes aside, the UI really isn't that bad and they removed most of the little gotchas in 2.8 (e.g. left-click is used for selection now). I would say the UI is quite a bit better than a few other popular 3D modelling applications like Maya, but worse than Modo.
Some of the best open-source desktop software that there is.
(1) Blender's legacy rendering engine which has been around since the '90s
Hadn't noticed Internal had disappeared, but indeed it has. Suppose there's not really any need for it with Eevee existing now.
I used to switch to internal when designing on really low-end hardware (Atom tablets)
So it performs FAR better than blender internal.
This is a huge improvement for new users. Right click was very un-intuitive when coming from other applications.
Congrats to the Blender team on this release.
I feel Blender should loan some of its UI people to GIMP...
On other words, gimp has much worse UIX and desperately needs an overhaul
It's been an incredible festival of mis-design, so far.
So, I hope that has improved.
I'm still not quite used to the new UI, but I generally trust the Blender foundation that most changes are to the better (and many of them can be reversed through settings).
Link for the lazy: https://store.steampowered.com/app/365670/Blender/
It's free software and it's the best there is. Even a commercial software package that you'd pay 100's of dollars for would be worse in the compatibility dimension that the poster is lamenting.
One advantage of Blender being open source is that you can use any previous version forever. And the previous versions are quite good!
1) You probably need just a budget but contemporary graphics card, under $100, to improve your computer from implausibly old (and therefore unsupported) to very cheap (but good enough for Blender), raising the question of what light computer usage has allowed you to postpone this and other upgrades for years.
2) You want to use vintage equipment lying around, not a "normal" computer, raising the question of whether you are interested in practical use or in attempting stunts.
Such helpful Blender communities on YouTube sharing tutorials that can help you achieve any effect, build any model, rig any character, motion track and composite any video!
I've tried in the past but got frustrated quickly with the low quality or with how out of date the videos were. I don't mind paying for quality.
But now there's Tabs for different default window setups:
Layout, modeling, Sculpting, UV Editing... So you shouldn't have to change the setups much, they're already designed for the task. You can can still customize/ create your own. That feature was already there as a drop down but now it's more accessible and you can add more default layouts.
That said: learning how it works is definitely worth the effort if you have a large screen. You can have as much or as little on the screen as you like.