Blender Foundation has officially released Blender 3.6 LTS (Long-Term Support). It is a highly-anticipated long-term support release of the company’s open-source 3D software and the final LTS release of Blender’s 3. x series. Blender 3.6 has a Simulation Node for setting up particle-based simulations and an upgraded UV encapsulation system with many new enhancements to support Cycles. Besides, there are many other unique and attractive features. Let’s find out in today’s iRender article!
Undoubtedly the most prominent feature of this release version is “Simulations” in Geometry Nodes. The “Simulation Zone” which links the Simulation Input and Output, defines simulation. The following introduction video will show you how to use Blender’s new simulation nodes:
Additionally, Geometry Nodes in general have improved performance. with “at least 25%” less memory use and “at least 10x” faster converts between different geometry types.
Cycles Time Per Sample (Image Source: CG Channel)
Blender 3.6 can load large geometries quickly. It means rendering can start immediately after changing the geometry or switching to rendered view. Meshes load “4-6 times faster,” point clouds “can load 9 times faster,” and curves “can load 10 times faster.” Additionally, the Blender 3.5 Light Tree tool is now much quicker thanks to multi-threading and support for instancing and builds “up to 11x” faster on an Apple M1 processor. However, an important new feature in Cycles has been postponed in Blender 3.6 which is light link support.
Blender 3.6 now supports hardware ray tracing acceleration for AMD and Intel graphics cards in Cycles.
Blender’s UV packing engine has been significantly improved, offering greater support for non-square materials and improved performance on big models. The engine’s updated version adds a number of additional features, such as:
- Shapeshift: Select the final UV packing shape from Exact Shape (Concave), Convex Hull, or Bounding Box, providing layouts that make use of the space available based on the geometry.
- Better Together: The new Merge Overlapped option helps overlapping islands stick together during UV packing.
- Bounding Experience: Pack To > Original Bounding Box allows islands to be repacked inside the selection’s original bounding box.
The newly included viewport compositor from Blender 3.5 has also been greatly improved. Additionally, the viewport compositor also supports multi-layer EXR files. Originally only supported basic filter buttons like blur and lens distortion, but the 3.6 update adds support for 13 more advanced buttons, including Denoise, Mask, and 2D Stabilization. In order to allow for the compositor to adapt transparent materials, Blender’s real-time renderer Eevee now has a new Transparent render pass with alpha-blended surfaces.
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References Source: Blender, CG Director, 80lv, Blender Foundation.