as blender is curving its way to the top of the game, movie, archviz and vfx industry as the most popular tool for 3d modeling and rendering we are blessed to be part of the journey and see it improve day by day night by night.
we saw several features implemented in the last version 3.4 that change how we use blender and thought that was the peak of blender but no the peak seams to move up and up especially with these 10 new features coming up in blender 3.5
Support for VDM brushes
sculpting brushes in blender have always had a limitation, you could only displace a mesh up or down, any details where the mesh folds over its self or creates a bridge or curves over its self was not possible, and that’s one reason why artists preferred zbrush, vdm brushes or vector displacement map brushes allow you to already made parts from other models or artists and apply them to your model in a single brush stroke, this allows faster iterations and kit bashing of models.
there are already hundreds of vdm brushes for zbrush now all we need is an addon that convert them into blender supported brushes and am sure the community is already working on that.
Viewport Realtime compositing:
this is one i have been excited about for along time, i love working in Realtime, so i jumped in excitement to hear that the viewport Realtime compositing feature was ready for prime time.
long gone are the days where you have to render the image first before you can do any compositing, you can now do the compositing as you are modeling in real time, you can also turn off the compositing in the viewport and only view the effects in camera to keep you focused while working your scene.
New hair assets
blender 3.4 introduced a new hair system that worked based on geometry nodes, taking advantage of all the powerful nodes that come with it, the disadvantage was setting up nodes required that you knew how to use nodes and since geometry nodes is a fairly new feature, most people have not tried it or know how to setup something complex as a hair system.
the blender team knew this was always going to be a problem for artists who just wanted to create hair but dont have the time or want to learn geometry node, so they created a solution in form of hair assest.
these are called essential assets that come shipped with blender, they are building foundations for any type of hair look you may want.
to a non geometry nodes user you get hair parameters you can control in the modifiers tab to archieve the look you want, and to anyone comfortable with geometry nodes you get both worlds. the hair parameters are just exposed group inputs of a geometry nodes setup using already familiar nodes.
there is a significant improvement in cloth simulation, self collision simulation is 2x faster than before
the blur attribute does exactly what it says it blurs attributes blending and mixing attributes
New image node
there is a new image node that lets you get information about any image like width, height, frame count, fps, has alpha and more
the graph editor got some love too, if you import in any animation with baked keyframes you usually cant easily edit it, but the new ease operator lets you align keys on an exponential curve ,This is useful for quickly making an easing transition on multiple keys.
- viewport realtime compositing
- graph editor
- image node
- blur attribute
- hair curves