Early work in progress release notes.
Remeshing

Blender 2.81 now ships with two new ways to remesh your models, a fast one based on volumes and another one preserving quads.

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OpenVDB Voxel

Quickly create a new quad mesh based on the volume of the mesh. It is particularly useful for sculpting, to generate a good topology when blocking shapes, as an alternative to dynamic topology without the performance cost of continuous updates.

QuadriFlow

Creates a quad mesh with few poles and edge loops following the curvature of the surface. This method is relatively slow but generates higher quality for final topology.

NVIDIA RTX Support

Cycles now has experimental support for rendering with hardware-accelerated raytracing on NVIDIA RTX graphics cards. It’s On.

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Intel® Open Image Denoise

A new Denoise node was added in the compositor, to denoise renders using OpenImageDenoise.

Compared to the existing denoiser, it works better with more complex materials like glass, and suffers less from splotchy artifacts. It also gives better results with very low numbers of samples, which can be used for quick previews.

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4 Samples Without Denoise
4 Samples With Denoise

Massive improvements on Shader nodes for Cycles & EEVEE.

  • New White Noise Texture node, producing a random number based on input values. (133dfdd7)
  • Noise Texture node: support 1D, 2D, and 4D noise. (23564583)
  • Musgrave Texture node: support 1D, 2D, and 4D musgrave. (f2176b3f)
  • Voronoi Texture node: support 1D, 2D, and 4D voronoi. Add more feature types. (613b37bc)
  • New Volume Info node, for convenient access to Color, Density, Flame, and Temperature attributes of smoke domains. (e83f0922)
  • Object Info node: new Object Color output. (08ab3cbc)
  • New Map Range node. Linearly remap a value from one range to another. (71641ab5) (7a7eadaf)
  • New Clamp node. Clamps a value between a maximum and a minimum values. (313b7892)
  • Math node: shows one or two inputs depending on how many are needed by the operation. (e5618725)
  • Vector Math node: new operations, and show number of inputs depending on the operation. (7f4a2fc4)
  • Mapping node: location, rotation and scale are now node inputs that can be linked to other nodes. (baaa89a0bc5)
  • New Vertex Color node, for convenient access to Vertex Colors and their alpha channel. (2ea82e86)
Reduced shadow terminator artifacts for bump mapping with diffuse BSDFs.
Blender 2.80
Blender 2.81

Cycles Passes in the Viewport

Pick which pass to preview while in Rendered shading mode.

EEVEE

After making its debut in Blender 2.80, the real-time render engine got major optimizations and new features in this release.

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Holdout Support

Holdout is now supported and works with both opaque and semi transparent surfaces.

Transparent BSDF

Transparency handling has been reworked and now supports the same BSDF combinations as Cycles.

Video Sequence Editor

Prefetching

Speeds up playback by automatically filling the cache with frames after the current frame, magically in the background.

Add/Remove Fades

New operator to add and remove fades for all strips (volume or opacity property).

Sneak Peek

Blender 2.81 is still under development. Use at your own risk.

Try Blender 2.81 Beta

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