Blender Foundation and the online developers community are proud to present Blender 3.1, a solid update to an already outstanding release.

Released March 9th, 2022


WHAT’S NEW IN 5 MINUTES

PEDAL TO THE
METAL

Cycles now has a Metal GPU backend, contributed by Apple.

  • Monster
  • Junkshop
  • Classroom

Amount of samples per minute on an Apple M1 Max processor. Higher values are better.

  • Unit: Samples per minute
  • M1 CPU
  • M1 GPU (Metal)

Currently supported on Apple M1 computers running macOS 12.2 or newer,
and Apple computers with AMD graphics cards running macOS 12.3 or newer.

MAKE A POINT

The new Point Cloud object can be rendered directly with Cycles to create sand, water splashes, particles or even motion graphics.

  • Much more memory efficient.
  • Faster render times.
  • Point Info node.
  • Point Clouds can be generated with Geometry Nodes or imported from other software.

BUILD
ANYTHING

Blender’s ever-growing procedural system gets 19 new nodes, including mesh modeling tools, access to time, advanced Fields control, incredible performance improvements, fewer unnecessary updates, and much more.

Notice how the Random Value node changes to match the socket type.
USER INTERFACE

DRAG, DROP, SEARCH!

Speed-up your workflow by dragging sockets to get a list of automatically filtered nodes.

  • Filtered by matching socket types, see only what can be connected.
  • Search for math functions or blend modes.
  • Works on input and output sockets.
  • Available in Geometry, Shading, and Compositor nodes.
NEW

INSTANCE ATTRIBUTES

Instances can now also have their own dynamic attributes!

This fully elevates them to be their own domain now and enables a powerful workflow by completing the pipeline where realized meshes can inherit data from instances that inherit data from points that inherit data from instances… you get the picture.

ASSET BROWSER Node Group Assets

Mark Node Groups as Asset, drag & drop from the Asset Browser into Shading, Geometry Nodes, or Compositor.

Timings Overlay
USER INTERFACE Timings Overlay

See at a glance how fast your nodes (including Node Groups) are performing.

Volume Grids
SPREADSHEET Volume Grids

The Spreadsheet now lists Volume Grids info such as grid name, data type, and class.

NEW KIDS ON THE BUILDING BLOCKS

The long awaited Extrude node finally made it into Blender! Now a whole different approach to procedural modeling is possible. In this example a procedural chocolate bar is achieved with multiple steps of simply extruding and scaling. Download this .blend file.

The Scale Elements node goes hand in hand with the new Extrude node. Connected elements of a selection can be scaled around their individual center. So combined with extruding the individual faces and using the top faces as a selection creates the effect you can see right here. Download this .blend file.

The Field at Index node makes it possible to read out the value of an evaluated field at a different index.
This little node is a building block that is important to make all sorts of custom operations possible where elements need to exchange data. Here it is used to generate a directional stretch map based on UV space. Download this .blend file.

The Accumulate Field node let’s you dynamically add up values of a field within a group. Here you can see this used to stack cubes by figuring out the cumulative height of the previous cubes for each cube in a stack. Download this .blend file.

PLUS THESE NEW NODES

This new primitive is similar to the Curve Circle, but it can create an incomplete circle.

Merge selected mesh vertices or point cloud points within a given distance.

Convert real geometry into an instance.

Transform a mesh’s faces into vertices and vertices into faces.

Reverses the normals of selected faces by reversing the winding order of their vertices and edges.

The Compare Floats node has been upgraded to be more generic.

Return the size of any attribute domain, like the number of vertices in a mesh.

Access the scene’s current time directly without drivers.

Gives access to the number of vertices and faces connected to each vertex.

Gives access to each face’s vertex count and the number of faces connected by an edge.

Gives access to edge vertex indices and their positions.

Tells how many faces use each edge.

Provides access to the surface area of each of a mesh’s faces.

Outputs a separate index for each piece of connected vertices in a mesh.

Gives the angle between the normals of two manifold faces.

Example shapes made using Vertex and Edge creasing.
MODELING

VERTEX
CREASING

It is now possible to mark individual vertices as arbitrarily sharp to create interesting shapes more efficiently.

Support for Pixar OpenSubDiv for modeling, rendering, Alembic and USD import/export.

ANIMATION

COPY
GLOBAL
TRANSFORM

The built-in Copy Global Transform add-on makes it possible to copy the world-space transform of the active object/bone, and paste it onto any object/bone.

Dilate Dilate
Contract Contract

GREASE
PENCIL

DILATE/CONTRACT FILL

The Fill tool now allows negative values, creating a contract effect for styles where an outline is needed.

PLUS

SUB-DIVIDE
AND CONQUER

Playback in the 3D Viewport is now much faster thanks to GPU acceleration support in the Subdivision modifier.

  • Subdiv. Level 0
  • Subdiv. Level 1
  • Subdiv. Level 2
  • Subdiv. Level 3

Frames per second on Rain character by Blender Studio. Higher values are better.

  • Unit: Frames per Second
  • GPU (Blender 3.1)
  • CPU (Blender 3.0)

PERFORMANCE IN AND OUT

FASTER .OBJ

Exporting .obj files is now orders of magnitude faster thanks to porting it to C++.

  • Large File (365MB)
  • Small File (20MB)

Time to export an .obj file. Lower values are better.

  • Unit: seconds
  • Blender 3.0
  • Blender 3.1
  • FBX Export

Time to export a .fbx file. Lower values are better.

  • Unit: seconds
  • Blender 3.0
  • Blender 3.1

FASTER .FBX

A massive improvement can be seen on files with Armatures in REST position.

GO BIG

The Image Editor can now handle much larger images for preview and for editing.

Video shows a 52K image, repeated indefinitely.

BENCHMARK IT

So Blender 3.1 is fast, but how fast does it run on your computer?

Download and run the Blender Benchmark to share and compare your score with openly accessible benchmarks provided by the Blender community.

GET THE ARTWORK

Blender splash artwork source files are available for you to play with, not only for Blender 3.1 version but for previous versions as well.

Blender 3.1 Splash by orencloud

Credits

List of developers that contributed to Blender 3.1

Blender 3.1 splash by Lorenzo Aiello (orencloud). Cycles point clouds by Mario Hawat. Abandoned House by sozap. Geometry Nodes examples by Simon Thommes. Grease Pencil Fill Tool demo by Matias Mendiola. Snow character by Blender Studio. Benchmark background by Gleb Alexandrov.

Page design and layout by Pablo Vazquez. Features video by SouthernShotty.
Additional help by Blender Institute and the Blender community.

Huge thanks to everyone involved ♥


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