Blender Foundation and the online developers community present Blender 3.4, featuring path guiding in Cycles, new sculpt and paint masking tools, Geometry Nodes viewport overlay, new UV Editing tools, improved performance and much more.

Released December 7th, 2022


WHAT’S NEW IN 5 MINUTES

CYCLES

PATH GUIDING

Blender 3.4 integrates Intel’s Open Path Guiding Library, adding support for path guiding in CPU to help reduce noise in scenes where finding a path to light is difficult for regular path tracing, for example when a room is lit by light coming through a small door crack.

Path Guiding setting in Sampling panel

Guiding is supported for surfaces with diffuse BSDFs and volumes with isotropic and anisotropic scattering.

Important light directions are learned over time, improving as more samples are taken.

Find it in the Sampling panel in Render properties.

The following images took the same render time.

Without Path Guiding Without Path Guiding
With Path Guiding With Path Guiding

Note that while Path Guiding helps to render scenes containing simple caustics (e.g., water surface), it is not designed to be a caustic solver, such as MNEE, meaning it might not help render scenes containing complex caustics.

Same render time, with and without Path Guiding.

Without Path Guiding Without Path Guiding
With Path Guiding With Path Guiding

AND MORE CYCLES

Graphic Drivers

  • Intel Arc on Windows: upgrade to driver version 101.3430 or newer to fix user interface crashes
  • For AMD HIP on Linux, upgrade to ROCm 5.3 or newer to fix issues with textures on Vega and RDNA1 graphics cards
  • For Apple Metal, Intel GPU rendering is now supported starting with macOS 13

AUTO
MASKING

The auto-masking settings in Sculpt mode are now accessible from the header in the 3D Viewport.

New methods have been added for automatically masking by cavity, viewpoint, and area.

SO DEEP

Instead of manually creating a cavity mask, this auto-masking option provides a faster way of painting and sculpting with Cavity.

Use the “Create Mask” button to convert the auto-mask into a regular mask attribute (to edit it further or just visualize it).

MASK FROM
CAVITY

“Inverted”, “Factor”, “Blur” and a “Custom Curve” give extra control to fine tune the cavity mask.

Mask from Cavity
Mask from Cavity operator using the default settings.

AUTO MASKING
IN ACTION

Combine different methods to easily sculpt and paint little details.

Automatic mask based on the viewing angle.

Use the normal direction of the brush cursor from the start of the stroke.

Sculpt or paint in parts of the mesh sticking in or out.

AND MORE

UV & CHILL

UV EDITING

SCULPT
RELAX TOOL

The new geometry-based relax brush method helps you improves the quality of the UV mapping by making the UVs more closely follow the 3D geometry.

As this is a brush, the user can drive the relaxation process.

UV Relax tool using Geometry method.
Non-uniform grid.

ON THE GRID

Several improvements in the UV Editor grid include:

Align Rotation

Rotate UVs to follow the geometry orientation in the 3D Viewport, or aligned to a selected edge, or automatically guess the best orientation.

Randomize Islands
Randomize Islands

Quickly set a random value to the scale, rotation or offset of selected UV islands.

GEOMETRY NODES

WHAT YOU SEE IS
WHAT YOU GET

Introducing: Viewport overlay for Geometry Nodes Viewer Node.
Preview attributes without affecting the final result.

The intensity of the overlay can be adjusted from the Overlay popover in the 3D Viewport header.

SAMPLE UV SURFACE

A new node to get attribute values based on UV coordinates.
A simple concept that opens endless opportunities.

Sample UV Surface node. Download this file.

PLUS THESE NEW MESH NODES

Face Set Boundaries
Face Set Boundaries

The new Face Set Boundaries node finds the edges between different patches of faces.

Corners of Face/Vertex
Corners of Face/Vertex

Corners of Face retrieves corners that make up a face, and Corners of Vertex retrieves face corners connected to vertices.

Edges of Corner/Vertex
Edges of Corner/Vertex

Edges of Corner retrieves the edges on boths sides of a face corner, while Edges of Vertex retrieves the edges connected to each vertex.

Face of Corner/Offset Corner in Face
Face of Corner/Offset Corner in Face

Face of Corner Retrieves the face each face corner is part of. Offset Corner in Face Retrieves neighboring corners within a face.

Vertex of Corner
Vertex of Corner

Retrieves the vertex each face corner is attached to.

NEW CURVE NODES

Curve of Point/Points of Curve/Offset Point in Curve
Curve of Point/Points of Curve/Offset Point in Curve

Curve of Point Retrieves the curve a control point is part of. Points of Curve Retrieves a point index within a curve. Offset Point in Curve Offset a control point index within its curve.

Set Curve Normal
Set Curve Normal

The Set Curve Normal allows choosing the normal evaluation mode for curves.

Sample Curve
Sample Curve

The Sample Curve node now has inputs for the curve index and a custom value to sample.

AND NEW GENERAL NODES

Self Object
Self Object

Retrieves the current modifier object for retrieving transforms.

Sample Index
Sample Index

Retrieves data from specific geometry elements by index.

Sample Nearest
Sample Nearest

Retrieves the indices from the closest geometry elements

Sample Nearest Surface
Sample Nearest Surface

Interpolates a field input to the closest location on a mesh surface.

Distribute Points in Volume
Distribute Points in Volume

Creates points inside of volume grids.

EVEN MORE GEOMETRY NODES

GREASE PENCIL

FULFILL

The Fill tool has been greatly improved with new options, shortcuts, and introducing a new algorithm to close gaps.

The new method uses the Radius of circumference to determine how close the strokes for filling. This new method is very effective when the extension done by the previous method (now renamed as Extend) of the strokes never cross.

Use the mouse wheel or PageUp/Down to adjust length of the strokes, S key to toggle extend method, use D key to toggle extended stroke collision.

Radius method to fill gaps.

AND MORE

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

Read the full list of changes at wiki.blender.org

Blender 3.4 Splash by Blender Studio

GET THE ARTWORK

Blender splash artwork source files are available for you to play with, not only for Blender 3.4 but for previous versions as well.

Blender 3.4 Splash by Blender Studio
Blender 3.4 Splash by Blender Studio

CREDITS

List of developers that contributed to Blender 3.4

Splash artwork by Blender Studio

Path Guiding underwater demo by Andy Goralczyk. Path Guiding room demo by Jesus Sandoval. Sample UV Surface demo by Simon Thommes. Mask from Cavity demo by Julien Kaspar. Sculpt cavity mask model by Steffen Hartmann. Sculpt hand model by Ramil Roosileht. Page design and layout by Pablo Vazquez.
Additional help by Blender Institute and the Blender community.

Huge thanks to everyone involved ♥

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