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hvanderwegen

Blender 2.8 officially released!

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Today marks an interesting point in time: Blender 2.8 is released at the same time as C4d v21 and its new subscription and license model are introduced.

 

Blender 2.8 features a complete rewrite of its viewport and GUI, and brings with it a wide range of impressive new features and usability improvements which make Blender far more user friendly than ever before, and brings it into line with industry standards.

 

A new real-time GPU render engine called EEVEE, which is a new physically based real-time renderer. It works both as a renderer for final frames, and as the engine driving Blender’s realtime viewport for creating assets.


It has advanced features such as volumetrics, screen-space reflections and refractions, subsurface scattering, soft and contact shadows, depth of field, camera motion blur and bloom.

Eevee materials are created using the same shader nodes as Cycles, making it easy to render existing scenes. For Cycles users, this compatibility makes Eevee work great as a realtime preview. For game artists, the Principled BSDF is compatible with shading models used in many game engines.

 

2d animation is now an integral part of Blender. Grease Pencil is now a full 2D drawing and animation system. This unprecedented integration of 2D tools in a 3D environment will enable you to create next-level concept art, storyboards and animations.

 

Cycles now provides industry-standard functionality such as Cryptomatte, BSDF hair and volume shading and Random Walk Subsurface scattering. Many rendering optimizations were done including combined CPU and GPU rendering, much improved OpenCL start and render time, and CUDA support for scenes that don’t fit in GPU memory.

CPU and GPU hybrid rendering is now part of Cycles as well.

 

By the way, work has already begun in cooperation with Nvidia to incorporate Nvidia RTX adding hardware-accelerated ray tracing to Cycles.

 

The list of new features and improvements is too long to list here, but here are a couple of the more eye-catching ones:

- principled volume shader

- bevel shader

- ambient occlusion shader

- IES lights

- multi-object editing

- view layers and collections for scene and render management

- new dependency graph

- bevel tool and modifier

- text improvements

 

Read up on the full list of new features here:

https://www.blender.org/download/releases/2-80/

 

Best of all, no license server limitations or subscriptions are required!

 

Download it for free here:

https://www.blender.org/

 

And this is only really the beginning of a new era for Blender and its users. Expect many more improvements and features in the upcoming few years!

 

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I’ve been testing and learning 2.80 since it’s alpha and I have to admit that Blender, in a near future, it’s going to be a game a game changer. I’m going to start start incorporating it in my pipeline and, eventually, make the definitive switch from C4D to Blender.

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Even I'm learning Blender a bit. It's highly capable. Just let down somewhat with it's modelling tools and lack of a nodal expression system although there is a 3rd party addon.

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31 minutes ago, 3DKiwi said:

Even I'm learning Blender a bit. It's highly capable. Just let down somewhat with it's modelling tools and lack of a nodal expression system although there is a 3rd party addon.

Yes Nigel, I agree with you. You mean there’s an addon similar to Xpresso? 

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30 minutes ago, PBarrelas said:

Yes Nigel, I agree with you. You mean there’s an addon similar to Xpresso? 

Yeah there's a free add on "Animation Nodes" that gives it an Xpresso like node system. A little bit clunky to use as you often need to use a number of intermediary nodes when say hooking up rotation channels. 

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I tried the Beta a couple months ago and found it really good but I didn't found any way to make clones or instances and this kinda killed my vibe. I think there's a proxy thing but seemed cumbersome compared to C4D's drag and drop approach.

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Just to be clear, I'm talking about objects already made of multiple meshes. I know how to make instances of a single mesh but not "groups" (or meshes linked together).

 

I wanted to make copies of an animated wheelchair dude but didn't found any way. From memory and reading the doc, you'd have to create a proxy and then link that file into a new one. If you have some tips as someone who knows both packages, that would be cool.

 

On another side, Blender and Cycles seemed to be more extendable than RedShift cause I was able to mix some MatCaps (ArtShader) with real lights and did not find any way to do that with the latter. Also seemed more powerful than C4D in terms of character animation but did not tested it, I just saw a lot more (advanced) resources on the subject for Blender.

 

Rendering seemed to be quite slow too on macOS (but I've been told it was a bad idea to use it on this OS).

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Should we talk about Object Manager in Blender? I tried and did learn some Blender but I soon realized how its lacking in features, at least the small ones, that makes your everyday use easier and more enjoyabe. 


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The only issue with Blender is the commercial plugins. Like Octane ... if you want to use it, you need to use the Otoy Blender fork. If Chaos Group starts investing in VRay for Blender again and want to have it really fast, they'll need to do their own fork and so on.

 

You may end up with 3/4 blender forks to be able to use some commercial plugins. Kind of tricky.

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2 hours ago, Bolos said:

Just to be clear, I'm talking about objects already made of multiple meshes. I know how to make instances of a single mesh but not "groups" (or meshes linked together).

 

I wanted to make copies of an animated wheelchair dude but didn't found any way. From memory and reading the doc, you'd have to create a proxy and then link that file into a new one. If you have some tips as someone who knows both packages, that would be cool.

 

On another side, Blender and Cycles seemed to be more extendable than RedShift cause I was able to mix some MatCaps (ArtShader) with real lights and did not find any way to do that with the latter. Also seemed more powerful than C4D in terms of character animation but did not tested it, I just saw a lot more (advanced) resources on the subject for Blender.

 

Rendering seemed to be quite slow too on macOS (but I've been told it was a bad idea to use it on this OS).

In Blender 2.80 groups were replaced by Collections. Collections are more organized and efficient than groups. So after creating a Collection and putting all the needed objects inside (this can be done through the Outliner as a visual feedback), in Object Mode, you goto Add>Collection Instance  and chose the name of the Collection you want to instance. This creates a Collection Instance that has an orange icon in the Outliner as a visual feedback. At this point you just need to use the regular duplicate command and it will create new instances. 

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  • AMD ProRender v2 for Blender 2.8 is released today! Download it for free at

    https://www.amd.com/en/technologies/radeon-prorender-downloads

    • The Radeon ProRender for Blender plug-in has been completely rewritten for Blender 2.80. This includes many changes to artists workflows:
      • Blender native shader nodes are supported out of the box. Including the Blender Principled Shader node. Most common nodes are supported, but a few, noted in known issues, are not translatable.
      • Additionally, RPR nodes, particularly the Uber node is provided for a more “expert level” shader setup.
      • Viewport and final rendering are more robust and optimized.
    • AI-Accelerated Denoiser provides an extra denoiser based on machine learning technology. This is improved greatly with recent versions.
    • Adaptive Sampling allows the renderer to focus samples on areas of the render that are higher in noise, while ending early in areas without noise. This allows the artist to apply the maximum number of samples and achieve less noise without increasing render times as much.
    • Blender hair geometry is supported as well as “Halo” (sphere) particles.
    • A tiled rendering option allows rendering images by tiles, allowing higher resolution renders without using as much VRAM. Additionally, the size and order of tiles can be adjusted.
    • Object visibility options are expanded to include reflection/refraction/shadows, etc. Toggling with interactive rendering now works.
    • Blender Curve/Text/Meta objects are now rendered.
    • An "RPR" menu is added to the viewport to enable different render modes like Ambient Occlusion.
    • Volumes are rendered as well as principled volume shader.  Note that volume should be cached. Volumes might look blocky for now, as a temporary workaround may increase volume resolution.
    • Shader menu in "Add Nodes" now has RPR Uber, Principled, Emission, and a few other items. This is an optional feature and can easily be disabled in the render settings. 

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