New Features in Blender

Here you can find a quick overview of the changes that were made to Blender in its most recent major release, which impact the content of my classes.

To access the full overview of all the changes and the official Show & Tell Videos released by Blender, click on the buttons below:


Normals – Auto Smooth function has been removed

Blender 4.1

Starting in Blender 4.1, the normal tab and the autosmooth function in the object data properties tab has been removed. You can now Smooth by Angle, which will essentially give you the same result. There are two ways you can do this:

a.  When you are in object, RMB click and select “Smooth by Angle”. You can then specify the angle in the tool options that appear at the bottom of your 3d viewport.

b. Go into your modifier tab (the properties panel with the wrench icon), click on “add modifier”, look under “normal” and add the “Smooth by Angle” modifier. Make sure you tick the “Ignore Sharpness” checkbox for the modifier to work and then specify the angle in the modifier options.

Viewport Overlay menu has been separated into two menus

Blender 4.0

In Blender 4.0, the viewport overlay menu has now been separated into two different menus: one for all the general options and one that will only appear and apply to specific modes e.g. edit mode.

Principled BSDF has had a makeover

Blender 4.0

For Blender 4.0, the Principled BSDF material has gotten a complete makeover, making it much more physically accurate. First, you may notice, we now have collapsible sections inside the shader. This creates a cleaner interface.

Specular reflection and transmission are now primarily controlled by a single index of refraction (IOR) input. For texturing, a new IOR Level input adjust the amount of specular reflection. For artistic purposes, specular tint be can set to an arbitrary color.

Subsurface scattering now uses the base color instead of a separate color input. 

Sheen uses a new microfiber shading model and can now be used not just for fuzzy cloth but also dust.

Coat has been placed above the emission layer. This can now be used to simulate an emissive phone screen behind glass.

Multiple scattering GGX is now used as default and is more efficient to render in Cycles.



Modifiers now have a sub-menu

Blender 4.0

Starting in Blender 4.0, modifiers are now organized into their respective categories and you can access them via a drop down menu.

Dyntopo no longer has a separate ShadeSmooth Option

Blender 4.0

Starting in Blender 4.0, the dyntopo feature in sculpting no longer has a separate shade smooth options. It now takes the smoothing setting from the mesh itself so if you go into object mode, RMB click and select ‘Shade Smooth’, this setting will automatically apply when you go into dyntopo mode.

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