Blender 3.0: What do we know so far?

If reading "Blender 3.0" also made you spit your green smoothie at your screen, you're not the only one.

To those of us who started with 2.49, Blender 3.0 seems like a fairy-tale.

So here are the three questions on everybody's mind:

  1. How big of a deal is Blender 3.0? 
  2. When is Blender 3.0 coming? 
  3. Should I really switch from coffee to green smoothies?

(That's a big NO to question #3.)

Blender is moving to Semantic Versioning

It looks like the biggest change is moving to Semantic Versioning and this makes a lot of sense.

Blender 3.0 does not mean this will be a "major" release - instead, it signifies the start of new, "more conventional" release numbering.

The following releases (3.1, 3.2, etc.) will also be "minor". The next "major" release is going to be 4.0. (Note: Thanks to TedJNielsen for helping to make this information more accurate!)

Here is what Ton Roosendaal said about the new numbering:

(...) in summer 2021 the Blender 3.0 series begins! By then we will implement a more conventional release numbering. I suggest to do minor releases (3.0, 3.1, 3.2, … 3.7) for two-year periods, and then move to a new major release. Blender 4.0 could be there in 2023 already! (source: code.blender.org)

Why the naming change?

Simple: industry standard.

The simplified versioning is more in line with the naming convention of commercial software packages.

It should also be clearer for users to follow.

What will Blender 3.0 bring?

Keep in mind, this is still early days (though 3.0 is coming sooner than you may think).

So far, there are only a few updates in the public release notes meaning that the developers are not actively working on a big number of new tasks at the moment.

It looks like there are plans for a few feature additions, including performance addition to the VSA and the addition of Virtual Arrays.

(Updated on April 23rd) Cycles X is announced!

The new, better, more powerful Cycles X is definitely something to get hyped about.

Mind, we're not certain that this will come in Blender 3.0 already - it might be in a later version.

However, this is what we can look forward to:

Besides that, we are not seeing too many active feature branches...at least not yet.

We can be certain about two things::

  • there is something else in the works we're not hearing about yet
  • we'll prepare a full update once we know what 3.0 is all about

When is Blender 3.0 coming?

The release planning is active and you can follow the updates on the Blender blog.

Blender 3.0 is currently expected to arrive in August 2021 - so that's not too far off!

Can you believe that Blender 4.0 is also on the (distant) horizon already?

According to Ton's post (above) this should be the next major release - it's not known yet what this will include.

You can start using Blender 3.0 today

The truth is, you can be using Blender 3.0 already. 

If you're one of the cool kids, you've probably already downloaded it from the experimental builds.

While it's exciting to follow these builds, there is rarely anything wild or dangerous.

For the most part, you will get the same Blender as you had yesterday. 

Though, of course, you should use it at your own risk as these builds are not totally bug-proof.

What do you wish for in Blender 3.0?

Discuss: what do you think is coming? Will it rock Blender to the core? And what do you most wish to see?


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  • anarchymedes

    I want one thing: either the support of Apple’s Metal 2 by Cycles on MacOS, or at least an adoption of Vulkan not just by eevee. In short, I want—very much so!—a GPU support on the Mac. I am angry enough to chew rocks at Blender Foundation for flatly refusing even to discuss it—and I’m growing tired of trolling them on Blender Artist about it. I don’t buy into any of their excuses, from the lack of money (now? with the corporate sponsors?) to Metal being not multi-platform (neither is CUDA): it’s fanboyism and socialist ideology, and nothing else. Alternatively, I hope that someone will do it independently: like e-cycles on Blender Market. If I had more time, I’d do it myself.

  • Omar Domenech (dostovel)

    What I wish to see the most is Blender is a super revolutionary method of smoothing with subdivision that doesn't pinch with triangles or Ngons or anything for that matter. I wish to see a world where meshes are not judged by their object data, but by the content of their creativity, where Ngons and triangles are treated as equal, I want to live in a world where subdivision applies to all, no matter your topology.

  • meganerd

    aanarchymedes CUDA is multi-platform with Linux and Windows support. Metal is MacOS only.

    Thanks for the laugh today, it is comedy gold whenever an Apple user accuses someone else of being a fanboy :)

    3rd party option: https://community.amd.com/t5/radeon-prorender/ct-p/amd-radeon-prorender

    Hope this helps,

  • William Miller (williamatics)

    dostovel Poetry.

  • anarchymedes

    mmeganerd, Thanks for the option: I do use Radeon Pro Render; have been doing so for a while. BF left me no choice: except, as I said, to write M-cylces myself one day, and then put it on Blender Market and refuse to share with them on principle. I’ve been a software developer for 30+ years and probably can out-code most of them, but my day job is too demanding.

  • abedd

    I saw that hybrid IK/FK bone plugin for 3ds Max that day. God I hope Blender would have it natively one day.

  • Manu Järvinen (manujarvinen)

    Good read :)

    But, this line contradicts with all that is being said about the LTS-versioning:
    "Minor releases will become the new LTS releases. 2.90, 3.0, 3.1. "

    I guess that's not the case based on the other information on the article (and in https://code.blender.org/2021/04/blender-2021-roadmap/ )?

  • claudio-bge

    If they brought Virtual Production in this version, would be very good✌.

  • ahoagmedia

    aanarchymedes As a 10-year MacOS user who just switched to Windows... the only blame to be placed is on Apple for closing off their hardware to more proprietary nonsense. Apart from that, I've just finished stock benchmarks on my 5950x and 2x1080ti rig (would love some 3080s, but that's another convo altogether) and my performance is basically 85% above where my previous 9900K Hackintosh was performing at.

    I get your frustrations, I really do. I won't deny I absolutely prefer the OS environment, but as tech expands - especially in the digital art / CG space, there's no way around the fact that Apple has consistently shown us that professional level creatives are simply not their market. The abandonment and completely laughable relaunch of their Mac Pro series, alongside their decision to abandon Intel + nVidia in their hardware, is a testament to that.

    Go look at the Blender OpenData to see a breakdown of what platform people are working on. No sense in supporting an OS that does nothing but create hurdles for developers when only something like 2% of users are on OSX. I know that data set is limited to only people submitting benchmark results, but I would wager it's a pretty good sample size of the current user base.

  • anarchymedes

    aahoagmedia, tell that to Autodesk: Maya supports Apple platforms, and so does ZBrush. And what does Hollywood use for their professional special effects? What do most a-lite games use? Not Blender... Yes, you’re right about Apple though: they are exclusive and elitist and so, carry their share of the blame. But they have something to be arrogant about: their quality is unmatched—while Blender, as I said, remains an amateur tool.

  • Vincent (vincav81)

    I'd say Cycles X (Cycles 10), but that's more for the 3.0 series as a whole and not 3.0 specifically.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv4V5XKyOBI

  • Dan Crespo (dancrespo)

    A new Suzanne ;-)

  • davidallyn68

    I want to edit in VR. I want to be able to "grab" and zoom in on a character and put my "hands" directly on the model to sculpt. I'm tell you this is the future.

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