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Dakota Tebaldi

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The upcoming Blender 2.8 has now entered open beta! It can be downloaded here, although just a little while ago when I downloaded it the servers were being hammered, so it took a while to download - you may want to wait until a little later in the day.

While it's purpose and functionality remains the same, Blender 2.8 so far has some REALLY BIG AND IMPORTANT CHANGES AND NEW FEATURES AND STUFF. I don't really feel like typing a bit long thing going into all of the important ones, so instead I will give you this quick 10-minute video by Pablo Vasquez, one of the Blender devs, describing and showing off some of them.


Just like during the alpha, new beta builds will be released daily. Obviously it's probably not worth downloading every single daily build; I grab one every week or so, or after big or new developments are announced. Maybe even once a month or so is okay, especially since now that they've reached beta there will probably not be HUGE changes in the works - just some relatively minor UI/UX stuff.

Some of the changes will take some getting used to. But, I really like how 2.8 looks now and I think it's going to be awesome when it's done.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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Blender 2.8 is supposed to be released next month. When it finally has been, I'll make sure to find and post a decent updated rundown of the biggest and most important changes, but it will really help to find an actual in-depth tutorial if you're actually interested in learning it, so I'll make sure to find a good one of those as well. There's probably a bunch that have already been made and are just waiting for the official release.

I was wrong what I said in that first post, btw. There were some BIG changes made during the beta. A lot of the videos you've seen of the UI from the beginning days of the beta last year are no longer accurate.

Many of the changes made between 2.7x and 2.8, are geared toward making the program easier to use and learn for noobs. For instance, you now select things with left-click instead of right-click, right-clicking now giving you a context menu like it does in basically every other application.... So when 2.8 comes out, if you don't know Blender yet but have been thinking about doing so, it will be a good time to learn it once the tutorials start hitting YouTube.

Anyway, while we wait, enjoy this enjoyable Blender demo showing off the power of the EEVEE engine. ^^

 
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Chalice Yao

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SOON (TM)

I've been playing around with Blender 2.8 a bit (Not extensively as Avstar isn't availble for it just yet), and so far things are looking reeeeaaally tasty. Many many neat festures, and there might be some that are actually not as frequently mentioned, but a godsend. Normally it's all about Evee and whatnot, but there are really neat things in...the new viewport:




I'm especially eager to see the new PBR shader capabilities, as my workflow is usually Blender ---(Model)--> Substance Painter ---(PBR Textures)--> Blender + PBR Shader node --(bake)--> SL

Which works fine so far, but now Blender is properly equipped for more PBR goodness. Avastar and Retopoflow (Check it out on the Youtubes!) are the only ones of my Addons that aren't 2.8 ready yet, which is a bit meh.


.
 

Noodles

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I may have to give it another try on 2.8.

Blender has always been like GIMP for me. I like the idea, I am reasonably good at using similar program (Photoshop, various CAD software) but the UI was just too clunky to wrap my head around it and ever use effectively.
 

Chalice Yao

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The UI already improved from blender 2....3 I think, to Blender 2.5. But the new step in Blender 2.8 makes things seriously more modern - including (gasp) having selection by default on leftclick, and menu on rightclick, instead of the other way around. Of course while still being configurable to the olde ways.


But yeah, Blender UI has gotten modernized all around in 2.8. It's neat.
 
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Sid

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I never got around to give it a try. Maybe 2.8 is the right moment to have more than a quick peek at the program.
It might get on my to do list for next fall/winter. There will be more tutorials by then I guess.
 

Chalice Yao

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Yeah, the stable release will be in July this year, so not far off anymore. I hope that by then certain late Addons will also have released a 2.8 version.
 
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Grey Mars

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When avastar is 2.8 compatible I'll try to move over. Though by this point I'm already used to the occasionally bizarre way blender works.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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You may want to give that playlist above another look, if you haven't since I posted it. At that time it had only 5 videos, but it is now up to 26, and there will be more!

Some big Blender news over the last few days - perhaps not really personally relevant at the moment on a user level, but more generally. Last week, it was announced that Epic Games just gave the Blender Foundation a $1.2million no-strings grant for Blender development, which is crazy and awesome.

Additionally it was just announced yesterday that Ubisoft has joined the Development Fund as a corporate partner; on top of which Ubisoft's TV and animation departments will begin using Blender in-house, AND their own devs will send code contributions back up the pipeline.

Major industry players adopting Blender is good news for Blender's future. It means funding and backing for fixes, improvements, and new functionality. Although it is understandable to be concerned when corporate interests start lurking about, Blender is well-protected by its license which keeps it open source and free in perpetuity.
 

Eunoli

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I've been using 2.8 for several months now. Since the release candidate there's suddenly a lot more options for addons. I'm using textools, of course. But, I'm also using one called b-mesh, fluent, simple asset manager and snap utilities (this is awesome for architecture). I got the addon for Substance but I keep forgetting to use it.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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Luis Cherubini demonstrates the new Weighted Normals modifier in 2.8...

 
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Dakota Tebaldi

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Blender 2.80 is officially released!

Go download it!

It should not overwrite your 2.79 install, but you may want to rename your shortcuts to keep them apart. Unless you're like me and will be leaving 2.79 behind. I've been using the betas exclusively for about six months now.
 
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Dakota Tebaldi

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So if you're brand new to Blender, with the launch of 2.8 this is definitely the time to start to learn if you've been holding off. The playlist above has some short overviews from the Blender Foundation itself, and they are quite good; but I want to share with you a new tutorial series that might or might not be better for you. The channel is called BornCG, and it's the place where I first started learning Blender, back in like the 2.6 days. Since then, I've decided to get really serious into Blender as an artistic tool, so I now take paid courses on an online instruction site - but BornCG were the tutorials I settled on back when I just wanted to learn how to make stuff for SL. The teacher is relatable and the lessons are easy to watch and follow, and not too long individually (except for the first couple in a series) and cover distinct aspects so you're not too overwhelmed with information.

Of course, the catch is, back then when I started, he'd been making 2.6 tutorial videos for a while, so there were several dozen videos already made and I was able to binge them. Now that 2.8 has just come out, he's just started a new 2.8 series from the beginning, so there will be no binging for you - although this is really true in general, because 2.8 just released yesterday and nobody really is going to have an entire tutorial set ready. He tends to release videos weekly (I think), so you'll have to wait for the new videos as they come out - he might release on an accelerated schedule for 2.8, or he may not, I really don't know and you'll just have to find out. But I recommend his videos for their quality.

Just a note, the first two videos in this playlist were made way back when the 2.8 beta first came out; they are really meant to be overviews for experienced Blender users about the changes between 2.79 and 2.8. To that end, you can watch them if you want, but be aware there ARE some important changes since the first beta builds, so some of that information will definitely be out of date. The "beginner" stuff that uses official 2.8 starts with video 3 - and it's the only new one so far - so that's where I'll start the playlist below:

 

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For instance, you now select things with left-click instead of right-click, right-clicking now giving you a context menu like it does in basically every other application...
Hal-e-effing-lulya.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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Hal-e-effing-lulya.
Oh and there was contention too. Not a whole lot, and much of it was in a joking way; but there were absolutely some people who felt this was the worst decision. But then, I heard a rumor once that there was an absolute row way back years ago when Blender first wanted to add Undo functionality. Like who on Earth is opposed to an undo option???

FWIW, you CAN still set Blender 2.80 to right-click-select. But you will lose the context menu, as right-click mode retains the original functionality from previous Blenders (left-click places the 3D cursor). There IS a workflow advantage to right-click select, but it's a little hard to explain and I think the right-click context menu compensates enough for the loss of the advantage. I switched to left-click when the beta dropped and I'm quite used to it now.