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After about three long years of development, the most awaited Blender version, Blender 2.80 finally shipped yesterday. This release comes with a redesigned UI interface, workspaces, templates, Eevee real-time renderer, grease pencil, and much more.

The user interface is revamped with a focus on usability and accessibility

Blender’s user interface is revamped with a better focus on usability and accessibility. It has a fresh look and feel with a dark theme and modern icon set. The icons change color based on the theme you select so that they are readable against bright or dark backgrounds.

Users can easily access the most used features via the default shortcut keys or map their own. You will be able to fully use Blender with a one-button trackpad or pen input as it now supports the left mouse button by default for selection. It provides a new right-click context menu for quick access to important commands in the given context. There is also a Quick Favorites popup menu where you can add your favorite commands.

Get started with templates and workspaces

You can now choose from multiple application templates when starting a new file. These include templates for 3D modeling, shading, animation, rendering, grease pencil based 2D drawing and animation, sculpting, VFX, video editing, and the list goes on.

Workspaces give you a screen layout for specific tasks like modeling, sculpting, animating, or editing. Each template that you choose will provide a default set of workspaces that can be customized. You can create new workspaces or copy from the templates as well.

Completely rewritten 3D Viewport

Blender 2.8’s completely rewritten 3D viewport is optimized for modern graphics and offers several new features. The new Workbench render engine helps you get work done in the viewport for tasks like scene layout, modeling, and sculpting.

Viewport overlays allow you to decide which utilities are visible on top of the render. The LookDev new shading mode allows you to test multiple lighting conditions (HDRIs) without affecting the scene settings. The smoke and fire simulations are overhauled to make them look as realistic as possible.

Eevee real-time renderer

Blender 2.80 has a new physically-based real-time renderer called Eevee. It performs two roles: a renderer for final frames and the engine driving Blender’s real-time viewport for creating assets. Among the various features it supports volumetrics, screen-space reflections and refractions, depth of field, camera motion blur, bloom, and much more. You can create Eevee materials using the same shader nodes as Cycles, which makes it easier to render existing scenes.

2D animation with Grease Pencil

Grease Pencil enables you to combine 2D and 3D worlds together right in the viewport. With this release, it has now become a “full 2D drawing and animation system.” It comes with a new multi-frame edition mode with which you can change and edit several frames at the same time. It has a build modifier to animate the drawings similar to the Build modifier for 3D objects. There are many other features added to grease pencil. Watch this video to get a glimpse of what you can create with it:

Check out for more features in Blender 2.80 on its official website.

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