The free 3D software package Blender is now available as version 4.0 and brings a lot of new features in all areas.
One of the biggest changes is the Geometry Nodes, which can be used to combine various program functions from nodes. These can be used to create structures from mathematical formulas, for example, but also to easily combine simulations. Program flow concepts such as loops for the multiple execution of nodes ("Repeat Zone") are also available.
Posing/Bones have also been given new concepts and functions. There is now a Butterworth filter in the Graph Editor for smoothing animation data and its keyframes. The interaction of materials with light has also been significantly expanded. Light sources can be easily extended with textures, for example, to simulate a dirty window. Light sources can also be restricted to certain objects or materials.
The internal renderer Cycles can now also use the hardware acceleration of AMD&s RNDA architecture for all of this and has also already been optimized for Apple&s new M3 processors.
There are also new features for film simulation: Blender 4.0 now supports an analog highlight rolloff during rendering, which can provide natural overexposure. In addition, many effects such as keying now run in real time. And in the compositor node interface, there is now a separate field for the preview.
The audio area in the video editor has also been given an equalizer and waveforms in the timeline should now be calculated and displayed much faster. To get a really competent overview of the new 4.0 functions, the following video is probably worth watching:
As always, Blender 4.0 is now available for Windows, macOS and Linux and can be downloaded free of charge as source code. In addition, "Blender Guru" Andrew Price has not let himself be lumped and has also started to update his popular "Doughnut-Tutorial" with the release of the new major Blender version. And the new "Blender 4.0 for Complete Beginners Tutorial" on YouTube will also continue to be free. The first part has been online for a few hours: