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Blender developers meeting notes: August 5, 2019


Brecht writes:


  • SIGGRAPH 2019 was a huge success, everyone wants to help out (dev fund) and start using Blender
  • Blender 2.80 was the last release where we officially support 32 bit Windows and Linux builds. For Blender 2.81 there will be only 64 bit builds. (details)

New Features and Changes

  • Alembic support for import and export of custom loop normals. (Sybren Stüvel)
  • Video export support for the Opus audio codec and WebM container format. (Sybren Stüvel)
  • Sculpt and paint brushes can now use built-in falloff functions rather than a custom curve, for better quality results for brushes like grab. (Pablo Dobarro)
  • Cycles: faster multithreaded compilation of many shaders. (Lukas Stockner)
  • Materials: new operator for removing unused material slots. (Lukas Stockner)
  • Text editor:
    • Layout reorganization of sidebar and menus. (William Reynish, Peter Fog)
    • New operator to toggle comment and uncomment, shortcut Ctrl /. (Campbell Barton)
  • Animation: new Copy As New Driver context menu option to streamline creating drivers that copy the value of a different property. (Alexander Gavrilov)
  • Preferences: new option for viewport rotation sensitivity, and better behavior for high DPI screens. (Campbell Barton)


  • NVIDIA contributed an Optix backend for Cycles, to take advantage of hardware-accelerated ray tracing in RTX cards. The next step is for Cycles developers to review the code.
    • the review ticket was being used for tech support (how to git and build): please refrain from doing so in the future)
  • Features from sculpt branch are being submitted and reviewed one by one
  • Sequencer prefetching patch is updated

For Developers

  • There is a new developer CMake configuration, which enables options for faster builds, error checks and tests. We recommended developers to use this.
  • Windows builds now have "Just My Code" stepping by default in debug builds. This is for C++ code (Ray Molenkamp)
  • As a reminder a slight change in release stabilizing branch is in the planning for 2.81. This is still quite a few weeks. A proposal will be submitted in the coming few weeks for that. (Nathan Letwory)

Weekly Reports

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Although I'm impressed with the new release for the most part, not having an option to bake displacement maps does feel like a regression in my opinion.

  2. Encountered this last week - in some cases, possible workaround could be to bake emit with mapped gradient texture or simply use zdepth (if only one direction for depth map is needed).

  3. "Cycles: faster multithreaded compilation of many shaders. (Lukas Stockner)"

    I'd like to read up more on this, unfortunately dev notes don't have link to his dev log.

    Still anythign that speeds up render preps is a good thing

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