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Blender 2.81 development watch #4: Eevee

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With the feature list for the next stable version of Blender now locked, we investigate the new tools you can expect when Blender 2.81 ships in November. Over the course of a week-long series of stories, we will preview the main features, continuing today with the Eevee renderer.

Eevee, Blender's new real-time render engine, now supports transparency effects and holdouts in the same way as the existing Cycles renderer, making it easier to use for final output as well as interactive previews.

4. Holdouts and transparency in Eevee

Eevee, the new real-time render engine introduced in Blender 2.80, continues to evolve in Blender 2.81. Some of the changes improve the accuracy of existing features, particularly shadows and bump mapping, but there is also a new feature, in the shape of the Holdout node. It works in the same way as its Cycles equivalent, making it possible for 3D objects to appear as transparent regions in a render: useful when you just need the shadows they cast on nearby surfaces to composite into live footage.

Eevee also now handles transparency in the same way as Cycles, making it possible to create more sublte render effects. As well as supporting the Transparent BSDF node, its old Additive and Multiply blend modes have been replaced by shader equivalents that are compatible with Cycles.

Stay tuned throughout the rest of the week for bite-sized previews of other features, including the latest nodes in Cycles, plus a host of time-saving smaller additions.

About Author

Jim Thacker

I've been writing about Blender since the mid-2000s when, as editor of 3D World magazine, I commissioned a series of on-set diaries from the Blender Foundation's first open movie. Since then, I've worked with ArtStation and Gnomon, ‘development edited’ books for Focal Press and Design Studio Press, and am currently editor of industry news website CG Channel.

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