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 with the new nodes in Cycles.
The Cycles renderer gets a set of new nodes in Blender 2.81, ranging from noise textures to new math nodes for use in technical art and motion graphics. Video: Blender Insight.
5. New nodes in Cycles
Cycles itself also gets a set of new nodes, ranging from new noise types to the Volume Info node, which provides access to key attributes when rendering smoke. For technically minded artists, the Math and Vector Math nodes have been redesigned, and now show all of the inputs required for an operation, and there are new nodes for clamping or remapping numerical values. The video above shows how the new features work, and how they can be combined to create motion graphics-style effects.
Stay tuned tomorrow for our round-up of the remaining features in Blender 2.81.
What would be really awesome is the ability to just bring up the Add menu, and go: Add -> Decal, select a material for it, position it, rotate it, scale it, and specify a collection to limit it's effect to if necessary, with the material's transparency used to define the blending, and possibly a blend mode as well (mix/add/subtract/multiply/etc).. So I could just throw a decal for a pothole onto a road or a decal for some graffiti onto a wall in a few seconds.