Blender 3.3 Released With Intel oneAPI Backend, Improved AMD HIP Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 7 September 2022 at 09:59 AM EDT. 28 Comments
FREE SOFTWARE --
Blender 3.3 is out this morning as the newest version of this widely-used, open-source and cross-platform 3D modeling software.


Among the many changes to find with today's Blender 3.3 release are:

- Initial support for Intel oneAPI back-end with the Cycles renderer. This is intended for use with Intel Arc Graphics / Data Center discrete GPUs and not existing integrated Intel graphics. This requires also using recent Intel compute driver releases. This is still work-in-progress and look for more Intel GPU acceleration in future releases.

- The AMD HIP back-end has been extended to now work going back to GFX9/Vega hardware on Windows and Linux. RDNA1 and GFX9/Vega issues were worked out since Blender 3.2 to allow broader AMD Radeon GPU support for Blender.

- Improved Apple Metal rendering GPU performance on macOS.

- OpenVDB volumes are rendered with half-float rather than full-float precision to yield significantly lower memory usage.

- NVIDIA's OptiX denoiser has better performance now when rendering with multiple NVIDIA GPUs.

- "Drastically improved" drawing performance when sculpting with EEVEE enabled.

- Much better performance for LineArt with the grease pencil.

- A new hair workflow is possible with the new curves object type that has a sculpt mode intended for hair grooming.

- Improved usability of the Library Overrides UI/UX.

- Full support for camera's background images.

- JPEG preview thumbnails are created faster while also using less RAM. EXR preview thumbnail images should also consume less RAM.

- Font fallback support.

- Various performance improvements to geometry nodes.

- Improved performance when importing USD / Alembic / OBJ files with large numbers of objects. For a USD production scene with 260 thousand objects its reported to drop from 3.5 hours to 1.5 minutes.

- A new experimental STL importer that is written in C++ and about eight times faster than the former Python-written STL importer.

- glTF 2.0 handling improvements for import/export.

More details on Blender 3.3 via the release notes. Blender 3.3 downloads are available from Blender.org.


Also notable with Blender 3.3 is that it's a long-term support (LTS) release for providing fixes and updates for a two-year timespan. I'll have up new Blender benchmarks for Blender 3.3 shortly for various CPUs and GPUs.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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