Blender 3.5 Released With Lighting Improvements For Cycles, Better glTF 2.0 Handling

Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 29 March 2023 at 10:00 AM EDT. 4 Comments
Blender 3.5 has been released as the newest version of this widely-used, open-source 3D modeling software. Blender 3.5 is another exciting update for this free software that has garnered significant industry interest and support.

With Blender 3.5 there are many evolutionary improvements in store. Sadly the AMD HIP ray-tracing support nor the Intel oneAPI RT support were ready for Blender 3.5 but hopefully those improvements will be ready for the next update.

Blender 3.5

Blender 3.5 is also on the project's current schedule followed by Blender 3.6 in July while Blender 4.0 is coming in November as the project shifts to delivering three releases per calendar year.

Blender 3.5

Some of the highlights for Blender 3.5 include:

- Cycles now uses a light tree to more effectively sample scenes with many lights, which can reduce the noise.

- Open Shading Language can now be used with NVIDIA OptiX on the GPU, in addition to the existing CPU rendering.

- A new Viewport Compositor shading option to apply the result of the Compositor Editor node tree directly in the 3D viewport.

- When Blender is running on macOS it will now use the Metal back-end for the user interface and 3D viewport to provide better performance. The Apple Metal back-end for Cycles has also seen performance improvements.

- Various Cycles render improvements.

- UV copy/paste support is added.

- Blender's cloth simulation code has seen optimizations to its self-collision code that yields a 25% overall higher performance for some collision-heavy tests.

- USD import/export improvements.

- glTF 2.0 import/export improvements.

- Support for Vector Displacement Map (VDM) brushes for the Draw brush.

Blender 3.5

More details on Blender 3.5 via the release notes. Downloads for Linux, macOS, and Windows at I'll have up some Blender 3.5 benchmarks on various CPUs and GPUs soon.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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