In Blender 2.9, you find all the significant improvements from the past months with more polished user experience and cutting-edge technologies. From an artificial intelligence helper (OptiX) to improve renders and get faster images to new ways to perform old techniques like the extrude (Manifold). With the recent release of Blender 2.90 there are now two active versions of the application available for use; the current Blender 2.9+ release and Blender 2.83 LTS (‘LTS’ = Long Term Support). Building on the success of the 2.8x series, Blender 2.90 continues to polish the user experience, introducing improvements to EEVEE, Cycles, sculpt, VR, animation, modeling, UV editing and so much more. Released August 31st, 2020. Download the Splash Fox.blend file! Blender 2.9 First time 3D modeling, animation for beginners. Start Blender, free and powerful software for modeling, character animation. Easy to follow and suitable for beginners.
With the recent release of Blender 2.90 there are now two active versions of the application available for use; the current Blender 2.9+ release and Blender 2.83 LTS (‘LTS’ = Long Term Support). Why is explained in this developer post, but for all intents and purposes the two versions, Blender 2.9+ and Blender 2.83 LTS, are essentially the same with one main exception; Blender 2.83 LTS is ‘feature locked’, it won’t be updated or changed with new tools, features or functionality but will instead receive extended support (two years) to cover core performance, i.e. bug, security and usability fixes, whereas Blender 2.9+, the Foundations active release (at time of writing), essentially continues to follow the normal release schedule (subject to the name change) with the latest features, bells and whistles, being supported only so long as the version is ‘live’.
This change obviously begs the question “which version of Blender should I use?“.
The answer, “use whichever version seems appropriate to the job at hand“.
In other words if stability and support is necessary, to ensure projects don’t break when opened into newer versions resulting in lost time fixing issues that arise, then Blender 2.83 LTS should be used. Whereas if the only interest is in using the latest features and effects to create content, use Blender 2.9+.
Be aware however, that as a direct consequence of the change discussed above instructional materials and information may out of date, incorrect to varying degrees or be completely obsolete more rapidly than with previous versions, or it may be more difficult to determine what sources to use numerically (searching for material that matches the version number).
With that said, to answer the follow-up question “should I/can I learn Blender 2.9+ using tutorials for Blender 2.8+“, then generally speaking “yes”, because the two versions (currently) have little of functional difference between them.
Important: functionally the two versions of Blender that are to be published from this point on will be similar in appearance differing only largely in detail, below for example the Bevel Modifier is shown assigned to a simple object (default Cube) to highlight the differences between the older (top) and newer (bottom) versions, basically organisation rather than feature availability.
Spot the difference between the Bevel Modifier in Blender 2.83 LTS (top) and Blender 2.90 (bottom)…
In many projects related to architectural visualization using Blender, you can have a starting point from a model received from a client in another software, such as SketchUp. It is quite common to get a SketchUp file from the client and get a request to make it look “pretty” with a render in Cycles. Unfortunately, you don’t have a default option to import SKP files in Blender.
Is there a way to import SketchUp files in Blender? Better yet, can you import them in Blender 2.9?
A couple of weeks ago, we posted some news regarding one of the few working Add-ons that enabled Blender to import data from SketchUp, which was originally a project from developer Martijn Berger. The project was left untouched for a long time until Arindam Mondal forked the script and updated the code to version 2.8.
The latest release from Arindam Mondal is version 0.21 of the script, which works with Blender 2.83 LTS and also Blender 2.9! The script uses SketchUp 2020 SDK, which makes it compatible with the latest SKP versions available.
How to install the SketchUp importer for Blender 2.9? After visiting the previous link and downloading the latest release from Arindam Mondal, you can open the Edit → Preferences menu in Blender 2.9 and use the “Install” button from the Add-ons tab.
There you can point to the downloaded file and install the Add-on. Enable the tool in your Add-ons, and it appears as a new option from the File → Import menu.
Based on my personal experience with the import process of SketchUp files to Blender, you should keep in mind that a few errors might appear when getting SKP data to Blender. The most common issues are faces with dozens of triangles, which doesn’t work well with modifiers such as the Subdivision surface. For that reason, a lot of artists still find it more productive to rebuild the model again in Blender.
In any case, you can use the Add-on to include SKP files in your architectural visualization workflow with Blender.
We hope the developer can add versions of the script for Linux and macOS in the future.
Using Blender for architecture
Do you want to use Blender for architecture or render your projects using Cycles or Eevee? We have three books available that could help you!
They cover the use of Blender for producing architectural content and also all information you need to render projects in real-time:
You can get them in both digital and paperback formats. By ordering those books, you will not only improve your skills with Blender for architecture but also support Blender 3D Architect.