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Hey folks. I was sick again last week (the life of a parent), so here's the stuff I found interesting from the last two weeks in 3D...

Blender 2.73 is a HUGE update!
In case you missed the announcement, it's already out. I'm most excited about:
  1. Cloth brushes - Easy to sculpt folds without with need for a full sim! 
  2. Face sets - An essential feature that allows you to group and isolate parts of your mesh when sculpting.
  3. Viewport Denoising - Much faster to make creative decisions on the fly.
  4. VR - While only scene inspection for now, its a step in the right direction.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Watch the full 5 minute video for the full scope of features and improvements. Hats off to all the devs involved!

Playstation 5 Reveal
Like it or not, console games affect our industry in a big way. Not just capping the fidelity of almost all games, but also the workflows that many of our tools are optimized for. So the PS5 reveal today is big news. Unfortunately Sony were pretty vague on the software improvements other than stating features like "Raytracing" and "Ultra-high speed SSD".

Mostly they showcased a range of games. The best in my opinion: Rachet & Clank and Horizon Zero Dawn II which both showed extremely large environments, and in the case of Rachet and Clank: rapid loadtimes. As usual though it'll take many months for the software that developers use to catch up with the new hardware. For reference the PS4 trailer looks woeful, and most games surpassed it's realism in the coming years. I suspect early next year we'll start to see big changes in game development workflows.

New Blender Short film "Coffee Run"
Another official short from the Blender Animation Studio, showcasing a 2D style made from 3D assets. Visually? Fantastic! I really liked the concept of replaying life's events through a platform style runner. However the story didn't really land for me. As a viewer we're given clues about a death, a failed marriage and wanting things to change, and then... nothing. It was certainly deeper than most 3D shorts (which are too often just tech demos), but I can't help but feel that a small improvement to the clarity of the story would have had a huge return. Still a great little short though.

Photorealistic plants for all renderers
It took just over 9 months to discover the best way to make photorealistic plants: a hybrid model of photoscanning + procedural generation. The result is a pack of 40 plants that look good in any light setup, and work in all major renderers. Read more about how we did it, or if you're a Poliigon member you can start downloading now (if not you can sign up here).

That's all folks. Follow me on twitter for more interesting stuff that doesn't make it here: @andrewpprice.

Andrew Price
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