Upcoming Features in Blender Viewport


Blender and Blend4Web are a great combination that helps us create web-applications really quickly. Each framework release brings new features and improves upon the existing ones. However, there is another important side of development we rarely hear about.

Blender is a convenient multi-purpose tool with broad possibilities. Hundreds of programmers are working on improving the existing features and adding new functions, but for some reason a few loose ends remain from release to release. That's why it is even more exciting that Blend4Web developers spend their time and effort to improve our favorite editor. This time, they have improved Viewport functionality and made the creative process at least a little more convenient. And this is not only in regards to Blend4Web. Every Blender user will benefit from these changes. So lets take a look into the future and get acquainted with these new possibilities which will become available thanks to Blend4Web programmers.

We all love the node editor. It is powerful, easy-to-use and feature-rich. But personally, it bothers me that not every intended effect is visible in the viewport. Fortunately, some things will soon change.

About the Texture node. It works as it should, but adding the Environment Map and ... what's this? Unfortunately, Blender won't show us anything interesting. The Environment Map just doesn't have the expected effect in 3D View. If you want to see it correctly, you need to press the Render button.

And now your attention! Starting with Blender 2.78 users will have the possibility to view cube reflections right inside the editor window.

Pay attention to the reflection on the granite base of the fountain in the right image.

Blender allows you to apply environment lighting in scenes, which considerably helps in achieving realistic results. However, viewing the result of this useful function is possible only after the project is rendered or exported with Blend4Web. It is not that difficult to press F12, but after doing it ten times it starts to get old.

Blend4Web programmers have prepared a specific patch for Blender which removes this issue and lets us customize Environment Lighting directly in the 3D View window. This will be available with the release of Blender 2.78 as well.

There are black shadows in the left image because of the lack of Environment Lighting. There is no such problem in the right image.

And finally. Shader nodes in the popular rendering engine, Cycles, use World Space coordinates for computing normals which is more convenient for the end user. But the standard Blender Internal renderer works in Camera Space in Viewport. A specific patch was prepared that forces some important nodes and Blender viewport to work in World Space. For convenience, the World Space Shading option was added and it will be required to enable by Blend4Web in the future.

I want to remind that all these useful new features will be available with the release of Blender 2.78 and undoubtedly will simplify the development of high-quality spectacular scenes. But if you don't want to wait, you can download Blender latest builds and try the new features right now.

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