Blender, a popular free open-source modeling and animation tool, just launched its 2.83 update, which brings basic VR support via the OpenXR API. The recent release lets users step into their 3D scenes to see them up close and at scale; new VR features are expected in future releases.

Update (June 4th, 2020): Blender version 2.83 is now live, which includes the ability to inspect scenes from a VR headset. The creators have also released a feature showcase video highlighting some other items in arrival with 2.83, namely OpenVDB import, OptiX viewport denoising, and a new physics-enabled Cloth Brush.

The original article continues below:

Original Article (April 8th, 2020): The next version of Blender, version 2.83 planned for release in late-may, will include a first wave of VR support, the company recently announced. VR support is being added via the OpenXR API, which will allow the software to interface with any headset supporting OpenXR (which has wide support in the VR industry, though is still in the early process rolling out to individual headsets).

Initially, Blender’s VR support will only allow for scene inspection, which means users can look at their creations up close and at scale. For those using Blender to create assets and animations for use in VR games, being able to see their creations in-headset before being imported into a game engine could help streamline the production process.

More VR features are expected to be added in the future. Last year a Blender developer said “We have an awesome team of people interested in working on [XR].”

As Blender is a very complex piece of software, it’s unlikely that the full feature set (or even half of it) will be functional in VR, however it’s conceivable that in the future users might also be able to move objects in their scene in VR, and perhaps even do basic modeling and things like rigging and ‘puppeteering’ for animation.

Well before Blender’s upcoming official VR support, third-party plugins like Blender XR by MARUI have already made it possible to view and interact with Blender scenes in VR. However, official support, especially via OpenXR, should help futureproof the feature by ensuring compatibility with future headsets.

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  • Jerald Doerr

    Sweeeeeeeeeet!!!!!

  • Anony Anonymous

    The problem now is that they use Linux in blender and it would be better for users and developers to expand. Now I always see windows as a favorite and I find it very unfair that it cannot be done, no matter how many say that they are few just because they are based on steam statistics.

    • Roger Wickes

      Blender runs on all platforms equally well; Windows, Mac, Linux. see https://www.blender.org/download/

      • Anony Anonymous

        I am a user of linux blender for many years the problem is the compatibility of viewers with linux.

    • DaKangaroo

      I have no idea what you’re even trying to say, Blender is already a crossplatform application, it runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

  • Amazing!

  • Sof EightSoft

    another way to get VR working is to use Verge3D addon

  • It is very likely that a comprehensive set of blender tools will be eventually available in VR down the years. Also, there is no ‘company’. The announcement comes from the Blender Foundation, which is an independent public benefit organization funded by support from the public and development grants.

  • Jarom Madsen

    Cool that it’s getting official support but kind of underwhelming compared to this existing plugin: https://www.marui-plugin.com/blender-xr/

    • William R. Cousert

      This plugin is a closed source, commercial product. Blender’s is free and open source.

      • Jarom Madsen

        Fair enough but the plugin is free. Here’s hoping that with it being open source we see a more complete set of tools made available while in VR. The BlenderXR plugin has some but they’re pretty limited and isn’t really feasible to model imo. Edit: Wait a second BlenderXR is open source as well under the GNU Public License: https://github.com/MARUI-PlugIn/BlenderXR

  • Jim P

    I want a Dreams on the PC. Where you can do everything in one software

  • SoVR

    As a dedicated Blender user since 2003, I am super excited for an official release.

  • William R. Cousert

    What would it take to modify the Blender source code so Blender works as a plugin within Unity3D, similar to ProBuilder?

    • RockstarRepublic

      Might not be possible due to licensing restrictions, or at the very least not something that can be publicly shared.