CG News Roundup: Blender Cycles X, Amazon Nimble Studio, Thinkbox Deadline Free for up to 10 Nodes

CG Director Author Jerry Jamesby Jerry James   ⋮  Published 
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Another slow week for CG News as April comes to a close. However, Amazon hit the headlines for all the right reasons and Blender unveiled something exciting this week. Without further ado, let’s dive right in, shall we?


This section covers news sourced from various trusted media and business outlets.

Blender Reveals Cycles X – Coming in Version 3.1

Focusing on further improving render times on modern GPUs while also enhancing viewport responsiveness, the Blender foundation revealed a major rewrite to its Cycles renderer on its tenth anniversary. The rewrite, called Cycles X, adds support for resumable and incremental rendering, new hardware, and more advanced features for production rendering. The update to Cycles should be ‘7x faster’ than the existing version of Cycles when using an Nvidia RTX GPU. Read more.

AWS Makes Thinkbox Deadline Free for Up to 10 Render Machines

AWS also hit the news recently in a good way when it updated AWS Thinkbox Deadline to Version In addition to various bug fixes and improvements, the renderfarm-management software is now free to use on up to 10 render nodes. Users could previously only use it for free on farms with up to only 2 render nodes. Read the full list of changes.

Amazon Launches Nimble Studio – A Creative Studio in the Cloud

AWS seems to have set its sights on the creative industries and announced a brand-new service that makes it easy for artists and professionals to produce visual effects, animations, and other interactive content entirely in the cloud. Nimble Studio now allows studios to create distributed teams without hindering productivity. With this service, studios can also eliminate the process of buying, maintaining, and updating their own hardware – leaving the task to AWS instead. That said, there are bound to be downsides in this early stage; we’ll keep a close watch to keep you informed. You can find the announcement here.

Godot Team Releases Godot 3.3 – A Major Update to the Open-Source Game Engine

The past week also saw an unexpected major update to Godot – a popular open-source game engine. The update adds a new web editor – allowing professionals to run a full-featured Godot Editor on a browser. Other changes include a new CPU lightmapper, a new OpenXR plugin for VR and AR, and native support for Apple’s M1-based Mac devices. Read more.

Savage Interactive Unveils Procreate 5.2

The developers behind the popular sketching and painting app on Apple’s iPad, Procreate, unveiled update 5.2. It is due out ‘soon.’ In addition to adding native support for Apple’s M1 processors and including new accessibility features, the update will also make it possible to import and paint directly onto 3D models. Once you’re done, the app will also allow you to preview your handiwork in AR with realistic shadow and lighting effects. Read more.

Microsoft Plans to Say Goodbye to its Popular Default Font – Calibri

If you’ve spent any time with the Microsoft Office Suite, you’re most likely familiar with Calibri, its clean, default font. Microsoft published a Tweet and a blog post where the company revealed it was looking for a change. All 5 font options that are in the running for Microsoft’s default font were also showcased and are already available to use for Microsoft 365 subscribers. Read more.

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