After only three months following the last 2.8 release, 2.81 is released.
The list of new features and improvements is too long to repeat here, but some highlights:
- complete overhaul of the sculpting workflow, new sculpt tools and masking tools
- greatly improved outliner usability
- Cycles: preview passes in the viewport, and various new nodes (noise generators, math & vector math, etc.)
- Eevee (the realtime GPU renderer) received major optimizations and new features, such as soft shadows, and much better visual matching with Cycles
- Nvidia RTX support (up to 50%-100% faster GPU rendering in Cycles)
- Intel Open Image denoising
- new remeshing: OpenDVB and QuadriFlow
- Grease Pencil 2d drawing: new brushes, convert curves to GP, isometric guides
- range of new transform and snapping options, including mirror any axis anywhere for mesh editing and vertex/weight paint modes. Finally it is possible to move origins directly!
- overhauled Poly Build tool for retopology tasks
- thousands of bugs squashed
There is much more. An exhaustive list and video demos here: