Some fun news for Blender fans, as their work to bring up Vulkan support in the project has hit a big new milestone with support now enabled but it's still experimental for now. As noted in their development blog post, Vulkan support is now available for Linux and Windows Alpha builds.
Why are they doing this? Well, like a lot of other projects including game engines, OpenGL is old. Vulkan is the true next-generation of fully open graphics and it supports a lot of modern features. Eventually, pretty much everything will move over to Vulkan to take advantage of all the new stuff.
The Blender team mentioned that for Apple devices they already support Metal, so they will be going all-in eventually on Vulkan for Linux and Windows. They gave some examples of things that could be worked on utilizing newly available GPU features thanks to using modern graphics APIs like:
- Improve the viewport performance with huge amount of geometry and complex scenes.
- Improving the quality of EEVEE by replacing screen space effects with hardware ray tracing implementations.
- Adding support for HDRI displays.
- Utilizing the compute power of GPUs in areas like texture painting.
They need your help! As Vulkan is in heavy development, they want to ensure it runs well so check out their status thread.