Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipelineómodeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation.
2.78b (February 9, 2017)
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Blender 2.78b Release Notes
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Blender 2.78b is a performance update release which mainly includes speedups for Cycles rendering.
Multithreaded shader compilation.
Various optimizations for emission meshes.
Corrected light sampling for Branched Path Tracing, reduces noise leading to faster convergency.
Improvements in constant folding algorithm, removing shading nodes which are not used for final evaluaiton.
Improvements to some procedural textures (brick)
Early light ray termination based on contribution of light to the result.
Fix for background MIS with textures having small bright spots, which was causing fireflies.
Different seed for subframes and different stereo views, allowing "slow-motion" effect and improves VR experience.
Distance culling for objects to remove objects which are too far away from the camera.
Fix for undesirable threads affinity change on Windows.
Avoid various numerical issues in the kernel, solving fireflies.
Fixes for deformation motion blur combined with autosplit.
Better remainedtime estimation.
Various optimizations for deformation motion blur.
Added time steps BVH option to speed up rendering of scenes with motion blur.
Use XDG folder for cache on Linux and OSX, which avoids having per-Blender version folder with all the OpenCL/CUDA kernels built.
Ability to enable/disable individual GPUs as opposite to old behavior with pre-defined combinations only. Not only this helps to some artists, but also makes it possible to have flexible benchmark scripting.
Use more global SSE optimizations for SSE4.1+ kernels.
Multiple improvements for the latest AVX2 CPUS:
Optimized various math utilities (cross-products, dot-products, min-axis-selection and others).
Faster version of triangle intersection function.
Optimization of various steps in BVH traversal algorithm (including both construction and traversal).
Added 3D textures support for OpenCL
Make it conditional to compile-in transparent shadows support. Depending on a scene and hardware gives really major render time improvements.
Solve various race conditions (conflicts between threads which are working on the same data).
Optimization of dependency graph construction time.
Fix missing or wrong relation links, which were causing hard-to-reproduce bone flickering.
Fix various crashes related on linked data blocks.
Fixes for missing animation updates.
Fixed regression crash when adding texture node to compositor.
Fixed crash of inverse kinematics on 32 bit Windows platforms
Improve multi-threaded usage of fluid simulation
Return correct alpha for environment map in GLSL
Blender now features a powerful new unbiased rendering engine called Cycles that offers stunning ultra-realistic rendering.
The built-in Cycles rendering engine offers:
GPU & CPU rendering
Realtime viewport preview
HDR lighting support
Permissive License for linking with external software
Rendering in Blender with Cycles
Modeling in Blender
Blenderís comprehensive array of modeling tools make creating, transforming and editing your models a breeze.
Blenderís modeling tools include:
Keyboard shortcuts for a fast workflow
Edge slide, collapse and dissolve
Grid and Bridge fill
Python scripting for custom tools and add-ons
With Blenderís new rendering engine the possibilities for materials are endless.
Key features are:
Complete Node Support for full customization
Physically accurate shaders like glass, translucency and SSS
Open Shading Language (OSL) support for coding unique shaders
Materials in Blender
Rigging in Blender
Transforming a model into a posable character has never been easier!
Blender offers an impressive set of rigging tools including:
Envelope, skeleton and automatic skinning
Easy weight painting
Bone layers and colored groups for organization
B-spline interpolated bones
Whether itís simple keyframing or complex walk-cycles, Blender allows artists to turn their still characters into impressive animations.
Blenderís animation feature set offers:
Automated walk-cycles along paths
Character animation pose editor
Non Linear Animation (NLA) for independent movements
IK forward/inverse kinematics for fast poses
Sculpting in Blender
Experience the joy of sculpting organic subjects using the built-in sculpting feature set of Blender.
Sculpting in Blender includes:
20 different brush types
Multi-res sculpting support
Dynamic Topology sculpting
Fast UV Unwrapping
Easily unwrap your mesh right inside Blender, and use image textures or paint your own directly onto the model.
Blender allows for:
Fast Cube, Cylinder, Sphere and Camera projections
Conformal and Angle Based unwrapping (with edge seams and vertex pinning)
Painting directly onto the mesh
Multiple UV layers
UV layout image exporting
UV Unwrapping in Blender
Compositing in Blender
Blender comes with a fully fledged compositor built right in. That means no more exporting to third party programs, you can do it all without leaving the program.
The compositor comes with:
Impressive library of nodes for creating camera fx, color grading, vignettes and much more
Full compositing with images and video files
Ability to render to multiLayer OpenEXR files
Whether you need a crumbling building, rain, fire, smoke, fluid, cloth or full on destruction, Blender delivers great looking results.
Blenderís simulation tools include
Fluid Ė Realistic water and fluid simulations.
Smoke Ė Billowing smoke with flames and scene interaction.
Hair Ė Beautiful wafts of hair that blows in the wind and interacts with collisions.
Cloth Ė Amazingly realistic cloth simulations for clothing and environments
Rigid Body Physics Ė Makes any object destructable and collidable
Particles Ė For creating things like rain, sparks and shrapnel
Blender Game Engine Screenshot
Included in Blender is a complete game engine, allowing you to create a fully featured 3d game right inside Blender.
The game engine includes:
Ability to port your models to any third-party game engine
Create or code your own game logic
Full Bullet Physics integration
Python scripting API for advanced control and AI
Support for all OpenGLTM dynamic lighting, toon shading, animated materials as well as Normal and Parallax Mapping
Playback of games inside Blender without compiling or preprocessing
3D spatial audio using OpenAL
Camera and Object tracking
Blender now includes production ready camera and object tracking. Allowing you to import raw footage, track the footage, mask areas and see the camera movements live in your 3d scene. Eliminating the need to switch between programs.
The Camera and Object Tracker includes:
Auto and manual tracking
Powerful camera reconstruction
Real-time preview of your tracked footage and 3d scene
Support for Planar tracking and Tripod solvers
Camera tracking in Blender
Library of Extensions
With a large community of enthusiasts and developers, Blender comes loaded with a vast array of extensions that you can turn on or off easily.
Some existing extensions include:
Generators for trees, terrain, ivy and clouds.
3D Printing Toolbox.
Rigify meta-rigging system.
Import and Export format support for AfterEffects, DirectX, Unreal Game Engine and more!
Plus many more that you can download here
Blender even comes with a built-in Video Editor.
The Video Editor allows you to perform basic actions like video cuts and splicing, as well as more complex tasks like video masking.
The Video Editor includes:
Live preview, luma waveform, chroma vectorscope and histogram displays
Audio mixing, syncing, scrubbing and waveform visualization
Up to 32 slots for adding video, images, audio, scenes, masks and effects
Speed control, adjustment layers, transitions, keyframes, filters and more.
Exporting in Blender
Blender comes packed with import/export support for many different programs.
JPEG, JPEG2000, PNG, TARGA, OpenEXR, DPX, Cineon, Radiance HDR, SGI Iris, TIFF
AVI, MPEG and Quicktime (on OSX).
Alembic, 3D Studio (3DS), COLLADA (DAE), Filmbox (FBX), Autodesk (DXF), Wavefront (OBJ), DirectX (x), Lightwave (LWO), Motion Capture (BVH), SVG, Stanford PLY, STL, VRML, VRML97, X3D.
Novice and advanced users will love the ability to customize their layout completely. From simply splitting their viewport, to fully customizing it with python scripting, blender works for you.
Blenderís interface also offers:
Consistency across all platforms
No disruptive pop-up windows
Crisp text (support for retina on OSX)
Download Blender portable download
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This is an exciting time, with the new-vamped Blender 2.5 currently under strong development. The alpha version is already very solid (try the latest build from graphicall.org - the "official" 2.5 alpha 2 on the Blender site, hmm, maybe not so stable). It's the perfect opportunity to get your feet wet with this marvellous and fun app, in readiness for the looming production-ready version 2.6. Start with basic 3D modeling, then to animating those models, then you can learn the video sequence editor (built-in NLE!) and even the built-in game engine! It's a powerful and actively-developed work of software art, I can only urge you to jump onboard and bring your dreams alive! I gave it a 10 for ease of use, not because it's easy (there is a considerable learning curve), but because once you've got your foot in the door, you begin to realise just how brilliantly-designed and fun this thing is! Congrats to the Blender Foundation (send 'em donations!). I've linked some guides (applicable to 2.5) that I can recommend for noobs to ease them gently into Blender. Happy blending!
Jun 11, 2010 Version: 2.52.5 r29387
OS: WinXP Ease: 10/10
I have tried all of the various "Personal Learning" versions of the major 3D packages, and I have to say that Blender can stand up to all of them any day. And it does it without being hobbled by resolution limitations or watermarks on your images.
The only thing that I don't like about it is that it does not seem to have a readily-apparent way to get the conventional 4-view setup that other packages have. Other than that, I really have no complaints. I use it primarily in Linux, and it's very fast. I can run it with ease, while Houdini Apprentice crashes my Linux system and wheezes hard in Vista.
I'll keep using Blender there until Lightwave shows up in Linux, and probably even beyond that. Even if they charged $100 for it, it's still a bargain. Fortunately, they don't.
Oct 23, 2008 Version: 2.48
OS: Vista Ease: 5/10
Just started using this wonderful software. Looks very promising. Open source just doesnt get better than this.. !!!
Sep 25, 2007 Version: 2.45
OS: WinXP Ease: 8/10
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