Basic Volume Rendering is now officially available on GPU, and (experimentally) Subsurface Scattering and Correlated Multi Jitter sampling too. Several improvements also about Volume rendering, Shading and general performance. Anamorphic bokeh can now be simulated with the aperture ratio settings. Other improvements in nodes, baking and an updated OSL. A Quick Smoke node setup is now available.

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User Interface

The long awaited Pie menus feature has arrived, allowing for menu items spread radially around the mouse, and tooltips have been redesigned. BI render preview behaves similar to Cycle’s, units parsing/handling in user inputs has been enhanced, and other small improvements.

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Small changes in the editors, to ease channel filtering and datablock cleanup. Minor changes to improve armature’s undo workflow, and DOF hints in IK constraints.

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New “Face split by edges” tool, to to split selected faces by loose wire edges and new options in “Dissolve vertex”, “Select manifold” and “Bevel” tools. New “Editmesh Intersect” tool to you quickly cut up geometry in editmode, Array modifier performance enhancement

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Sculpting / Painting

Texture painting has a new workflow more tied to the mesh’s materials, and also displays any material textures suitable for painting, allowing for an easy selection. In texture painting, the user can use a gradient as a source for color. New tools: “Sharpen tool”, “Fill tool”, with several options, “Mask tool” for an easy use of the stencil feature in projective texturing, then “Brush Opacity Control”, “Mask Pressure support” and 16 new blend modes. For all paint modes, new line/curved stroke moded, unified colors for brushes, support for palettes, and usability improvements.

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New “Sun Beams” to simulate the effect of bright light getting scattered in a medium (effect usually known as “Crepuscular Rays”), generating sub beams from existing light sources with many customization options, giving an alternative that does not require full (slow) volumetric lighting rendering.

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Game Development

Many new (perhaps minor) useful features: new “Property Sensor” evaluation types, “Mouse” actuator, “Track To” actuator menus, “Level mode” for “Property” actuator, “X-Ray” and “Property/Material” detection for mouse over any sensor, BGE debug API, constraint wrapper API, and unfortunately a few compatibility issues.

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Freestyle Non-photorealistic Rendering

The Freestyle line rendering engine has been integrated also into Cycles, with most options working in the same way as with BI renderer, and a couple of shader nodes have been added. For both BI and Cycles a new Freestyle-specific color property named “Freestyle line” has been introduced in material ID data blocks. Moreover, the implementation of the Freestyle Python API has been significantly improved.

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More Features

In the 3D View weight paint tools now also available in Edit mode and weights are drawn also in wireframe mode . BI rendered viewport now gives much smoother viewport navigation. Improvements in how temporary data storage is managed to help keeping a clean temporary folder. Render result caching added as a simple way to save an EXR cache. Added ‘Reload render’ feature to the Image Editor to reload last render from cache when opening a .blend file. In compositor, defining the viewer node border preserves frame content, allowing to easily have a visual comparison of tweaked and non-tweaked areas. Color Ramps have new HSV and HSL interpolation options.

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FBX improvements: Import now supports armatures, shapekeys, animations, with shapekeys also being supported for export. New DXF importer with support for 3D(SubD) geometry, and geo-referencing. It imports curve types as curves and adds control over various geometry merge options. New UV add-on for align distribution and copy/paste (!!) of UVs. New Game Publishing Add-on is available for game developers! New add-on for named layers & grouped layer management.

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Feature Videos

For a visual demonstration of some of the new features in this release, check out the feature videos created during the development of this release.

Bug Fixes

In addition to the new features, hundreds of bugs that existed in previous releases have been fixed.

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