Cycles Rendering

New Point Density Texture

  • Creates voxel texture at shader compilation time, in a way that  keeps render time as low as possible, but not totally memory efficient: in the future this will be compensated by using OpenVDB for more efficient storage of sparse volume data.

Improvements for AMD GPUs

  • stability on Windows / Linux and compatibility with OSX El Capitan
  • is now possible to use wider variety of different GPUs

Other improvements:

  • Camera zoom motion blur support: initial implementation, will get future improvements
  • Support for extended and clipped image texture extension (repeat/extend/clip)
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User interface


  • the ongoing viewport project brought a big performance boost!
  • this improved both draw performance and memory usage for mesh data in general
  • improvements may be noticeable on more complex scenes, sculpting and painting

Other improvements:

  • Node Editor: auto-offset of existing nodes when adding a new one, a real time-saver!
  • File Browser:
    • Arrow-key navigation and selection.
    • Huge rework of internal code, now quicker & lighter.
  • It’s now possible to get the correct (user edited) shortcuts of modal operators
  • And more!
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  • Two new tools: Flatten faces and edge offset
  • Data Transfer supports transferring data between equal meshes better
  • Absolute grid snapping for the 3D view was added
  • Displace modifier custom normals support
  • And more!
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  • Initial integration of the Pixar OpenSubdiv library
  • Greatly improves viewport playback performance
  • GPU tessellation support
  • Improves edge sharpness
  • And more!
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Added new “Text” effect type, which

  • displays in the strip the text that will be inserted in the final sequence
  • includes options about text, size, shadow and position
  • allows exporting subtitles in .srt format

Fixed/enhanced a few selection modes issues of VSE

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Freestyle NPR rendering

Freestyle memory consumption was reduced

  • Optimized for space and less memory is consumed in the rendering process.
  • Depending on the scene, actual memory consumption reduction, on average, of 7.2%.
  • Part of the outcome from project financially supported by the Blender Foundation Developer Fund.

New stroke modifiers were implemented, allowing for a wider variety of user-defined line styles: Noise, Tangent, 3D curvature, Crease angle, Simplification.

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Weight paint smoothing: replace Blend with Smooth tool, improved behavior:

  • can smooth # iterations
  • option to expand/contract weights
  • optionally mix with all/selected/unselected

Sculpting with tiled strokes.

  • Adds 3D-Tiling options to the sculpt tool, in a way similar to the symmetry options (replicates the strokes)
  • Allows to create geometry that can be tiled seamless
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New Bone Selection Sets add-on

  • Developed during the gooseberry film (Cosmos Laundromat), has been added to official add-ons for Blender.
  • Allows storing sets of bones and selecting/unselecting them at a later time.

New Clean Channels Tool

  • Acts like a Clean Keyframes tool but will also delete the channel if it has only a single keyframe containing the default property value and it’s not being used by any generative f-curve modifiers or drivers.

A few other improvements: F-Curves finder for Python interface, New Disable Modifier toggle, Clearing of Fake User action from the NLA stack, armature dissolve (Delete menu)

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Game Engine

Game Publishing Addon

  • The addon is now out of beta and benefits of subtle UI changes, moving the platforms “publish” option and assets path chooser inside of their respective lists widgets, some minor changes internally.

Other improvements:

  • Camera lens shift support to produce architecture-like two vanishing point renders and to match projector offsets.
  • Angular velocity clamping is now possible, fixed velocity clamping units display
  • 2D Filter now supports integer properties as uniforms
  • New python submodule to access application values that remain unchanged during runtime (similar to
  • Material settings can be edited in python (KX_BlenderMaterial) like: alpha, hardness, emit, specular, diffuse
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FBX import/export:

  • Added options to: not import custom normals, to not force export keyframe at start/end of action
  • Added support for relative shape keys based on non-Basis relative shape keys, reworked UI in a tab-like way

Other improvements:

  • OBJ import/export: added full support for (standard extension) MTL emission of material
  • UV Addon: Copy/Paste UV updated to version 3.0: new features added: Flip/Rotate UV, Transfer UV
  • Python API mathutils.bvhtree exposes a BVH-tree data structures, to Python developers
  • Other: RNA: Object.shape_key_remove method, UI: option to pass “icon_value” to menus
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More Features

Animation/Movie player improvements:

  • it now supports sound playback for movies
  • is now possible to pause and start a movie by using Space
  • an indicator feature was added to display the current position in the played movie

Other improvements:

  • Sculpting now allows tiling strokes to create repeating patterns while sculpting.
  • Datablock Previews in .blend Files: added preview to Object, Group and Scene IDs, now also exposes ID previews to RNA.
  • Multiple Link/Append at Once: is now possible to select and link/append multiple datablocks (of different types and even from different files) in a single operation.
  • Other minor improvements
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Feature Videos

Have a look at some of the above mentioned features in the demo videos made by the Blender community.

Bug Fixes

As for every Blender release, hundreds of bugs were fixed, thanks to the hardworking Blender developers.

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