Image by Pockedstudio
The Blender Foundation and online developer community are proud to present Blender 2.77, released March 19th, 2016!   The 2.77a update was done on April 6, with a number of important bug fixes. In this release:
  • Cycles: Better Subsurface Scattering, GPU support for Smoke/Fire and Point Density.
  • Grease pencil stroke sculpting and improved workflow.
  • OpenVDB caching for smoke/volumetric simulations.
  • Reworked library handling to manage missing and deleted datablocks.
  • Redesigned progress bar.
  • Edit mode boolean tool, better decimate modifier.
  • Improved extruding and weight painting tools for sculpting/painting.
  • Support for Windows XP and the SCons build system was removed.
  • Blender now requires OpenGL 2.1 minimum
  • And: 100s of bug fixes and other improvements!
Download Blender 2.77a
What's new in Blender 2.77a

Cycles Rendering

  • Improved Subsurface Scattering, and faster SSS on GPUs.
  • Smoke/Fire and Point Density support on GPU.
  • Customizable motion blur position, support for rolling shutter.
  • Custom baking passes.
  • Performance optimizations for large node shaders.
  • Improved default settings.

User Interface

  • Progress bars got a complete design overhaul.
  • Support for multi-line text in tooltips, render stamps, frame nodes and meta data display.
  • Better anti-aliasing for OpenGL renders.
  • And more!

Modeling

  • Decimate modifier is now symmetry aware.
  • New Edit-mode boolean tool, useful to quickly perform edits
  • Selection tools got several improvements: face stepping option, checker select, next/previous, multiple axis mirror.
  • Option to get a default UV-unwrapping of new geometry added.
  • Other small improvements: triangulate & poke, grid-fill non uniform grids, hole support for intersect tool, split-by-edges tool

Sequencer

Strip Modifiers: added white balance and tone map strip modifier, it is now possible to append strip’s modifiers to all selected ones

Effects: speedup of Gaussian Blur effect

Strips

  • Importing new movie strips now uses movieclip framerate
  • Masks now can be both relative to strip and absolute to scene time
  • Nested scene strip support, word wrapped sequencer text
  • OpenGL previews Scene strips now respect the “Alpha Mode”

Sculpting/Painting

Improvements to snake-hook to drag out long extruded segments, and rotate the snake-hook brush using the new rake option.

Weight Painting

  • Better Auto-Normalize behaviour
  • Better Multi-Paint behaviour

Vertex Painting: Orbit last stroke support

Animation

Constraints: added new method to interpolate based on “Polar decomposition”.

Graph Editor: “Cursor X” property now allows fractional values when working with Drivers, added options to insert keyframes at the cursor point

Dope Sheet: better frame range for new editor instances

Armatures: selection now supports selecting children, immediate children and siblings, added options to draw custom shape scale

Motion Paths:  Clear Paths operator now acts on all objects/bones, Update Paths button is now shown in the toolbar too

Grease Pencil

Highlights include:

  • Stroke Sculpting
  • A proper “Edit Mode” in the 3D View
  • Recoded eraser with pressure sensitivity
  • An operator to restrict editing to the active layer only (Isolate Layer)
  • Transform Manipulator support
  • Animation editing improvements including Copy/Paste and more advanced channel filtering
  • … and many more UI tweaks

Datablocks & Libraries Management

Library Handling

  • In case of missing libraries on load, empty placeholder datablocks get added, which allows to restore or relink.
  • Missing libraries & linked datablocks are now shown in the Outliner with a small “broken lib” icon.
  • Deleting Libraries: you can now ‘delete’ a whole library, with all its linked datablocks

Game Engine

Adding a Max Jumps value to the character physics

Screenshot Actuator: the new screenshot mode can be found in the game actuator.

Saving screenshot done in different thread (please read the compatibility issues).

Add-ons

New Add-on: Blend File Utils, supports packing blend files including all their libraries and dependencies into a self contained ZIP file

Updated Add-ons:

  • OBJ IO: Added limited support for MTL texture mapping options
  • X3D/VRML IO: Expanded to support a larger subset of the standard

Python:

  • Python was upgraded to 3.5.1 which brings some improvements and changes for add-on and script writers.
  • All API load() functions now have a check_existing argument that defaults to false
  • New Module: gpu.offscreen, exposes the capability of handling offscreen drawing.
  • Removed: GreasePencil.draw_mode, as a result of Grease Pencil changes.

More Features

OpenVDB caching: smoke/volumetric simulations can now be cached using OpenVDB as a back-end

Better threading handling: Blender is now massively multi-threaded

Compositing: new invert option to the 2D stabilization node, use mask name as mask node label, expose track velocity as an output of Track Position node, new option to extend image bounds when blurring

Image Editor: now allows visualizing individual R,G and B channels

Cubemap: world textures are now supported in the Blender Internal engine 3D viewport

Spotlights: now they can be scaled on one or several axis (Rectangle and ellipse shapes).

Feature Videos

  • Compositor Improvements
  • Compositor 2D motion vector
  • Grease Pencil Stroke Sculpting
  • Grease Pencil Clone Brush
  • Grease Pencil Additive Drawing

Platform/System Changes

  • Removed support for Windows XP.
  • Blender now requires OpenGL 2.1 minimum
  • Blender now uses Python 3.5.1.
  • Removed the SCons build system.
  • Removed redcode library in favor of using ffmpeg which now supports redcode.

Bug Fixes

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

Ready?

Try these new features and more by yourself, download Blender 2.77 now. Blender is Free Software, free to use for any purpose.