The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.60. This is the beginning of the Blender 2.6x series, targeted at including all work that happened in branches or patches past years.
Most notable in this release is 3D audio, UI translation, improved weight painting and a lot of animation system updates. Check the list below for highlights and the full changelog.
Released: October 19th, 2011.
We’re reviewing with all branch/patch developers the status of their work and making a migration schedule for all new features. This could include projects like new Mesh editing (BMesh), paint/sculpt improvements, Rigid Body Physics, new Curve/Nurbs system (Nurbana), Ocean Sim render, Particle Nodes, OpenCL compositing, Cycles render engine, Camera/motion tracking, and so on.
We do this in a series of small steps; with stablest branches first. This is the “2.6x series” resulting in a number of releases named 2.60, 2.61, 2.62 and so on. Each release is supposed to be stable, only finished branches will be added. Plan is to make a very tight schedule for this, with a bi-monthly release.
For Blender 2.6x the UI, Python API and general design specifications will remain on 2.5 compatible level, although there are several 2.5 leftover projects to complete still.
3D audio and speaker objects were added, along with various improvements to the sound system. It’s now possible to place speaker objects in the scene, make an animation and mix down to an audio file. Sequence editor proxy support was restored, which can now work in the background, along with support for building timecodes to make scrubbing on all video types possible.
Vertex group modifiers were added. There are three modifiers: one to edit existing vertex groups, one to mix groups together, and another to generate vertex groups based on proximity to other objects. Weight painting tools were added to lock vertex groups, automatically maintain the ratio between different bones, and for fixing poor deformation of vertices.
Navigation Meshes were added for the game engine, used for path finding, so that actors can find the path to a target or flee away. This functionality was implemented using the Recast & Detour libraries.
Texture Face settings moved to materials, for consistency and easier editing. Existing files may need some updates.
Game engine animation was improved internally, with as main external change the unification of F-Curve and Shape Action Actuators into a single Action Actuator, which now includes layering support.
Two new addons have been added to the release: Screencast Keys, to show key presses on the screen for making video tutorials, and Motion Capture Tools, which includes various tools for working with motion capture animation. There have also been various fixes and improvements to importers and exporters, the measure panel, paint palettes, renderfarm.fi uploader, … see the list of addon changes for details.
Animation system improvements were done, especially relating to usability and to polish the interface. Includes changes to the graph editor, dopesheet editor, NLA editor, curves, drivers, constraints, posing, … Collada integration was improved, making import and export more complete and fixing various issues, especially related to armatures and animation.
Internationalization and support for non-western fonts were added, to display the user interface in languages other than English. Efforts to translate in the most common languages is underway, and volunteers are welcome to contribute translations.
Various other features have been added, including a frame node, sequence editor utility operators, improved outliner search, grease pencil poly line drawing, performance improvements, … List of changes.
While many new features have been added, many bugs have also been fixed, see the list of 165 notable bug fixes.
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