Blender is an open source software for 3D modeling, rendering, animation, post-production, interactive creation and playback. Available for Windows, Linux, Irix, Sun Solaris, FreeBSD or Mac OS X.
- A range of 3D object types including polygon meshes, NURBS surfaces, bezier and B-spline curves, metaballs, vector fonts (TrueType, PostScript, OpenType)
- 'Smooth proxy' style catmull-clark subdivision surfaces
- Boolean mesh functions
- Editing functions such as extrude, bevel, cut, spin, screw, warp, subdivide, noise, smooth Soft selection editing tools for organic modeling
- Python scripting access for custom tools
- Armature (skeleton) deformation with forward/inverse kinematics, auto skinning and interactive 3D paint for vertex weighting
- Non-linear animation mixer with automated walkcycles along paths
- Constraint system
- Vertex key framing for morphing, with controlling sliders
- Character animation pose editor
- Animatable lattice deformation
- 'Ipo' system integrates both motion curve and traditional key-frame editing
- Audio playback, mixing and editing support for sound synchronisation
- Python scripting access for custom and procedural animation effects
Realtime 3D/game creation
- Graphical editor for defining interactive behavior without programming
- Collision detection and dynamics simulation
- Python scripting API for sophisticated control and AI, fully defined advanced game logic
- Supports all OpenGL™ lighting modes, including transparencies, Animated and reflection-mapped textures
- Playback of games and interactive 3D content without compiling or preprocessing
- Audio, using the fmod toolkit
- Multi-layering of Scenes for overlay interfaces
- Very fast inbuilt raytracer
- Integral support for the famous Yafray render engine
- Oversampling, motion blur, post-production effects, fields, non-square pixels
- Environment maps, halos, lens flares, fog
- Various surface shaders such as Lambert, Phong, Oren-nayar, Blinn, Toon
- Edge rendering for toon shading
- Procedural Textures
- Ambient Occlusion
- Radiosity solver
- Export scripts available for external renderers such as Renderman (RIB), Povray, Virtualight
- UV texture editor with various mesh unwrap modes
- Flexible user configurable window layout
- Powerful object-oriented data system
- Anti-aliased fonts with international translation support
- Windows for animation curves/keys, schematic scene diagram, non-linear video sequence editing, character animation action editor, non-linear animation mixer, image/UV editing, file/image selection and file management
- Inbuilt text editor for annotations and editing Python scripts
- Consistent interface across multiple platforms
- Save all scene data in a single .blend file
- .blend format supports compression, digital signatures, encryption, forwards/backwards compatibility and can be used as a library to link to from other .blend files
- Read / Write TGA, JPG, PNG, Iris, SGI Movie, IFF, AVI and Quicktime GIF, TIFF, PSD, MOV (Windows and Mac OS X)
- Native import and export for DXF, Inventor and VRML files, with python scripts available for many other 3D formats
- Create stand-alone executables containing interactive 3D content or play back with the 3d web browser plugin
Fire and Smoke
Fire simulation was added to the Smoke Simulator. The domain received major updates to improve performance and usability. Smoke can be emitted from mesh surfaces, without the need for a particle system. A smoke flow force field was added to improve interaction with other simulations. Colored smoke simulation and mixing is possible and the interaction of smoke with collision objects has been improved.
The bevel tool now includes rounding and was otherwise much improved, preserving the requested bevel width more evenly and generating better topology. A new symmetrize tool was added to make mesh topology and data symmetric.
New features include: a tool transfer vertex weights from one mesh to another, antialiased viewport drawing, connected proportional editing in UV editor, improved DPX file read and write, more control over curve taper, collision masks in the game engine and improved camera title safe drawing.
Support for writing custom shaders in the Open Shading Language is now available. Motion blur rendering was also added, to make moving objects and cameras appear blurry. There is also an anisotropic shading node, and BSDF nodes can now have different normals, which can be set using the new bump and normal map nodes.
The decimator was rewritten, and now preserves UV's and vertex colors, has an un-subdivide and a mode to dissolve vertices to create planar n-gons. A new laplacian smooth modifier can reduce noise or smooth the mesh while preserving edges and volume. A triangulate modifier was also added, which can be useful for creating game assets with baked normal maps.
New features include initial support for volumetrics in Cycles, and faster rendering of hair and textures. The motion tracker now supports weighted tracks and has improved planar tracking. For mesh modeling there are new Laplacian deform and wireframe modifiers, along with more control in the bevel tool. The game engine now supports object levels of detail.
The first results from the new user interface project are also in this release, with dozens of changes to make the interface more consistent and powerful. This is also the first release of the multithreaded dependency graph, which makes modifier and constraint evaluation faster in scenes with multiple objects.
Cycles now has initial support for volume rendering including emission, absorption and scattering. Volume rendering can be used to render effects like fire, smoke, mist, absorption in glass, and many other effects that can't be represented by surface meshes alone.
CPU rendering performance was improved, particularly for hair, textures and Open Shading Language.
Trackers can now be weighted, to keep the result stable as feature disappear or become difficult to track. The plane track workflow was improved to be easier to control. Automatic feature detection was made more robust using a new detector algorithm.
The toolbar now has tabs to organize tools in categories. Multiple buttons can now be edited at once, for example for XYZ axes or color channels. Transform tools now have a mode to enter expressions and units. Other changes were done to improve lists, header menus, tooltips, buttons, menus and more.
The Laplacian Deform modifier was added to pose a mesh while preserving geometric details of the surface, and a new wireframe modifier allows you transform your mesh into a wireframe representation. The boolean modifier now supports ngons, and there are improvements to the bevel, screw and triangulate modifiers.
The bevel tool now offers more control over the bevel profile and results, and the knife tool was improved as well.
Threaded Dependency Graph
An important change that happened under the hood is the threaded dependency graph. This means that object modifiers and constraints, among other things, can now be computed with multiple threads taking advantage of multicore processors. This will be most noticeable with scenes that have many objects, or multiple objects with heavy modifiers. This is the first step in making the dependency graph in Blender more powerful.
The Blender game engine now supports discrete level of detail for meshes. For game developers, support for working with Photoshop PSD files has been added.
A new view navigation walk mode has been added, which has a control scheme as typically found in first person shooter games. This can be useful for game developers to navigate levels as if in a game.
Freestyle NPR Rendering
The Freestyle Python API is an essential part that makes it a highly programmable NPR rendering engine. This API has been reorganized.
Many small changes and features were done all over Blender. Some notable new feature are normalized display for FCurves, derivative map baking, baking to vertex colors, better visualization of masks and control over mask filling, gravity option for sculpting, negative texture values to support vector displacement and a Lamp Data shading node to create more customized NPR shaders.
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.
Several addons have been added and updated, including Node Wrangler (aka Node Efficiency Tools) and a new Sketchfab Exporter addon
In addition to the new features, over 560 bugs that existed in previous releases have been fixed.