The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.61. The 2.6x series is being targeted at including all work that happened in branches or patches past years.
Most notable in this release is the new render engine Cycles, the Camera Tracker, Ocean Simulation texture and Dynamic Paint. Check the list below for highlights and the full changelog.
Released: December 14th, 2011.
Cycles is a new render engine that is available next to Blender Internal. It is a raytracing based render engine with support for interactive rendering, a new shading node system, new texture workflow and GPU acceleration. It is still in development, and more production features are planned to be added, this is the first preview release.
Dynamic paint is a new modifier and physics system that can turn objects into paint canvases and brushes, creating vertex colors, image sequences or displacement. This makes many effects possible that were previously difficult to achieve, for example footsteps in the snow, raindrops that make the ground wet, paint that sticks to walls, or objects that gradually freeze.
Camera sensor size and presets, improved image saving, 3D mouse color wheel editing, more translations to other languages, node muting improvements, region drawing tweaks, and many more small changes.
New Addons in this release are an Adobe After Effects exporter, Atomic Blender (Protein Data Bank) file importer, Acclaim and C3D motion capture importers, and Nuke camera animation exporter and importer.
Motion tracking support has been added, to reconstruct camera animation from real footage, and composite 3d rendered object into movie clips. A new Movie Clip editor for loading clips, tracking points and reconstructing motion was added. Constraints can apply this reconstructed motion into the scene, and compositing nodes are available for (un)distorting rendered animations or real footage.
Ocean simulation tools take the form of a modifier, to simulate and generate a deforming ocean surface, and associated texture, used to render the simulation data. Ported from the open source Houdini Ocean Toolkit, it is intended to simulate deep ocean waves and foam.
The render engine API has been extended for closer integration, a mechanism to detect changes in scenes and persistent callbacks were added, the noise module was updated, and easier access to library datablocks was added, along with various other changes.
180 bugs that existed in previous releases have been fixed!
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