Blender releases major update

Sep 13, 2017 at 11:01 am by SchelleFire

The Blender Foundation released a major update to its open-source 3D modeling software, the foundation announced on Tuesday.

The new release, Blender 2.79 includes many new features like Denoise, Filmic Color Management, PBR Shader, Faster OpenCL, Shadow Catcher, More Cycles Improvements, Modeling & Modifiers, Animation, Grease Pencil, User Interface, Alembic, Python API, Add-ons, and Bug Fixes.

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Denoise: Get rid of render noise while preserving visual detail as well as possible. Same render time, buttery smooth.

Filmic Color Management: A new Filmic view transform has been added, for more photorealistic results and better handling of high dynamic range.

PBR Shader: Based on the Disney model, the principled BSDF is a new surface shader node. Combining multiple layers into a single easy to use node.

Faster OpenCL: Blender 2.79 features much faster AMD OpenCL rendering and feature parity with NVIDIA CUDA. Including support for Subsurface Scattering, Volumetrics and optimized transparent shadows.
Note to macOS users: AMD is currently working on the drivers, OpenCL rendering should work once they are updated.

Shadow Catcher: Combine CGI elements with real-life footage easily with the new Shadow Catcher feature for Cycles.
Any object in the scene can be a shadow catcher. Controlled by the "Shadow Catcher" option in the object settings. This option will make the object to only receive shadows in a way that it could be composed onto another image.

More Cycles Improvements: Shaders compilation is now multithreaded, a new light sampling threshold feature was added, speedups up to 20% for CPUs that support AVX2, brick textures have now smoothing and a long-waited feature: texture coordinates for point, spot and area lamps!

Modeling & Modifiers: New Modifier! Surface Deform, transfers motion from another mesh.

Plus a whole bunch of updates. Some of them are:

Displace Modifier: Multi-threading support and new Global/Local space option for X/Y/Z/XYZ directions.
Mirror Modifier: add offset for mirrored UVs.
Mesh intersect has a new Cut separate mode, keeping each side of the intersection separate without splitting faces in half.
New tool to Set custom normals from selected faces.
Improved center of mass calculation for mesh centers.

Plus, Grease Pencil
New tools for interpolating between grease pencil frames.
Per-layer onion skinning, add blank frame tool, and UI improvements.
Numpad keys now work when doing sculpt sessions.
Operator to add a blank frame
Reproject Strokes option to project strokes onto geometry
UI improvements
Read more

And User Interface
Application templates to define a reusable configuration
Automatic scaling for high DPI displays on Windows and Linux
Image empties now support multi-view stereo
Reorganized sequencer and UV editor panels
Custom shortcuts for keyframing and drivers
More tooltips now show the reason why the button is disabled
Add-on duplicates warning now includes paths
Read more

There's more: Add-ons
Blender 2.79 packs a bunch of new add-ons that greatly expand Blender's functionality, allowing you to create architectural environments using parametric windows and walls, to make beautiful skies, or even meta-rigs to animate cats and horses!

AR comes to Android with the ARCore SDK

Unity and Google have a shared vision of democratizing Virtual and Augmented Reality development. Unity's XR team has been working hand-in-hand with the Immersive Computing team at Google to overcome some of the most difficult challenges AR development presents.

One of the biggest hurdles that developers face is ensuring that their apps and experiences are available to the widest possible audience. To overcome this, AR needs to work on hardware that users already own, such as mobile devices. Technologies like ARCore present new opportunities for delivering AR experiences to millions of users. With this SDK, developers can use Unity to easily create new high-performance AR Android Apps or upgrade existing apps with exciting AR functionality.

Read the blog post

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Originally designed for Hollywood's elite colorists, DaVinci Resolve has been released a new version. Watch this about it.

Michelle Willard, Editor of Renderosity Magazine | Former newspaper reporter. Recovering archaeologist. Political nerd. True crime junkie. Read her articles here

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