The Blender Foundation released Blender 2.77

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blenderThe Blender Foundation and online developer community released Blender 2.77 with more than 100 of bug fixes and improvements; honestly, this is a quite nice number of changes. Between the most noticeable changes belongs a new Subsurface Scattering algorithm - (Christensen-Burley). The new added Subsurface Scattering algorithm (Christensen-Burley), preserves details much better than the Cubic/Gaussian falloffs and It is the new default falloff for the SSS shader. The new version include GPU support for Smoke/Fire, Point Density (3D textures) and optimize memory usage and performance of Subsurface Scattering on the GPU which at the end results in up to 3x faster SSS renders! As a result of the new changes in GPU rendering, the developers decided to remove the experimental CUDA kernel and make Subsurface Scattering and Correlated Multi-jittered sampling regular features. The user interface and therefore also the workflow was improved too and adds stroke sculpting support to the Grease Pencil, implements OpenVDB caching for both volumetric and smoke simulations, and it now offers a redesigned progress bar, thus completing the design overhaul.

Moreover, some improvements was given also to the modeling and the decimate modifier is now symmetry aware with support for multi-line text in frame nodes, metadata display, render stamps, and tooltips, a new Edit-mode Boolean tool was introduced for fast editing. Other small improvements: triangulate & poke, grid-fill non uniform grids, hole support for intersect tool, split-by-edges tool.

 

What's New in Blender 2.77

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!
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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.

Grease Pencil

  • 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).
  • Animation editing improvements including Copy/Paste and more advanced channel filtering.


Bottom line, the support for the deprecated Microsoft Windows XP operating system has been removed together with SCons build system. Blender now uses Python 3.5.1. as the programing language..

More information at: blender.org