Blender 2.60 Released

A new release is out. There are reports of some new problems for those importing rigged mesh to Second Life. Some rigged Collada model uploads are failing. The Lindens know the reports and in yesterday’s Mesh Content group it was discussed. So, a fix is already in the works.

New Blender 2.60

3D Audio

This is the big NEW feature for this release. However, it cannot be used for anything in Second Life. The SL viewer has its own sound system. This feature is for those making animated videos and games in Blender. It is an OpenAL thing.

Animation System

This is an improvement to an existing feature in Blender. The user interface has been polished and usability improved. Also Collada integration has been improved; I suppose they mean integration with the animation system. The release information links to a section on Full Collada Animation Support.

People do use Blender to make animations for SL avatars.

Vertex Weight

In Second Life we use weight painting with rigged mesh, which affects clothes making. That feature has been improved and enhanced.

New Add-Ons

There are a couple of new add-ons and improvements to existing add-ons. So, I suppose you may need to download new copies of some of the ‘extra’ add-ons. See Blender 2.6 Add-Ons.

Other Improvements

Other improved parts of Blender are; User Interface translations or internationalization, Game Engine, Python API stuff, Screen Cast keys, Motion Capture tools, and more.

See the Blender 2.6 release information for more details.

My Experience

I’ve been working with high vertex count terrain in 2.59 and having problems. When working in Edit Mode to edit a 768×768 vertex (500+ million vertices) terrain mode I’ve had a lot of crashes. I can watch the memory consumption go up with each vertex selection until Blender crashes.

I tried the same editing today with 2.60. That particular problem seems to be fixed. Also, the section process and rotating the viewer are less sluggish. So, it is much nicer working on my terrain in 2.60.

Simple Blender Install

Blender versions advance quickly. Those of us that have to make our work in Blender compatible with other programs run into some challenges. Some special features only run in specific Blender versions. Also some parts of older Blender versions work better with other programs. Very quickly we learn we need to have multiple versions of Blender installed. Using the standard Blender install program can make that complicated. Too many programs are being updated by the Blender install that affect other programs in our computers and especially other versions of Blender.

There is a simple solution. Download and use the Blender Zip Archive. The zip file contains a working copy of Blender in a folder. The folder can be placed anywhere in your file system and work. One unzips the file to a folder, opens the folder, navigates to the blender.exe file, right click and drag it to the desktop or Launch Bar, release, and select Create Shortcut. That’s it. You have an independent install of Blender.

Uninstall

At some point one needs to get rid of some of the versions. Delete the folder the version is in. Delete the shortcut icon. That’s it. The removal has no effect on other programs.

Summing It Up

Like any other software, Blender is better, has many bug fixes, a few new features, and some new bugs. In general it seems better.

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