A new version of Blender is out. Yay! Get your Blender 2.64 download here. I strongly recommend using the archive install. This review is a quick first look. I’ll write more once I’m using it, if something is too fun not to share.
I recommend using the Archive install. I wrote about how to do that type of install and the reasons for it in: Blender 2.57b Released. It can make your life with Blender much easier. I know running SETUP seems easier. But, there are so many gotchas with the Window’s install it turns out to be much easier to install the Archive.
The big change for Second Life users is the Blender 2.64 Collada Export. Check out the new export panel for Collada. In my image you see the default settings. You’ll need to change those before exporting for Second Life™.
Collada is a good export format. It has been somewhat neglected, IMO, for the past few years. Since the adoption of the format by Linden Lab™ the format has gotten more attention.
I think a big change is the ability to non-destructively apply modifiers when exporting.
In the description of what the Export for Second Life does I recognize Gaia Clary’s statement in regard to how it is named. She would like a more meaningful name for the feature. The name dies not really describe what the feature does, which has to do with bone rotations. I like it as is because I think it is free advertising for SL.
You can get plug-ins and more for use with Blender from their Resources page.
The release notes for Blender 2.64 can be found here.
Nodes have been improved and image editing filters have been added.
Cycles has been improved. Cycles is the new render process. One can render large Hi-Def images, which isn’t all that much use for SL users. It is also faster. There is some shadow support feature that takes advantage of nVidia 600 series features.
In the mesh tools were added and improved. Bevels should work better. There is a wire-frame tool I don’t understand yet.
The following video shows off Bsurfaces. It runs 35 minutes.[vimeo 26339130]
Masking has been added to make sculpting a model easier. The Bsurf tools have been improved, which is a big plus for SL modelers… and modelers everywhere. There are enough Bsurf improvements they are labeled Bsurfaces v1.5. There is a long list of changes listed on the page and a video. While the video is labeled v1.5 I think it is one I saw some time ago. I linked directly to it below. If you haven’t used Bsurf tools be sure to check out the video.
A new skin modifier has been added. It looks like it may be useful for creating simplified clothes.
There are a number of small change in the interface, node editor, smoke simulation (no use for SL peeps), new tools for curves, and mesh.
And… they fixed a bug or million.