Blender 2.68 Released SL Review

Thursday July 18th Blender.org released a new version of Blender. This is an important update for Second Life™ users that are doing weight painting.

Blender 2.68 Released

Blender 2.68 Released

You’ll find the Blender 2.68 Release Notes here. 

Security

A change in this version is how Python scripts work when opening a ‘blend’ file. Blender.org says,

The ability to include Python scripts within blend files is valuable for advanced tasks such as rigging, automation and using the game-engine, however it poses a security risk since Python doesn’t restrict what a script can do.

Therefor, you should only run scripts from sources you know and trust.

Automatic execution is disabled by default, however some blend files need this to function properly.

When a blend file tries to execute a script and is not allowed, a message will appear in the header with the option to Reload Trusted or Ignore the message.

I am guessing some files and add-ons may have a problem with this but, it improves the safety of Blender. Also, you may have a better understanding of what the ‘Trusted Source’ option in file open is about.

Get more Blender Security information here.

Addons

Texture Atlas is an addon to bake shadow and lightmaps for an entire scene. I don’t see this as a help for SL users.

Edit Linked Library is an addon that allows Quick editing of linked assets. I suppose there might be some benefit to SL users. But, I don’t see it fitting in my workflow.

There is some API stuff I’m unsure about. I don’t see it of being of much use to my workflow.

Cycles Render

Several improvements and better performance have been made to the Cycles Rendering engine. As this is not a render engine that bakes normal and specular maps I don’t see it of helping with SL workflow. If I’m missing something here, let me know.

It is fun to play with.

Modeling

Here are a number of improvements that should help SL users. The Blender 2.68 Modeling Improvements are listed here.

New Bridging Features

New Bridging Features

The bridge tool has been improved. I can see this helping me. Blender.org describes the improvement as, “The bridge tools has been rewritten to include support for more advanced features such as bridging between loops of different size, the ability to bridge multiple loops at once, subdivision, surface blending and bridging face regions.

There are more so check them out.

Motion Tracking

For making models for use in SL, I can’t see these improvements doing much for us. They might help machinamists… but I wouldn’t really know.

Physics

This is about way neat affects in Blender. Not much use for SL users, but way way neat looking.

Python Security

I covered this above.

Usability

The weight painting changes are group in here.

  • Reworked Weight Paint panel and added make it work in weight paint mode when vertex selection is enabled. (r57468)
  • Weight tools such as limit-total, levels, clear – that operate on many groups can now select from active/deformed/non-deformed/all. (r57005)

These are improvements that should help SL users. I am hoping they will make my life easier. The changes may let me complete a skirt model and tutorial I’ve been fighting with for months.

The other improvements are of less help to the SL community, but are handy improvements to the system. Some like double clicking to select a word in text and python editing seem minor, but are things missed by those used to having that in other editors.

See: Blender 2.68 Usability Improvements.

Summary

This is a nice update and greatly appreciated. Make a donation to Blender.org (button in right-hand column) to keep work proceeding and show your appreciation.

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