Blender released a new version 3/31. The short list of improvements is:
- Cycles got several precision, noise, speed, memory improvements, new Pointiness attribute.
- Viewport has new cool compositing features, outliner now manages orphan data-blocks better.
- Modeling now allows custom normals, and transferring data layers between meshes!
- Massive improvements to hair dynamics and editing tools: a big step forward with more to come…
- A new tool “Cavity Mask” was added to sculpting/painting, along with other improvements.
- Great memory consumption optimization in Freestyle NPR stroke rendering.
- Grease pencil and Game engine improvements, and more…
After a first look through the features, I don’t see anything of particular interest to Second Life developers.
The easy installs on Windows are done using the ZIP file package. If you have been downloading the EXE installer, try the ZIP installer. You can use Windows’ built-in ZIP handler or ZipGenius, 7-Zip, or any number of free apps for handling ZIP files.
- Unzip the ZIP file to a drive with room. I keep mine on my large data drive. You can even put this version on a USB Memory Chip/Drive. I use Unzip Here, it places all the Blender files into a folder named blender-2.74-windows64.
- Once unpacked look in the folder and find the file blender.exe. Right-click and select Create Shortcut. Let it place that in the folder with blender.exe.
- You can right-click the new shortcut, select Rename to rename it if you want. I name mine with a version number: Blender 2.74.
- Right-click the short cut again and select Pin to Taskbar. At this point you have a useable install.
I’ll assume you have Blender 2.73a installed now and would like to transfer your preferences, recent files and etc. to the new install. To get started open and close Blender. While it is open go into the menu Files, pick User Preferences…, and click the Save User Settings button. This will create the folder structure we need for the next step.
Copy the files in the config folder of Blender_ver from a previous version to the new config folder. Your done and Blender is ready to use will your previous preferences and recent files.
If you use Avastar, you need to install it into the new version. The current release of AvaStar is: avastar-1.4-3_blender-2-70. Download AvaStar here.
To install to a new version, open Blender.
- Open File->User Preferences.
- Click Install from File… navigate to the AvaStar zip file and select it.
- When it load, check the box in the upper right to enable it.
- Click Save User Settings.
- Close User Preferences.
You should be ready to go. Now, if something doesn’t work, you still have the previous install to fall back on. You can add as many versions as you want. They do not conflict nor mess up your computer’s settings.