I see this morning that Blender has a Release Candidate 1 out. Get some more details here and download a copy.
For those of us in Second Life(TM) doing production work, we’ll want to wait for the main release. This version has new rendering engine stuff, which while improving baking of textures does little else for us.
If you use the archive install process for Blender it is easy to have multiple copies of Blender and AvaStar installed and working. The Archive Install is simply a matter of getting the ZIP version and unzipping a to a folder. Run from the folder. It is a separate and completely functional copy of Blender. You can add AvaStar and other modules without affecting other versions of Blender. WAY handy.
The Blender 2.79 Release Notes are here.
This version comes with a warning about incompatibilities with earlier versions of Blender when using some add-ons. If a .blend file is made with 2.79 and some certain add-ons (unnamed) the .blend file will crash Blender 2.78c and earlier versions.
This morning one person in the Blender-AvaStar group says they have been using the nightly builds and no problem with AvaStar. They weren’t specific about whether they had tested for the backward compatibility issues in the warning. So, if you try 2.79RC, it is probably wise to avoid the use of important files.
In this version, there are some improvements to Cycles baking, mirror modifiers (which makes me happy), minor new modeling tools and improvements, animation improvements (better undo for one), and a load of bug fixes. There is nothing new here that is a must have for those modeling for SL.
If you haven’t recently checked the AvaStar tutorials, take a look. I’ve noticed 3 new recent tutorials for AvaStar 2 & Blender 2.78.