We have a new release of Blender as of 9/12. I always want to know what is the new release going to do for me in my work flow for Second Life. So, the TL:DR take is it messes up some things I do. But, not too bad. It looks like 2.8 will trip me worse. Still, for production, you’ll probably want to stay with 2.78c for a bit longer.
For those working with Sansar, this is going to be an improvement. It will probably mess up your work flow a bit too. But, you’ll be getting advantages you can use in Sansar, like PBR. I’ll have to figure out if there is any ‘serious’ advantage for me in SL.
The release announcement is here: Blender 2.79.
I haven’t learned enough, yet, to comment on 2.79 accurately. So, these are the videos I think give us the information we need. This one is pre-release of 2.79. The short one first. This is about the video Blender can output when rendering. Mikey obviously hasn’t kept up on what is being done with Blender 2.8.
This next one is the better presentation of new features. It is a quick overview and at 18 minutes it should give you an idea of how much new stuff is in 2.79.
What I Learned So Far…
The new Blender is better for recording renders for YouTube. I don’t do a lot of that. I have Adobe Premier Pro for work. But, Blender is adding features to be more of a Premiere Pro style editor. For Blender generated video, I think they will get there. For cleaning up RL video, I don’t see how they will catch up with Adobe.
AMD video cards are generally better for rendering in Blender, better as in faster. But, not by much. I’ll be sticking with NIVIDA.
While Blender got better Alembic file support, a growing industry format, neither SL nor Sansar support it, AFAIK.
The grease pencil does more. I seldom use it for more than making a mark on my screen to use for lining something up.
There are a couple of UI changes that will improve my work flow: TM2 – 09:20. (TM 2 = second video)
The UV Mapping features improve. These will help me.
Some minor changes in sculpting, which I SELDOM do.
UV Mapping has a generate UV that works pretty well. This may help.
The new particle stuff is no use in SL work.
Better undo for animation. I suspect I will use that.
There is a new surface deform modifier, to transfer motion from another mesh. The displace and mirror modifiers are improved. And there are various small new tools and options.
In the release notes, you’ll find links to a load of add-ons for Blender 2.79. Be clear. Using add-ons with 2.79 makes your .blend file incompatible with previous versions of Blender… I should say ‘may make’ to be completely accurate. On a practical level, it depends on the add-on and is then will or won’t. But, you have to know how the add-on was coded to know… So… for most of us it will be trial and error. I’ll assume 2.79 files will be incompatible with earlier versions. (Notice the period.)
Download & Install
If you install Blender, the download is here: Blender 2.79 installer, Windows, Mac, Linux. For those that have gotten smart and avoid the Windows install and use the standalone version, the ZIP file is a bit harder to find this time. They are strongly pointing everyone at the installer files. However, you will find the ZIP files here: Blender 2.79 zip, actually the link is to all the various versions, final and RC.
You can avoid a lot of problems with Windows by using the Windows ZIP version. Unzipping the files and having all the Blender files in a folder anywhere on the computer is handy. Make a shortcut to the blender.exe file in the folder (right-click and select Pin to Taskbar) and you are up and running.
This allows you to EASILY switch between Blender versions. Just start the version you want to run. No uninstall, re-install… Done with a version, delete the folder. Everything is separate and clean.