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Blender 2.65 Released 93

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-it-out dept.
skade88 writes "Blender 2.65 has been released. Here is a quote from the Blender team: 'The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.65. We focused on making this the most stable release in the 2.6 cycle yet, fixing over 200 bugs. Fire simulation was added along with many improvements in smoke simulation. In Cycles, motion blur, open shading language and anisotropic shading support was added. For mesh modeling, the bevel tool was much improved, a new symmetrize mesh tool was added, and new Laplacian smooth, decimate, and triangulate modifiers are available.'"
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Blender 2.65 Released

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  • Oh, sweet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Monday December 17, 2012 @11:56AM (#42314389)

    I was fiddling around all last week to try to get a decent fire in Blender using particle systems.

    This should make it a snap.

  • by stepdown (1352479) on Monday December 17, 2012 @11:57AM (#42314397) Journal
    For those wondering what Blender is, according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] it's "a free and open-source 3D computer graphics software product used for creating animated films, visual effects, interactive 3D applications or video games" with a built-in game engine.
    • by gman003 (1693318) on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:03PM (#42314441)

      Or in fewer words, Blender is to Maya what GIMP is to Photoshop.

      • by robthebloke (1308483) on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:23PM (#42314663)
        Or more accurately, Blender is to 3DS Max what GIMP is to Photoshop.

        Blender is based around the modifier-stack philosophy present in 3DS Max, which is probably my biggest complaint about it tbh. Max is, and always has been, very inflexible compared to Maya. It's great for getting some stuff done quickly, but if you're not careful, you can easily run up against the boundaries of what's possible with the software. Maya is a very different beast in this regard (along with XSI & Houdini). It's organised around a node/attr dependency graph which can easily be reconfigured to solve whatever problem needs solving. If you hit a problem in Maya, there is always a way around it (which may be horribly hacky, but at least there is a workaround). That's the main reason Maya/Houdini/XSI are used extensivley within the VFX world, and why you'll never find anyone using Blender or Max.

        That's not to say Blender isn't good at what it does, but it's not something that can really compete with Maya. It's great in the games arena (especially indy games), but it's core level architecture is not an approach that would work nicely in VFX world sadly....
        • by X0563511 (793323)

          If you don't like using a modifier stack, you are always free to 'apply' the modifiers as soon as you find the parameters you want. It's just one extra step...

          • I think you've completely missed the point. If you are setting up a large procedural animation, the second you 'apply' modifiers, you've lost the procedural control. Usually we want to keep that history around (just incase the director changes his/her mind)
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:26PM (#42315233)

          I use Maya professionally and Blender personally. I love that there 's powerful and free 3D software, and for my own creative uses I like how Blender has odd little features that can turn wonderfully abstract in a flash (array modifier I'm looking at you, lovingly).

          However, when doing work that other people are telling me to do, it's Maya all the way because you're going to get to the point where you need, *need*, NEED to hack it to get it out the door and Maya never lets me down there.

          (The one exception is text. I used Blender once in actual production to create text objects which were exported to Maya. Anyone who's tried to use Maya's text will know why.)

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          Blender is use a lot in the pro world. I suggest you check out their website and read up on who is using it.

        • by pieisgood (841871)

          Assuimg VFX includes modern game development, then you'd be wrong about max in a very extreme way. Especially when Crytek uses it for it's 3D assets.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          I don't think Blender is much like any of the Adobe products. The entire orientation of the development effort is different.

          The Adobe products are designed for industrial use, where perhaps a hundred different artists are working simultaneously on the same 5 second animation scene, each doing some small piece of the whole. Blender is designed for an individual artist who exerts total control over every aspect of the work for as long as it is in his hands. That does not mean that Blender cannot be used coll

          • I don't think Blender is much like any of the Adobe products. The entire orientation of the development effort is different.

            Adobe doesn't make any 3D modelling or animation packages, although Autodesk do....

        • Blender retains the modifier stack approach, but it is also increasingly adding nodes as an alternatve. As parent post points out, stack modifiers are easier to work with, while nodes are more versatile.

          My own use of Blender is relatively simplistic; I don't attempt anything on the scale of __Tears of Steel__ or __Sintel__. For real estate fly-throughs, architect modeling, and most other commercial work, the limitations of modifier stacks do not get in the way.

          • by Psyborgue (699890)
            Nodes in blender are currently only for shading and compositing. There are no geometry nodes, for example. Maya is a lot more flexible in this regard and all nodes are treated as equal. A float can be plugged into any float. A vector [polyextrude.com] into any vector and so on. As long as it make sense to you and give you the result you want -- go for it.
      • by suso (153703) *

        Or in fewer words, Blender is to Maya what GIMP is to Photoshop.

        What's Maya? You mean those calendar people?

    • by Deus.1.01 (946808)

      Oh goodie! Now can you tell me what this Firefox thingy is?

      • by Anonymous Coward
        It's an experiment in consuming as much computing resources as possible to do nearly as much as a 30-year-old DOS machine in an effort to keep shitty web developers (redundant, i know) feeling relevant and lusers upgrading. hth
  • The Cycles renderer in Blender 2.65 is coming along nicely. One can set it to render a viewport in realtime, which is cool. You make changes to your 3D scene, and Cycles will render them almost in realtime. That said, Blender still has a crappy, annoying, confusing UI that should be re-engineered from scratch. Blender has so much potential, but the commercial 3D apps trump it in terms of ease-of-use and good UI design. So Blender foundation... bite the bullet already and please give Blender a much needed UI
    • by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:16PM (#42314583) Homepage

      confusing UI that should be re-engineered from scratch.

      They have done exactly that while going from 2.4 to 2.5 (or something, don't remember the exact version numbers). The GUI of current Blender is completely new and reorganized and has very little resemblance with what was there before.

      • by Dracos (107777)

        If I could find the 2.4 key mappings for 2.5+, I would use it more.

      • by 88NoSoup4U88 (721233) on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:56PM (#42314963) Homepage
        Yes, was indeed from 2.4 to 2.5, and was long due.

        Right now I'd say that it's a lot easier to use, though for a newbie it still takes some time to get used to the whole swapping around of the left- and right- mousekey.

        Blender is one of the few open source tools where in the long run I could see myself permanently switching to it (currently also using 3DSMax/Maya). For now it suits me perfectly for making renders, but game compatibility still seems to be a chore. One of the downsides of it being open source, or better said: free, is that a lot of plugins aren't made commercially, and as such no support is to be expected. It happened a few times over the years where I was working on a game/modification, and a new version of Blender would completely break a plugin (for instance, for properly exporting animated MD3-files), and no official update of said plugin would be made. Thus having to choose between working with an outdated modeling app, or going back to 3DSMax. I hope that the future will bring more dedicated plugin writers; or better, native exporting support for the various games on the market.
    • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:18PM (#42314595) Homepage
      Less reliance on video tutorials in lieu of documentation would be nice, too.
      • by Psyborgue (699890)
        The wiki [blender.org] is a lot better than it used to be and probably 95% complete, but you're right. There is still a lot of work to be done and far too many blank sections in the documentation.
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      You must not use Blender much.. they redesign the UI every release. It's a way to keep people buying their books. A book on blender you bought 6 months ago is useless with the next release.

      That is my biggest complaint, STOP FRIGGING REDESIGNING THE UI!.

  • As nice as Blender is, studios can still save money in terms of time by purchasing a multi-thousand dollar suite. Shadowing in particular still takes longer with Blender.
    • by oGMo (379) on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:23PM (#42314661)

      I'm not sure this is the best argument (as I am sure there are others), since a multi-thousand-dollar seat cost is probably easily outweighed by investing in more render nodes, which you'd probably end up wanting anyway.

      With as far as Blender has come from its early days, though, I'm guessing the day is coming when it will simply be the best. The Free(tm) nature and easy extensibility could make it the preferred target for academic and other research.

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        Lets not forget the python scripting.

        I may just not know of it, but letting you script at all is a feature relatively unique to Blender. But to choose something so powerful and 'easy' as python... yea.

      • Blender is unlikely to fill the needs of Big Studio Productions, for the simple reason that there is no good way to handle security with it. In an environment where $$millions are invested in the product and the product involves development of new animation techniques, the risks of industrial espionage have to be managed. Blender is not designed with that kind of management in mind. Adobe's products are.

        Blender will become the best software for a 3D artist, if it is not already that. But it is not being de

        • What a load of absolute bollocks. No good way to handle security? I'm going to postulate that you're trolling. Care to give citations, examples or....well, anything?
          • There is no convenient way with Blender to give just the one piece of a project to some day worker while withholding access to those parts that need not concern him, and which he should not have access to. That is inherent in the Blender database, which is a single file all neatly zipped up and without any mechanisms for password protection or other security.

            You hire some monkey off the street to do a week's worth of work for you and keep things on schedule while the artist who should be handling that pie

    • by goruka (1721094) on Monday December 17, 2012 @12:39PM (#42314807)
      I have worked with plenty of small animation and videogame studios that use and love Blender (in fact Blender is so well integrated to Unity that it's the modelling package of choice). They do so because of the love for the software and the productivity advantages it provides.
      The problem with Blender in business is not so much the features. At this point, Blender is superior to most other 3D packages in tasks such as poly modelling, rigging or uv mapping and the Cycles renderer is awesome. The ability to model while, at the same time, having GLSL and Cycles viewports is also far beyond what is available in other packages, and the integrated sculpting tools are very mature.
      The real reason why Blender is not adopted in large studios is because of the support contracts provided by Autodesk. When you sign with them, they provide from software licenses to render farms, all covered with phone support. There is no way the Blender Foundation can compete with that unless they become more like RedHat.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Is it? hmmm...just googled this: "The Rebus Render Farm instantly provides you with 1,700 XEON CPUs to render your animations and still-images. No matter which 3D-application you're using: Our Render Farm supports them all! 3ds Max , Maya, Cinema 4D, Softimage ,Maxwell,MODO,Lightwave, Blender"

        source: http://www.rebusfarm.net

        • Keyword: support contracts. The renderfarm may support .blend files - but I'm not sure that they're going to give you deep insights or support into some small glitch you're having with your render on their farm.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I work as a 3d artist in a game company. My take on this is as follows.

        For the time being I'd say the main barrier to entry for blender is simply finding people who use it. Schools teach mostly Maya or Max, and anyone wanting to work in the industry is going to focus on learning what the industry uses so they can get a job. It's a catch 22 that means a studio that wants to make the switch basically has to make a conscious decision to absorb the productivity cost of having their team learn a new tool. Which

      • There is no way the Blender Foundation can compete with that unless they become more like RedHat.

        They should. This is exactly the kind of software which could actually make some money from selling support while producing the software as open source at the same time.

        • Old fogies like me remember that back when Blender was commercially developed, they had an odd business model consisting of giving the software away for free (as in beer) and selling the documentation (see the old review here [linuxlookup.com], for example). Documentation is now one of the weakest points of Blender, IMHO.

      • For hobbiests, and also for individual artists, Blender is top notch.

        But to meet all the needs of Big Studios, Blender would need some serious redesign. Much of which would destroy features that are good for individual artists.

        For instance, the .blend file is THE database that holds everything related to the scenes it contains. It is designed as a library so that an artist can easily take ("append" in Blender terms) something from his prior work and put it into his current work. Like a texture, or an arma

        • Parent post, and two others of mine on this thread, have been modded down as "over rated". Which is the clear sign of a cowardly moderator, since none of these three posts had been modded upward at all.

          I can think of two possible reasons for being downrated in such a way

          1. the moderator objects to my argument that Blender is unfit by design for Big Studio work since it is instead designed to meet the needs of individual artists, which cannot be reconciled with some legitimate business needs of Big Studios;
          • "But I speak up here because I cannot determine whether I have been down rated by some freak Adobe astroturfer--- I am not even sure they exist--- or by some over-zealous defender of Blender as the True, Right, and Only Way. Maybe this post will trigger a response that helps clarify things."

            Keep in mind that there are at least a few asshats here on Slashdot who will disagree with you in print, then login with another account or as AC and mod you down (or the other way around). I have been the victim of that more than once. That kind of sockpuppetry is disgusting, however, and on a couple of occasions I actually caught who was doing it.

    • We use commercial and open source software in my animation studio, money is not a huge problem if it helps to deliver a project on time. I'm the boss, I pick the software we buy, and the animators choose what they want to use. Blender is so fast for rigging and animation. Animation is a blast to do in Blender. Fast posing, no gimbal locks, fast keyframe repositioning, etc. Blender renders faster in Linux than in Windows, and is very stable. Something I can't say for other programs.

      We just delivered 15 minut

  • The last time I used blender you couldn't perform more that 3 Boolean operations on a model before the blender crashed. Is it fixed?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The new Boolean modifier is fantastic (based on the Carve? library). Very fast and keeps your UV coords.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There was new boolean modifier code that was put in a few versions ago. It is considerably faster, but the some of the same mathematical problems exists in the new code as well. Namely, you can't have nonmanifold meshes in boolean. ie: no open mesh, must be closed.

      Before, it would just crash, now it gives errors in the console, last I checked.

      Try it again I guess, just keep in mind the limitations. Also, don't be a noob and try boolean two 1 million poly cubes and wonder why your system grinds to a halt fro

      • I was using only models that were manifold and I know they were because they were created with openscad and then passed through netfabb to check if they were manifold. They were low poly models to begin with models with lots of polygons cause 3d printing software to choke. My problem was after performing multiple difference operations blender would crash.
  • Blender used to be somewhat lacking, but it kept getting better and better - until now it seems to be able to do everything that Max or Maya can do.
    I wonder if there are any big game studios using it?

  • I stopped using blender a few years ago as I loved it as a hobby, but the ui radically changed every 6 months. I eventually went back to light wave.

    • That happened exactly once in recently times in the transition between 2.4->2.5 what on earth are you talking about.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    As we all know, the Maya license expires on Dec. 21. Or so I heard something. After that, all animators need to switch to Blender.

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