Blender is an open source software for 3D modeling, rendering, animation, post-production, interactive creation and playback. Available for Windows, Linux, Irix, Sun Solaris, FreeBSD or Mac OS X.
- A range of 3D object types including polygon meshes, NURBS surfaces, bezier and B-spline curves, metaballs, vector fonts (TrueType, PostScript, OpenType)
- ‘Smooth proxy’ style catmull-clark subdivision surfaces
- Boolean mesh functions
- Editing functions such as extrude, bevel, cut, spin, screw, warp, subdivide, noise, smooth Soft selection editing tools for organic modeling
- Python scripting access for custom tools
- Armature (skeleton) deformation with forward/inverse kinematics, auto skinning and interactive 3D paint for vertex weighting
- Non-linear animation mixer with automated walkcycles along paths
- Constraint system
- Vertex key framing for morphing, with controlling sliders
- Character animation pose editor
- Animatable lattice deformation
- ‘Ipo’ system integrates both motion curve and traditional key-frame editing
- Audio playback, mixing and editing support for sound synchronisation
- Python scripting access for custom and procedural animation effects
Realtime 3D/game creation
- Graphical editor for defining interactive behavior without programming
- Collision detection and dynamics simulation
- Python scripting API for sophisticated control and AI, fully defined advanced game logic
- Supports all OpenGL™ lighting modes, including transparencies, Animated and reflection-mapped textures
- Playback of games and interactive 3D content without compiling or preprocessing
- Audio, using the fmod toolkit
- Multi-layering of Scenes for overlay interfaces
- Very fast inbuilt raytracer
- Integral support for the famous Yafray render engine
- Oversampling, motion blur, post-production effects, fields, non-square pixels
- Environment maps, halos, lens flares, fog
- Various surface shaders such as Lambert, Phong, Oren-nayar, Blinn, Toon
- Edge rendering for toon shading
- Procedural Textures
- Ambient Occlusion
- Radiosity solver
- Export scripts available for external renderers such as Renderman (RIB), Povray, Virtualight
- UV texture editor with various mesh unwrap modes
- Flexible user configurable window layout
- Powerful object-oriented data system
- Anti-aliased fonts with international translation support
- Windows for animation curves/keys, schematic scene diagram, non-linear video sequence editing, character animation action editor, non-linear animation mixer, image/UV editing, file/image selection and file management
- Inbuilt text editor for annotations and editing Python scripts
- Consistent interface across multiple platforms
- Save all scene data in a single .blend file
- .blend format supports compression, digital signatures, encryption, forwards/backwards compatibility and can be used as a library to link to from other .blend files
- Read / Write TGA, JPG, PNG, Iris, SGI Movie, IFF, AVI and Quicktime GIF, TIFF, PSD, MOV (Windows and Mac OS X)
- Native import and export for DXF, Inventor and VRML files, with python scripts available for many other 3D formats
- Create stand-alone executables containing interactive 3D content or play back with the 3d web browser plugin
Fire and Smoke
Fire simulation was added to the Smoke Simulator. The domain received major updates to improve performance and usability. Smoke can be emitted from mesh surfaces, without the need for a particle system. A smoke flow force field was added to improve interaction with other simulations. Colored smoke simulation and mixing is possible and the interaction of smoke with collision objects has been improved.
The bevel tool now includes rounding and was otherwise much improved, preserving the requested bevel width more evenly and generating better topology. A new symmetrize tool was added to make mesh topology and data symmetric.
New features include: a tool transfer vertex weights from one mesh to another, antialiased viewport drawing, connected proportional editing in UV editor, improved DPX file read and write, more control over curve taper, collision masks in the game engine and improved camera title safe drawing.
Support for writing custom shaders in the Open Shading Language is now available. Motion blur rendering was also added, to make moving objects and cameras appear blurry. There is also an anisotropic shading node, and BSDF nodes can now have different normals, which can be set using the new bump and normal map nodes.
The decimator was rewritten, and now preserves UV’s and vertex colors, has an un-subdivide and a mode to dissolve vertices to create planar n-gons. A new laplacian smooth modifier can reduce noise or smooth the mesh while preserving edges and volume. A triangulate modifier was also added, which can be useful for creating game assets with baked normal maps.
Improved bridge tool to bridge multiple loops at once, subdivision, surface blending and bridging face regions. New grid-fill tool filling a grid from edge loops, X mirror and projected proportional editing, snap to symmetry, face split option for dissolve, vertex connect cut across faces.
Rendering performance has been improved on CPU and GPU and support for new GPUs was added. A new Mist render pass is available, Ray visibility is now supported for all light sources, and new Nodes have been added. Hair rendering on the GPU has been enabled as well.
Some new features and smaller improvements to existing ones were done for motion tracking. Main features are markers’ position refining, which allows you to refine marker position after it was occluded by an object, and automatic keyframe selection, which tries to automatically find a best keyframe for the reconstruction.
Smoke has improved rendering quality avoid blockiness, and subframe simulation support to handle fast moving emitters. Particles can now be emitted from faces generated by modifiers that were not in the original mesh.
Improved weight painting tools, mask modifier for sequencer strips, 2D image paint more consistent with 3D painting, better key shortcuts display, quick enabling and disabling of multiple layers or visibility, auto indent for multi-line Python statements, and more.
Auto-running Python scripts can now be controlled more securely.
Much awaited new features for Cycles renderer include deformation motion blur, fire/smoke and volume rendering and a baking API. User interface now allows for draggable popups and resizable preview widgets. Animation has new interpolation types with “easing equations” presets. Modeling now allows to “split normals” and Sculpting/Painting has new HSL color wheel and constant detail in dyntopo. Game development now allows deactivating logic bricks, multi-threaded animations, cast only materials and “unlimited” action layers. Freestyle NPR rendering has a new textured strokes feature, along with line sorting options.