Blender 2.66 is out! Download it now if you haven’t already.
So what’s all the fuss about this new release anyway? Well besides a whole bunch of bug fixes, there’s also some pretty big Blender features included…
Let’s take a look at each new feature in detail…
Arguably one of the biggest features of this release is the ability to render hair using Cycles.
Put simply, it allows you to render strands using the Cycles rendering engine. Blender has had the ability to render strands using the internal renderer for years, but only now can you render strands with Cycles.
Check out my full tutorial on rendering hair with Cycles. But in a nutshell…
Go to the particle panel and you’ll find a “Cycles Hair” section. Here you can change the size, method and shape of the rendered hair.
Sculpting fans will rejoice to hear that Blender finally has the capabilities for Dynamic Topology (AKA Dynamesh from Zbrush).
Dynamic Topology allows you to quickly add detail to a mesh without having to worry about topology. It automatically creates the required vertices on the fly. This makes it a great tool for quickly sketching out your ideas without getting bogged down with the technicalities of topology.
Go into Sculpting Mode, press T to bring up the toolbar, and under Topology you’ll find a button called “Enable Dynamic“. Start sculpting and you’ll notice your mesh magically generates detail wherever you paint. Change the detail Size to scale how much fine the detail is generated.
Rigid Body simulation allows you make any object roll, collide, bounce or smash as it would in the real world. Previously this feature was only available to the game engine, and was cumbersome to use for animations. But it’s now been fully integrated into the editor and animation system, making it much easier for artists and animators to use.
Go to the Scene panel and click the Add Rigid Body World button.
Next press T to bring up the toolbar and you’ll find a section called Rigid Body Tools.
For more, watch this full tutorial on getting started with the Rigid Body simulator.
So what are you waiting for? Download the latest version now.
What feature are you most excited about? Leave a comment below.