Blender Foundation, the developer of Blender, an integrated 3D creation software suite, has announced yet another Release Candidate for its software, taking the application a little closer to the final release.
The developers of Blender always make huge improvements from one version to another, and in the latest Blender 2.70 they didn't just settle to add a bunch of new features and to fix some of the existing problems. They also managed to change and improve the interface, which will be a great change of pace for the dedicated users.
“New features include initial support for volumetrics in Cycles, and faster rendering of hair and textures. The motion tracker now supports weighted tracks and has improved planar tracking. For mesh modeling there are new Laplacian deform and wireframe modifiers, along with more control in the bevel tool. The game engine now supports object levels of detail,” reads the official announcement.
One of the most important add-ons that made their way into the Blender 2.70 branch is the Sketchfab Online Integration. Users are now able to export 3D models directly from Blender to Sketchfab, where they can share and embed 3D content online.
The Node Wrangler has been added, bringing even more tools for the users to work with nodes. The features present in the Node Wrangler include Lazy Connect, Lazy Mix, Delete Unused Nodes, Swap Outputs, Backdrop Reset, Shader Viewer, Modify Labels, and much more.
As you can imagine, Blender 2.70 RC2 also comes with a long list of fixes for the existing features, for 3D View, animation, armatures, audio, Collada, constraints, meta editing, curve editing, game engine, UV editing, mesh editing, 3D text editing, movie clip editor, particles, physics, simulation, hair, the render, and more.
The game development portion of the software also received a boost and it's now possible to import Photoshop PSD files, but there is a catch. In order for Blender to be capable of using them, the PSD files must be saved in Maximum Compatibility mode.
Motion tracker is another very important function of Blender 2.70 RC2, so it was to be expected for a number of improvements to have been planned. According to the developers, each tracking marker can be assigned a weight, which determines the influence it has on the overall solution, making the entire procedure a lot more precise.
A complete list of changes and updates can be found in the official changelog. Remember that this is a development version and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended for testing purposes only.