Blender 2.71 Release Notes
The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.71. 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.
Cycles now includes support for rendering volume textures, fire and smoke, deformation motion blur, baking textures from cycles materials, more texture interpolation modes and a dedicated UV layer node.
More easing equations added to the IPO editor for better animation control, locking time to other windows is again possible, auto snapping is now independent from display type.
The user interface now offers more feedback, especially on errors, updates driver expressions automatically on editing, includes more icons and offers more editing tools.
New tools also include lasso selection support, non-linked duplication for strips, and setting preview range based on selected strips.
The new per-face normals feature allows blender to display and export sharp edges correctly without geometry duplication.
In addition, selection tools offer more options.
New features include a HSL color wheel for color selection and tools to handle homogenous density in dynamic topology sculpting.
Dyntopo and matcap display for sculpt mode have also had performance optimizations.
UI to deactivate logic bricks, multi-threaded animations, shadows-only materials and more action layers are among the new features for the game engine
Freestyle has been upgraded with textured stroke support. Textured stroke support makes it possible to apply patterns to the lines and simulate rough surfaces or different kinds of brush tips for the strokes themselves.
Line sorting also gives artists more control over the order of line drawing
Interface features include new icons for texture painting, resizeable preview widgets and draggable popups.
More control for curve bevelling, explicit shadow cast control for blender internal materials, new distortion model for motion tracking and better handles for mask editors.
Look at many of the above features in the Blender Developer Sneak Peeks - a video podcast series that showcases important milestones in the development of every Blender release.