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Blender 2.73 Release Notes

The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.73!

Download the 2.73 Release

A major upgrade was given to the Grease Pencil tool, which inter alia brought the ability to edit and animate strokes. The first developments from the Gooseberry Project like a Sequencer Backdrop, Cycles viewport world background and others were added. Cycles got various improvements and speedups, as well as support for cameras inside volumes, the UI got a new 'minimalistic' fullscreenmode and Input Method Editor support for textbuttons (used for complex Chinese and Japanese character input), the Knife-tool was improved, Freestyle got a SVG exporter, and many more features which are worth checking out!

Cycles Rendering

Rl cycles.png
  • Volume Rendering:
    • Rendering with cameras inside volume meshes is now supported
    • Cubic voxels interpolation is a new option helping to avoid artifacts on low resolution smoke simulations
    • Faster rendering of homogeneous volumes
  • Support for GeForce 9xx GPUs
  • Improved rendering with area lights
  • Viewport specularity for the viewport is now also implemented for Cycles
  • And more!

User Interface

Rl cycles world bg.png
  • A new fullscreen mode without any buttons or other "annoying" elements to improve the UI
  • The 3D View got an option to display the world background right from the viewport
  • Pie Menus:
    • Confirm Threshold to confirm a pie menu without releasing the original key
    • Nested Pie Menus (a Pie Menu within a Pie Menu) are now supported

Complex char.png
  • Chinese and Japanese complex character input:
    • General support for Input Method Editors (IMEs) has been added
    • Only supported for text buttons for now
    • Only supported on Windows and Linux for now
    • Supported is Sougou (Chinese), Bing (Chinese), QQ (Chinese) and Microsoft integrated (Japanese)
      And now guess why we have a Chinese Splash! ;)


Rl knife tool.png
  • Knife-tool:
    • Cuts can now be created using free-hand drawing
    • Cut-loops can now be closed by double click
  • Selection:
    • A new selection method "Select Similar Regions" was added
    • You can now skip adjacent faces while using the select more/less function
  • And more!


Rl sculpt2.png
  • Texture Painting:
    • The Add Simple Uvs operator for texture painting now uses a simpler unwrap method for better quick UV layouts
    • Face-mask edges are now hidden to give proper visual feedback while working with masks
  • Brushes:
    • Changing brush size, detail size and strength can now be done using numeric keyboard input
    • Brush strength can now also be changed for Grab and Snake Hook brushes


Release notes sequencer.png
  • A Backdrop similar to Compositor is now implemented for the Sequencer as well
  • Strips:
    • Strips can now be snapped to other strip's start- and endpoints
    • A new slip Tool allows moving content within the strip itself
  • And more!

Freestyle NPR Rendering

Blender 273 Tomo final.png
  • Freestyle got a new SVG exporter, implemented as an add-on
  • View maps can now be cached
  • More options for chain selection and chain sorting were added


Rl gpencil.png
  • Grease Pencil (which got a major upgrade):
    • It is now possible to edit and animate strokes (!!!)
    • New draw styles were added, e.g. filled stroke interiors, volumetric strokes, ...
    • The Grease Pencil's user interface (which is now completely defined via Python) has gotten a general overhaul
    • Two quick access pie menus were added
  • Graph Editor:
    • Revised the set of operators for showing/hiding curves from the keyframe area
    • Circle selection for Curves was added
  • And more!


  • Collada Importer:
    • Importing rigs previously caused problems with leaf bones (end bone of a bone chain) so a fix was created for that.
    • Added an experimental bonechain Finder to predict the longest possible chains of connected bones.
  • The FBX Add-on now uses some advanced handling/tweaking options for importing and exporting armatures
  • The Copy and Paste Add-on is now using version 2.0

More Features

There are a lot more features that are new in Blender 2.73, so make sure to check them out!

Feature Videos

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.

Bug Fixes

As for every Blender release, hundreds of bugs were fixed, thanks to the hardworking Blender developers.