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Blender 2.74 Release Notes

The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.74!

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Download the 2.74 Release

Cycles got a few optimizations, a new "Pointiness" attribute and objects can now use the texture maps from other objects, the Viewport is now able to display Ambient Occlusion and Depth of Field, the Outliner was improved in quite some ways, it is now possible to edit normals, the Hair tools developed for the Gooseberry Project are now available (including improved hair dynamics, child hair modifiers and various interaction tools), texture painting can now be done using Cavity Masks, Freestyle memory consumption was greatly improved, the Grease Pencil rewrite from Blender 2.73 was continued to make more editing tools available, improvements for animation interaction and many more features which are worth checking out!


Cycles Rendering

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  • Several improvements for BVH like making it watertight, solving several precision issues and reducing noise
  • Optimizations:
    • Black world backgrounds are now removed from the shader graph, resulting in great speed improvements
    • Various (and great!) memory optimizations
    • ...
  • Nodes:
    • New Pointiness attribute for the Geometry node
    • Control texture space of one object by another
    • ...
  • And more!


User Interface

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  • New Viewport Compositing brings Ambient Occlusion and Depth of Field right into the Viewport!
  • View-depth can now be picked using an Eyedropper
  • Outliner:
    • An Orphaned Data-blocks Mode was added for data-block management
    • Deleting of entire object hierarchies
    • Drag&Drop objects to groups
    • ...
  • The Node Editor can now show text-blocks in frames
  • Customizable camera safe areas
  • And more!


Modeling

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  • Support for Custom Normals was added
  • Transferring data layers between meshes is now possible thanks to a new Mesh Data Transfer operator and modifier
  • Tools:
    • UV handling for Edge- and Vertex Slide was improved
    • Inverse-square blending for proportional-edit-mode
    • "Fit Camera View" now works for orthographic cameras as well
    • A "Split Concave Faces" tool to ensure a convex geometry was added
    • ...
  • And more!


Particles

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  • Hair dynamics and editing tools were improved massively:
    • Support for hair collission with meshes
    • Simulation now happens using volumetric calculations for more realistic results
    • Strand bending uses a more realistic approach
    • Controlling of child hair shapes using curve widgets
    • New "Spiral" kink mode to generate spirals at hair ends
    • Toggle buttons for render and viewport visibility were added to the particle settings in the Properties Editor
  • And much more!


Sculpting/Painting

Release notes cavity.png
  • Brushes/Strokes:
    • Improvements to rake and random mapping
    • Line strokes now support constrains to 45 degree increments
  • Texture Painting:
    • Support for dithering for painting on byte images
    • A new tool "Cavity Mask" was added that creates masks based on mesh cavities or hills
  • And more!


Freestyle NPR Rendering

Blender 274 Freestyle BNPR NY2015.png
  • A great memory consumption optimization in stroke rendering was done
  • And more!


Animation

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  • Grease Pencil:
    • New Editing tools like copy & paste strokes, duplicating active layer, ...
    • Enable eraser on the fly while drawing with "Continuous Drawing"
    • Various UI tweaks such as color swatches for Stroke and Fill colors
    • Grease Pencil data layers are now shown in the Outliner
    • ...
  • Improvements to the action management to reduce the cases where unused actions are deleted
  • Pasting keyframes can now be done flipped
  • Using a new "Follow" option, the animation editors can now follow the time indicator
  • And more!


Game Engine

  • Physics:
    • The first contact point of colliding can now be accessed from Python
    • Usability improvements
  • New option "Lock Z Velocity" to avoid micro-jumping
  • And more!



Add-ons

  • A new Auto Tile Size Add-on helps setting up the fastest tile size for Cycles rendering
  • Import images as planes now works for Cycles as well
  • POV-Ray Renderer now supports volumetric rendering
  • FBX and OBJ now support custom normals import
  • New Python API functions
  • And more!


More Features

There are a lot more features that are new in Blender 2.74, so make sure to check them out!


Feature Videos

Have a look at some of the above mentioned features in the demo videos made by the Blender community. Here you will also find the Developer Sneak Peak series - 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.