This version supports a new particle system with hair and fur combing tools, fast and optimal fur rendering, a mesh deformation system for advanced character rigging, cloth simulation, fast Ambient Occlusion, a new Image browser and more:
- Hair and Fur Many features have been added to make fur and grass rendering for Peach possible. Big improvements were made in visual quality, rendering speed and memory usage.
Particle system rewrite The particle system has been rewritten from scratch. It now allows advanced hair grooming tools, but also much better physics, boid animation and even explosions!
- Cloth simulation Cloth simulation is available in Blender via a modifier on Mesh objects. Cloth then realistically and in real-time interacts with other objects, the wind or other forces, all of which is fully under your control.
- Skinning improvements Bone Heat Weighting is a new method to create vertex weights for bone deformation, it generates better results, and does not require setting a radius for bones. Also added was Quaternion-Interpolated Deformation for superior blends.
- Image Browsing The new Image Browser is blazingly fast and stable, and not only allows to browse for images in your filesystem, but can also show previews of materials, textures, world, lamp and image data.
- Approximate Ambient Occlusion Ambient Occlusion is a render option that darkens areas with less visibility, simulating the effect of environment light. This new AO option is based on quick approximation, giving many factors of speedup.
- Physics caching and baking The softbody, cloth and particle physics now use a unified system for caching and baking. For real-time tweaking, a new option “Continue Physics” will continue the simulation regardless of the current frame.
Blender is released under the GNU Public License, as Free Software, and therefore can be distributed by anyone freely.
Get yourself started with the great blender video tutorials: