Version History of Blender 2.60

This is the beginning of the Blender 2.6x series, targeted at including all work that happened in branches or patches past years.
Most notable in this release is 3D audio, UI translation, improved weight painting and a lot of animation system updates. Check the list below for highlights and the full changelog.
3D audio & video

  • 3D audio and speaker objects were added, along with various improvements to the sound system. It's now possible to place speaker objects in the scene, make an animation and mix down to an audio file. Sequence editor proxy support was restored, which can now work in the background, along with support for building timecodes to make scrubbing on all video types possible.

Vertex weight groups

  • Vertex group modifiers were added. There are three modifiers: one to edit existing vertex groups, one to mix groups together, and another to generate vertex groups based on proximity to other objects. Weight painting tools were added to lock vertex groups, automatically maintain the ratio between different bones, and for fixing poor deformation of vertices

Game Engine

  • Navigation Meshes were added for the game engine, used for path finding, so that actors can find the path to a target or flee away. This functionality was implemented using the Recast & Detour libraries.
  • Texture Face settings moved to materials, for consistency and easier editing. Existing files may need some updates.
  • Game engine animation was improved internally, with as main external change the unification of F-Curve and Shape Action Actuators into a single Action Actuator, which now includes layering support.

Add-ons

  • Two new addons have been added to the release: Screencast Keys, to show key presses on the screen for making video tutorials, and Motion Capture Tools, which includes various tools for working with motion capture animation. There have also been various fixes and improvements to importers and exporters, the measure panel, paint palettes, renderfarm.fi uploader, ... see the list of addon changes for details.

Animation system

  • Animation system improvements were done, especially relating to usability and to polish the interface. Includes changes to the graph editor, dopesheet editor, NLA editor, curves, drivers, constraints, posing, ... Collada integration was improved, making import and export more complete and fixing various issues, especially related to armatures and animation.

UI translation

  • Internationalization and support for non-western fonts were added, to display the user interface in languages other than English. Efforts to translate in the most common languages is underway, and volunteers are welcome to contribute translations.

Python

  • New python API features include callbacks for various events, GLSL shader export, environment map texture load/save, texture evaluation and various other utilities.
  • The behavior of Vector() * Matrix() multiplication was also modified, this may require some script updates.

Nodes

  • Frame node in new layout node category, for organizing node setups - r39980
  • Muting nodes with only inputs or outputs is now supported (for example file output node) - r39437
  • Internal improvements to the node system (documentation) - r39941

Sequencer

  • Change sequence operator (C key) in sequence editor, to modify the filepath or effect inputs/type on existing strips - r39323
  • Clear offsets operator (Alt+O) in sequence editor, to reset the start/end frames around the strip data - r39379
  • Sequencer selected grouped operator to select by type, time, data - r40658
  • Sequencer make metastrip shortcut changed from Shift+G (now selected group) to Ctrl+G - r40645

Outliner

  • Outliner right click, rename option in menu - r39867
  • Outliner implementation of Toggle visibility/rendarability/selectability on right click on Groups - r39867
  • Outliner filter now is a search function - r40066
  • The outliner filter box only filtered items that were visible. To find what you want you needed to manually expand a few levels so that what you wanted to find becama visible. This expands items when filtering is done - effectively turning it into a search.

Grease Pencil

  • Poly line drawing mode for grease pencil: - r39962
  • Like sketch mode for lines, but you're specifying line knots by clicking on position you want to add next knot.
  • View can be navigated between knots creation.
  • Holding left mouse button down and sliding mouse will lead to new segment preview so it can be created more accurate.

Game Engine

  • Two new functions to bge.render to allow users to change the anisotropic filtering level used by textures: - r39818
  • setAnisotropicFiltering(level) and getAnisotropicFiltering()
  • Lamp "Cast Buffer Shadows" option now works with GLSL in the viewport and game engine - r39683
  • Game engine post drawing callbacks are now done per viewport instead of per scene. This is handy for things like having a different HUD for each player in a splitscreen game. To figure out what viewport you're drawing too, check the scene's active_camera. - r39729

Performance

  • Many small speedups in drawing of text, buttons, meshes, ... - r39549, r39841, r40073, r40096, r40108, r40112, r40116, r40120, r40282, r40284, r40292, r40508
  • Various small speedups in rendering and file loading - r39568, r39570, r39742

Other

  • Solidify modifier with vertex group option to set the thickness of zero weighted vertices - r39385
  • Applying armature object transform now transforms bone roll too, so animations remain correct - r39706
  • Drivers now have the noise module available by default (example .blend file) - r39919
  • Ambient occlusion maximum samples increased from 32 to 128 - r39972
  • 3D Mouse orbit now supports specifying inversion per axis - r40004
  • Adaptive time step for fluid particles - r40537
  • Quick effects now available in object menu - r40825
  • OpenAL support enabled in Windows 64bit release
  • JACK support enabled in Linux release