RayFire plugin

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Posted Thu Feb 21, 2013


Blender 2.66


The latest version of the Blender Foundation's open source 3D software has been released, bringing dynamic topology sculpting and a new, more precise fluids solver. Read on for more.

New features in v2.66 include:

  • Bullet physics library integrated into the editor and animation system
  • Dynamic topology sculpting - a new sculpting mode that subdivides the mesh as needed, making it possible to sculpt complex shapes out of a simple mesh
  • Cycles hair rendering
  • Support for high pixel density displays
  • Mesh cache modifier - allows to apply animation from external files onto a mesh
  • New SPH particle fluids solver - a new particle fluids solver has been added that provides more physically-accurate simulations

More on Blender.org.


by David - February 23, 2013 8:19 am

Be careful Autodesk…be careful…for me, if max 2014 does not improve like the old times…i’m done.

by Jon - February 23, 2013 8:18 pm

Until they fix the UI, Autodesk has nothing to worry about… it’s still a mess compared to other paid programs out there. That being said, I really hope they do get a usable and friendly UI working in Blender because then I’d seriously consider using it in my production stream!

founder of CNCKing.com

by Igor Posavec - February 24, 2013 9:06 am

@ Jon,
i share your opinion. Blender is with the current features, visual feedback and tools approximately as good or in some aspects better then 3dsmax (maybe even maya). I can’t judge animation and VFX-effects abilities, since i do not animate, but after intensive research in the last few months, i was about to move some projects to blender, due to efficiency.
BUT:… i am unable to work in this UI. Everything falls at the moment where i spend more time thinking how to click and do what i want then to work in it. In some aspects it starts irritating me just as ZBrush, with this unorthodox UI experiments…

This is maybe because i got used to max UI, and i am no 16, and as such not more as flexible as students who enter the 3d software market now. But it can’t be that still fail to configure and work intuitively in Blender after a year. I open it, learn something, work for a while in it, and after 3 weeks, i need to learn it again from the start because the logic is totally alien to me.

by David - February 24, 2013 12:36 pm

Very Strange…for me, The best feature of Blender is his perfect UI!
Doesn’t have refresh problems and long menu loadings like max (press editable poly and wait…)
Every window is resizable including text and widgets with the wheel mouse and dynamically lit as mouse hovers elements, in fact, there are not popping windows, you split the screen any times you want and make it other windows and they update depending of what you need. In this 2.66 version even the UI can become gradient-transparent so they don’t bother your scene.
But the most important part is that everything is ONE structure, Max is the perfect definition of nonsense UI, because is a Frankenstein of blended plugins and stuff that does not have any continuity. Uv’s as a modifier? edit the fu**ing geometry as a modifier? bones in a helper panel? reseting objects position in a hidden tool panel? (im not going to dive in the animation tools :P ) and long etc…
AND, every windows and tool doesn’t have shortcuts, and if they had, have nothing to do with max because they are “integrated plugins”. Suppose you want to lasso select polygons with blender, that tool works in the graph editor, material editor…everywhere! Even in the open files menu you can select files with the lasso key! So, all the windows, visual elements AND SHORTCUTS share the same structure. Finally, all the preferences and internal settings are in one window, not splitted in 10 different places like max. Blender has the most efficient, minimalist, quickest and beauty UI of the 3d industry in my opinion. (Since version 2.5) before it was impossible to work with, it’s true :P

by Igor Posavec - February 25, 2013 7:10 am

Hello David,
thank you for your detailed feedback!!!
I agree with you in almost all aspects concerning Max internal architecture. It is 20+ years old concrete Max-UI, and there are lot of things that would look better if one would design 3dsmax from the scratch today. Blender has in this aspect a huge time advantage: it has a younger, modern architecture.

At moment the whole Blender UI does not make a lot sense to me (starting from the fact i can not select object with left-click to the fact i can draw 122 windows but have no idea how close them – I still feel i am on the alien ground. :( ) + Magic words: This is my personal opinion.

It is overloaded with possibilities. And possibilities are what I don’t need, i don’t have time to play around arranging windows.

I think i will have to sit down and get first tons of Blender Manuals and video tutorials to learn how to control it :)

thanks again for encouraging!

by David - February 25, 2013 9:38 am

Yeah, I forgot to mention this before ^^
The first steps with Blender are confusing, and you also have to memorize shortcuts because if you don’t use shortcuts with bender is a wrong mentality, like Lightwave. Coming for max is complicated because we are used to click at buttons everywhere. But when you memorize shortcuts…you will become a Blender dependant! :P it’s so quiiiick modeling for instance. And the best of those shortcuts is…that also have sense! For example: E represents edges so, shift E gives more edge options, ctrl E even more…alt E even more! Or for example, tab G to move, double tab G + G to edge slide. (even they work in the UV editor too)
Very very intuitive you’ll see.

for the selection method is the only thing that I change in Preferences, I hate to select with the right mouse too :P

by abangan - February 26, 2013 9:07 pm

wonderful ! very fast and powerful upgrades
about 3-4 month blender upgrade = 1 years max upgrade !

by Angel - February 28, 2013 12:05 pm

Woow, honestly I was an avid 3dsmax fanboy, but then after hearing a lot of people getting excited about blender 2.64 and his n-gong system I was intrigued and I thought (Damn Blender doesn’t have n-gons? what kind of shitty software is that?) OH MY, soooo wrong about it, shitty software? maybe 3dsmax because is in general slow compared to Blender and now with Blender 2.66 we have dynamic topology, for newbies is just sculptris included, rigid body inside the viewport, UV edge stitch and much more things quoted above, so I have to say that I really don’t want to use Max anymore if it wasn’t for my job, really I wouldn’t use it…and for people confused with the UI, shortcuts and in general I have to say that we didn’t start using max as masters we had a learning curve wich is in case you mastered max a lot short than anyone who hasn’t use any 3d software before, personally I felt confortable with blender in 3-5 days of using it, of course in the first day i felt like a damn grandpa who hadn’t use a computer in his life, but like I said just give it some time and you’ll never want to go back and use that thing called 3dsmax…

by sounder - April 3, 2013 9:13 pm

Blender has big pros and cons. The UI is still some of the worst out there, and its still difficult to do what max and maya make Very easy.

Max has nothing to worry about, especially when you consider how the blender community and devs alienate people by being inconsiderate and argumentative, and unwilling to change .

I’ve used blender for example to paint textures on objects,and its painfully laggy unlike Max. Until they fix such things, it’s a no brainer for this chump to stay put.

It’s true that the cost curve is going to give other companies a run for their money, but truly feature for feature, blender is a child compared to the adults in the room. There is just no comparison at the moment !

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