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verb3k
04-13-2011, 11:18 PM
The first stable release of the Blender 2.5x series has finally been released!
The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.57. This is the first stable release of the Blender 2.5 series, representing the culmination of many years of redesign and development work.

We name this version "Stable" not only because it's mostly feature complete, but especially thanks to the 1000s of fixes and feature updates we did since the 2.5 beta versions were published.

The next 2 months we will keep working on finishing a couple of left-over 2.5 targets and we expect to get feedback and bug reports from users to handle as well. If all goes well, the 2.58 version then can be the final release of the 2.5 series, with a massive amount of new projects to be added for an exciting cycle of 2.6x versions. Target is to release updates every 2 months this year.

April 13, 2011
http://www.blender.org/uploads/pics/splash257_01.jpg
Feature overview:
http://www.blender.org/development/release-logs/blender-257/
Download:
http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/

SoulVector
04-13-2011, 11:43 PM
Thanks! It still has a weird non intuitive GUI. Some Items look good but some parts seem unfinished. Dont get me wrong I am going to be using it an I have been since late 90īs but to me designing an interface from scratch I think it could of been so much better. I would contribute to the development if I had time but unfortunately I dont. Anyway, thanks for the heads up verb3k.

Samo
04-14-2011, 08:23 AM
I think we should somewhat get rid of the panels background and let the panels float on the 3d viewport, now the panels keep resizing and relocating in weird ways to adjust to the available buttons window area. Managing an array of panels that way could be more complicated though.

karthikarctic
04-14-2011, 08:44 AM
having gotten used to the legacy UI, the new UI looks strange and weird to work on. Now, it seems Blender has lost it's unique look and gone for a Modo like feel to it's UI. Hitting space and bringing in the primitives was one of my favourite functions in Blender, now it's gone and search?? has taken that place. It seems weird and cluttered.


That said, i appreciate the hard work put in by the many developers behind the application, which is by far the most powerful open-source application there is. I am so glad that i could rely on it's rebust all-around workflow, anytime :)

thanks Blender Foundation!!

lbelerique
04-14-2011, 09:54 AM
Congrats Blender Foundation, this release is looking great :buttrock:

karthikarctic, check the dynamic spacebar addon, it brings back the spacebar menu functionality: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Extensions:2.5/Py/Scripts/3D_interaction/Dynamic_Spacebar_Menu or use shift+A to add objects (this shortcut existed also in the older releases).
Anyway, the new spacebar menu is awesome, lots of functionalties at your fingertips.

Cheers,

verb3k
04-14-2011, 09:55 AM
Hitting space and bringing in the primitives was one of my favourite functions in Blender, now it's gone and search?? has taken that place. It seems weird and cluttered.

One of the biggest main features of Blender 2.5x is custom keyboard shortcuts. You can make space key function as it used to in 2.49.

Also, shift+a already brought up the primitives menu even in 2.49.

tommy5
04-14-2011, 11:00 AM
Hitting space and bringing in the primitives was one of my favourite functions in Blender, now it's gone and search?? has taken that place. It seems weird and cluttered.

Go to the User preferances, Addons tab and activate Dynamic Spacebar Menu (http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Extensions:2.5/Py/Scripts/3D_interaction/Dynamic_Spacebar_Menu)

Since this is finally stable 2.5 relase, there will be no major API change and you can very soon expect:
many new themes, custom hot-keys (from other software) and custom menus!

DanielWray
04-14-2011, 01:50 PM
Congratulations to all of the developers, and users who submitted bugs. Thousands have been fixed!

I personally think the biggest news about this release is the stable API, I think we will see a lot of activity over the next few months coming from script writers. There are already some rather nifty things capable just using the internal API's, and since Blender can make use of external libraries (just python, or more?) the potential for useful features is pretty big.


Just thought I'd upload some screenshots of the UI in action, it has a custom theme, which was installed with the theme installer, so it's possible to save & load themes from a .blt file now, instead of having to load a .blend file.

All dual screen set-ups (One Blender window per screen).

http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/2796/rendercomp.png (http://img831.imageshack.us/i/rendercomp.png/)

http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/2144/renderlayers.png (http://img69.imageshack.us/i/renderlayers.png/)

http://img854.imageshack.us/img854/6749/sculpting001.png (http://img854.imageshack.us/i/sculpting001.png/)

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/8738/texturepaint.png (http://img30.imageshack.us/i/texturepaint.png/)


To new users, right clicking on any button, setting, or value input will show a pop-up menu, which will allow you to change, or remove a short-cut key, view docs (or submit a description if the tool-tip is missing and you know what it is!).

I'd also highly recommend enabling some of the add-ons in the user preferences, Blender comes bundled with over a dozen scripts which add a lot of usability to the default configuration, like Rigify & modellings tools such as LoopTools.

Anyway, I hope that everyone enjoys using the latest version of Blender! :)

thepineman
04-14-2011, 03:38 PM
its nice to know blender is making progress with its UI. will check out the new version.

Tungee
04-14-2011, 03:54 PM
I love the new UI of the 2.57 Blender!!
Its much better then the competitors!

AnonyMouse
04-14-2011, 05:49 PM
Any plans for Ngons?

LetterRip
04-14-2011, 06:11 PM
Any plans for Ngons?

There is a branch with ngons right now. It isn't working 100% with other blender tools yet (bugs related to modifier stack mostly), but I'm confident it will be in a release within the year.

AnonyMouse
04-14-2011, 07:35 PM
Thank you, that is a good news :bounce:

demoniorojo
04-15-2011, 12:21 AM
Blender becomes in a really interesting app in the last version... I must invest more in its GUI, still looks bit confusing for me..:banghead:

Krisonrik
04-15-2011, 12:46 AM
I love the new UI of the 2.57 Blender!!
Its much better then the competitors!

What competitors?

pencil-head
04-15-2011, 12:46 AM
Any plans on getting the modifiers to work in sculpt mode? Jumping into sculpt mode with the mirror and subd mods on, is somthing i used and loved so much in 2.49.

karthikarctic
04-15-2011, 06:08 AM
thankyou all for your help. I have activated the spacebar settings :) thankyou thankyouthankyou!! :)

theflash
04-15-2011, 08:22 AM
This looks great. The fact that much time was invested in redesigning UI is a great improvement and it will be welcome by new users. This is the first time I feel like keep playing with Blender. First time when I tried last year, I felt confused and left without motivation to come back to the application.

Many congratulations to the team!

ngrava
04-15-2011, 08:32 AM
Weird... People posting that they are confised by the new Blender UI? That strikes me as odd. I think it's pretty nice myself. This coming from a guy who uses Modo, Max, Maya and C4D. Sure it takes some getting used to just like every program. You can also customize the mouse navigation pretty easily now so that shouldn't be a deterrent like it was before.

Blender is an odd beast to be sure. There are some features within that rival even the most expensive of 3D programs yet there are still some weird hold over conventions from long ago that hold it back. Like strange oddities that obscure it's true power. Even though I use other software in my daily work, I've kept my eye on it since they began the move to 2.5. It's come a long way and there is no indication that they are slowing down any time soon. Recently there's been a cool trend of people spotting interesting developments in CGI and then someone instantly coding it up in Blender. check out unlimited clay (dynamic mesh sculpting), harmonic coordinates based mesh deform, crazy space, dual quaternion skinning, Fluid dynamics, etc., etc. So many amazing and fun to play with features. You just have to get used to how they are implemented.

My advise to those who are interested in taking Blender for a spin is to visit blendercookie.com (http://www.blendercookie.com/) and blenderguru.com (http://www.blenderguru.com/) to get a sense of how things work.

KayosIII
04-15-2011, 03:13 PM
I have a friend who tried to learn it and hasn't gotten too far - So I have had a bit of a chance to look at Blender with fresh eyes. The 2.5 one is a large improvement but --
1) We westerners tend to read User Interfaces from top left to bottom right. Blender doesn't read so well this way.
2) There could be better cues as to which control bar belongs to which window. I was able to do something about this using the theming system. Some better visual differentiation would help sort out which controls belong to what.

3) The properties window doesn't particularly stand out the way it should. Since so much of the program happens here and because so much unrelated stuff is in it - It can be confusing. Have absolutely no idea what can be done about this.

4) now that we have multiple interaction styles (maya and blender) would it be possible to have blender and blender classic. With blender classic doing things the way that older versions did it and the defaults switching to left mouse select and a few things that make sense to everybody except long term Blender users.

5) The Object tools pane should show a list of objects that can be created when no object is selected.
Pretty much the first thing any user is going to do is try and add some geometry to the scene. Having this able to be done with visible controls towards the top left of the application would create a much better first impression and at the moment the Object tools pane doesn't do anything when nothing is selected.

Anyways food for thought. I like Blender and I want it to succeed. I intend to use it more often in the near future.

On the other hand
1) the layout changing interface continues to rock.
2) the paint and sculpt interfaces are much improved.
3) The file chooser has gone from terrible to really quite good.

DanielWray
04-15-2011, 03:41 PM
There was at one point an add-on which did exactly that function on the tool bar, it listed every addable object, I'll have a look at the script repository and see if it's still there, maybe it needs updating since the API has changed quite a bit.

As for the pre-sets, hopefully a few more will be done and added to the list, Max, C4D, Zbrush etcetera etcetera. I think that would be a little better as I think most people who will try out Blender will have come from one of those applications, and if not then I don't think Blender/ Blender classic would make much sense to them.

Some of the points you make are valid, but I don't have much to say about them as.. well I don't know the answers, but they are questions that are certainly worth looking into.

If you think of each area as a self contained window then I think it helps the user determine what panels belong to which area, you can have floating windows, but again it works the same each individual area contains only it's own panels, I guess that's a little different to some of the other content creation packages out there. I think having multiple shades, or colours for panels would cause the application to stand out too much and distract the user from what they're working on though. Personally I quite like how it all blends into one, it doesn't distract my eyes.

EDIT: Just to point out the entire interface is customizable (except the outliner I believe), the .py scripts reside in ~\users\profile\AppData\Roaming\BlenderFoundation\Blender\2.5*\scripts\startup\bl_ui on windows anyway.

Writing a panel which, for example lists all of the primitive types can be done with-in just a few lines of code, which is handy if you need a panel with just the primitives you use the most, or if you want to add custom primitives/ objects.

KayosIII
04-15-2011, 04:00 PM
If you think of each area as a self contained window then I think it helps the user determine what panels belong to which area, you can have floating windows, but again it works the same each individual area contains only it's own panels, I guess that's a little different to some of the other content creation packages out there. I think having multiple shades, or colours for panels would cause the application to stand out too much and distract the user from what they're working on though. Personally I quite like how it all blends into one, it doesn't distract my eyes.

I am familiar enough with the interface to understand what belongs to what - It's only when I stood back to look at the application with fresh eyes that I started to find it confusing. One way would be to shade the different viewports differently (which is what I tried and it definately wants to be subtle.). But it could also mean drawing a slightly larger border around each panel or a shadow or altering the border where the tools meet the contents of the panel and softening that. I also wouldn't mind if the controls (not the menus) in the control panels where center aligned rather than left aligned.

grantmoore3d
04-15-2011, 05:32 PM
I was playing around with it for an early 2.5 beta version and was impressed with what I saw, but it was a little too buggy. However with this most recent - stable - release, I am definitely going to put some serious effort into it!

TheANIMAL
04-16-2011, 12:33 PM
Hmm, looks pretty, i shall have to give it a spin, i hope it's compositing and rendering is more reliable than previous 2.5 versions!

Having stopped using blender in 2009, its probably about time i got back into it.

rock
04-16-2011, 04:30 PM
Blender is probably the only application left that doesn't make use of the right-click context menu. For instance, if you are in the object mode, you right-click, the software should display the only option for that context. If you select an edge, right-click, only the possible options for edge operations will be displayed. Instead, you have to remember w, e, u, t, f, g, h, altw, 1, 0, 5, 8, .,<, > j, q, , ',f1, f4, tab, shift2, ctrl5, etc.. I think that's what contributes to its unfriendliness to new users. Instead of just remembering the right-click, you have to remember all the other keys, clouded and blurred by the memory of the same keystrokes from other numerous, ever-expanding softwares (including e.g. alt-c to cut and alt-v to paste in classic notepad). There should not be a hidden shortcut.

What gets beginners or those who don't use the software full-time or simply are aging is when the keystrokes are further combined: crtl e e45 90 z 5y 2 to do operations. So instead of remembering one task to do many operations, they have to remember many operations to do one task.

Having said that when you start up or load up a heavy scene, Blender feels like a ballerina - light, elegant and fast, while Max and Maya feel like Sumo wrestlers.

Daniel-B
04-16-2011, 07:55 PM
I used to absolutely hate the Blender interface, it was horrid. However, the new one is logical and easy to adapt to. It's a VERY solid program, especially for free.

CHRiTTeR
04-16-2011, 09:24 PM
With max getting really more and more downhill i might take a serious look at blender when i find some time to play with it.

I was planning to step over to xsi, but then autodesk bought it :/

Als
04-16-2011, 10:11 PM
This is the release I was waiting for.
I didn't find the issue with previous GUI, it was fine if you only use blender. It gets confusing if you start using other programs with it.
Blender was always amazing and smallest of codes with amazing features. You can almost run blender on ZX Spectrum!
It's a best example of what great users community can bring to the table. Incredible for free software!


Als

TetraLynx
04-17-2011, 06:27 PM
Blender 2.57 looks good, I'm glad to finally see an official release!

When people talk about Ngons are we talking about the Bmesh program? Other than Ngons, what advantage will Bmesh offer over the current system when finally released? I'm hoping for single click access to Vertex/Edge/Faces.

LetterRip
04-17-2011, 06:57 PM
Tetralynx,

single click access to vertex/edge/face mode is already possible - shift click on the edge/vert/face icons to enable unified modes for selections.

TetraLynx
04-18-2011, 06:21 AM
Thanks LetterRip. I should have been more specific - my main gripe is that you have to <tab> to get into Edit mode at all to access Verts, Faces, ect at all. Just one more click but still annoying to me.

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