Blender 2.65 released, features Open Shading Language support
For a tool such as Blender with its multiple uses it's difficult to single out the most important change in the newly released v2.65 and be fair at that. The addition of support for Open Shading Language looks like the best pick, though.
OSL was created by Sony Pictures Imageworks and released as an open source project in early 2010. Initially it was a typical in-house project used for both live action movies (most recently, "Men in Black 3" and "The Amazing Spider-Man") and feature film animations ("Hotel Transylvania" of latest), and now it's available as a Cycles node in Blender.
As many shading languages, OSL allows writing compact code for rather complex effects. For instance, it's entirely possible to create an ambient occlusion shader in just 66 lines of code. A temporary limitation on the OSL's side is that OSL can only be run on CPU for the time being.
Thomas Dinges who did most of the work on this project recently created a website devoted to OSL in Cycles. Check it out for advanced tutorials.
Next on the agenda is fire simulation. It's implemented as a new flow type in the Smoke Simulator, so you can switch between Fire, Smoke, and Smoke & Fire. Voxel Data Texture for the Blender Internal renderer was updated too, so you can see the fire in the 3D view.
You can read more about fire simulation and other changes in the smoke simulator in the wiki.
The bevel tool now includes rounding (you have the control over precision) and uses Blender units for Bevel amount.
There's also a new symmetrize operation to make the input mesh elements symmetrical, copying the topology, vertex positions, UV's, from one side to the other. Read more here.
There are plenty more new features, but, again, in terms of production I'd like to draw your attention to improvements in the DPX loader and saver. Julien Enche implemented loading and saving of DPX file with 1 (loading only), 8, 10, 12 and 16 bit depth. Supported colorspaces are: RGB, Log, Luma (only loading) and YCbCr (only loading). 32 and 64 bit DPX files are not supported yet, because Julien Enche hadn't found any (feel free to contact him about that).
The Blender.org server seems to be crumbling under all the excitement. Please use mirrors for downloading.
Was it useful? There's more:
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- Recast & Detour project getting ready for Blender 2.60