Blender 2.63 released! Major feature: BMesh integration.

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | April 27, 2012 - 04:42 PM |
Tagged: Blender

The latest version of Blender has been released to the public officially. This version integrates, after much anticipation, BMesh and in the process reengineers how Blender handles geometry. Models are no longer constrained to triangles and quadrangles and can have any number of sides.

I do a bunch of illustration work for PC Perspective and elsewhere. Most of my work is in 2D these days although originally I worked in 3D applications almost exclusively. When occasions allows it, scarce as they are these days, I return to 3D if new projects need it or old projects get returned to.

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Here today, n-gon tomorrow.

I originally started with Rhino3D when I was introduced to it for a high school shop technology class. When 3D shifted to a persistent hobby I shifted to Maya and purchased an educational license. That license has become well used for game design contests and personal art projects over the past several years.

Faced with the greater than three thousand dollar price tag of a new license of Maya -- I could buy a Wacom Cintiq 24 and another used car (minus repairs) with that -- I looked at Blender once again. I am not against paying for software which gives me value over the alternatives. The GIMP just cannot replace Photoshop for my current illustration work, try as I might, and I eventually was led to purchase one of Adobe’s Creative Suites. Maybe Blender would have a different fate?

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Sorry boy, cannot play today.

After a few attempts at getting used to its interface -- I mean the man-hours must be cheaper than a license of Maya, right? -- I was about ready to give it up again. The modeling flow just did not suit my style well at all. After exercising my Google-Fu I found an experimental Blender project called BMesh and loaded one of its experimental builds. After just a short period of usage it felt more natural than Maya has felt.

I felt as though I would actually choose Blender over Maya, even if given either one for free. Best part: for one, I am.

So why do I mention this in the post proclaiming the launch of Blender 2.63? Blender 2.63 fully integrates that experimental branch into the trunk core application. BMesh is, as of this release, officially unified with Blender.

For current users of Blender, Game From Scratch has put up an article which demonstrates the benefits which BMesh can provide. If you focus on modeling predominantly, your grin should grow as the article moves on. More tools should be developed for the new geometry engine too. Keep grinning.

Admittedly, again, I do not have too much time to play in 3D lately and as such your mileage may vary. Still, I can honestly say that as of what this release’s preview builds demonstrate: the water is finally warm for 3D modelers to try Blender. Is there room for improvement? Of course, but now is a great time to give it a try.

Source: Blender
April 27, 2012 | 07:02 PM - Posted by Wolvenmoon (not verified)

Ah HAH. This might keep me on Blender. OpenCL in Cycles will seal the deal.

April 28, 2012 | 10:39 AM - Posted by Mr King

While OpenCL in cycles does work, the CUDA implementation is still better with compatibility and performance. I'd like to see them improve on GPU rendering as a whole, but I think that focus is going to be several years or a sizable cash infusion away.

It's nice coming from no GPU support to being able to take advantage of multiple mid and high end GPUs.

April 29, 2012 | 01:48 AM - Posted by Wolvenmoon (not verified)

Are you sure about that? I just grabbed the build from the site and am trying an openCL render, last time I looked it'd only do clay renders.

http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:2.6/Source/Render/Cycles/Devices

I just tried to get it to render a default cube with a blue lamp, it took it 3 and 1/2 minutes and then all it gave me was a black screen.

April 29, 2012 | 08:13 AM - Posted by Prodeous (not verified)

I have a feeling that his reference to OpenCL is for the Nivida card.. Since he also mentioned CUDA.

The reason for slow performance of OpenCL vs CUDA on NV cards is that OpenCL is not being developed much untill AMD fixes some issues. Once AMD fixes that the team (one person from what I remember) will start work on the OpenCL.

Untill that time. OpenCL does not work properly on AMD (clay render only). As for NV. Stick with CUDA.

Lastly, this is the only reason why I have not upgraded yet. Would like an AMD card but due to lack of OpenCL support for Blender, NV is high on the list. GTX680 is available in Europe so..

April 29, 2012 | 03:51 PM - Posted by Wolvenmoon (not verified)

Watch out on the GTX 680s, their GPGPU performance is worse than the GTX 580s by a long shot. They're only good for gaming.

OpenCL kernels aren't compiling at all for any of them.

April 30, 2012 | 08:10 AM - Posted by Prodeous (not verified)

There are some versions on www.graphicall.org They have plenty of optimized builds including full support for 680. Along with other applications. One of the best sources for non standard builds.

April 30, 2012 | 01:50 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Yeah that was where I got all of my BMesh builds of Blender that I was raving about.

April 28, 2012 | 04:16 AM - Posted by Jimmy Gunawan (not verified)

Blender redefines awesome in 3D, since version 2.5x up. Beautiful interface and rebuild of a lot of things and new features.

- From newbie Blender user at Blender Sushi.

April 29, 2012 | 08:15 AM - Posted by Prodeous (not verified)

User since Blender 2.4...or was it 2.3... either way. I totally agree that 2.6x is what I've been waiting for. The interface now fits well along all other packages out there.

And movies like Big Buck Bunny and Sintel show that the package can do just about everything, matching bigger packages at no cost.

If you are new to 3D, go Blender :)

April 29, 2012 | 09:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Thank you St. BMesh for you have added N-gons and cast the demons from the faceless Dissolve. You have saved me countless hours of toil rebuilding the Hell holes that did appear in my meshes, for you have made them whole!

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