Blender New Version 2.74 Is Out With New Tools And Improvements (PPA)

Blender is a cross-platform community-driven project under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and runs equally well on Linux, Windows and Macintosh computers. Its interface uses OpenGL to provide a consistent experience. It provides a broad spectrum of modeling, texturing, lighting, animation and video post-processing functionality in one package. Through its open architecture, Blender provides cross-platform interoperability, extensibility, an incredibly small footprint, and a tightly integrated workflow. Blender is one of the most popular Open Source 3D graphics applications in the world. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation.

There is Blender’s API available for advanced users who know Python scripting to customize the application and write specialized tools for Blender; more often these contributed tools are included in next releases of Blender. Blender has no price tag, but you can invest, participate, and help to advance a powerful collaborative tool: Blender is your own 3D software.
Blender is being actively developed by hundreds of volunteers from all around the world. These volunteers include artists, VFX experts, hobbyists, scientists, and many more. All of them are united by an interest to further a completely free and open source 3D creation pipeline. You can get involved with this awesome project and contribute in anyway you like to do.

Main Features:

  • Cycles Render Engine
  • Motion Tracking
  • UV Tools
  • “Carve” Booleans
  • Remesh modifier
  • Game Engine
  • Collada
  • Python API
  • More Features.


What’s in this release:

  • Cycles got several precision, noise, speed, memory improvements, new Pointiness attribute.
  • Viewport has new cool compositing features, outliner now manages orphan datablocks better.
  • Modeling now allows custom normals, and transferring data layers between meshes!
  • Massive improvements to hair dynamics and editing tools: a big step forward with more to come…
  • A new tool “Cavity Mask” was added to  sculpting/painting, along with other improvements.
  • Great memory consumption optimization in Freestyle NPR stroke rendering.
  • Grease pencil and Game engine improvements, and more…
  • Several improvements for BVH like making it watertight, solving several precision issues and reducing noise
  • Optimizations: black world backgrounds are now removed from the shader graph, resulting in great speed improvements, many great memory optimizations
  • Nodes: new Pointiness attribute for the Geometry node, control texture space of one object by another
  • New Viewport Compositing brings Ambient Occlusion and Depth of Field right into the Viewport!
  • View-depth can now be picked using an Eyedropper
  • Outliner: orphaned Datablocks Mode was added for datablock management, now allows deleting of entire object hierachies, drag & drop objects to groups.
  • The Node Editor can now show text-blocks in frames
  • Customizable camera safe areas
  • Tools: UV handling for Edge/ Vertex Slide was improved; new inverse-square blending for proportional-edit-mode; “Fit Camera View” now works for orthographic cameras as well; new “Split Concave Faces” tool to ensure a convex geometry was added.
  • Hair dynamics and editing tools were massively improved:
    • Support for hair collision with meshes
    • Simulation now happens using volumetric calculations for more realistic results
    • Strand bending uses a more realistic approach
    • Controlling of child hair shapes using curve widgets
    • New “Spiral” kink mode to generate spirals at hair ends
    • Toggle buttons for render and viewport visibility were added to the particle settings in the Properties Editor
  • Brushes/Strokes: Improvements to rake and random mapping; Line strokes now support constrains to 45 degree increments
  • Texture Painting: Support for dithering for painting on byte images; A new tool “Cavity Mask” was added that creates masks based on mesh cavities or hills
  • A great memory consumption optimization in stroke rendering was done.
  • Grease Pencil: New Editing tools like copy & paste strokes, duplicating active layer, …; Enable eraser on the fly while drawing with “Continuous Drawing”; Various UI tweaks such as color swatches for Stroke and Fill colors; Grease Pencil data layers are now shown in the Outliner
  • Improvements to the action management to reduce the cases where unused actions are deleted
  • Pasting keyframes can now be done flipped
  • Using a new “Follow” option, the animation editors can now follow the time indicator
  • A new Auto Tile Size Add-on helps setting up the fastest tile size for Cycles rendering
  • Import images as planes now works for Cycles as well
  • POV-Ray Renderer now supports volumetric rendering
  • FBX and OBJ now support custom normals import
  • New Python API functions
  • .blend Files & Libraries: generation and saving of previews for materials, textures, lamps, world and images datablocks.
  • Background images can now be rotated and flipped.
  • Compositing: Plane Track Deform, Multilayer EXR nodes improved; memory usage optimization.
  • Sequencer: Slip tool, Setting proxies improved; preview individual strips (feature back from Blender 2.4x)
  • Added gamma node support for Blender Internal
  • Added MotionTracking operator to filter tracks based on how smooth their motion is
  • Many other small Improvements. In addition to the new features, hundreds of bugs that existed in previous releases have been fixed.

Please note that these PPAs are unofficial and there is no official PPA available.

Blender via this PPA available for Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic/14.04 Trusty/Linux Mint 17.1/17/and other Ubuntu derivatives
To install Blender 2.74 in Ubuntu/Linux Mint open Terminal (Press Ctrl+Alt+T) and copy the following commands in the terminal:

Terminal Commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:thomas-schiex/blender
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install blender

Blender version 2.71 via this PPA available for Ubuntu 12.04 Precise/Linux Mint 13/and other Ubuntu derivatives
To install Blender 2.71 in Ubuntu/Linux Mint open Terminal (Press Ctrl+Alt+T) and copy the following commands in the terminal:

Terminal Commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:irie/blender
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install blender

That’s it

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Source:Noobs Lab