New features of Blender 2.79

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The Blender Foundation has released a test build of Blender 2.79: a near-final public version of the next update to the open-source 3D modelling and animation software. As the 2.79 is an important release before the transition to the 2.8 series, please help Blender by testing the available builds and reporting possible issues.

In this release:

Cycles: Built-in Denoising, Shadow catcher, Principled shader, AMD OpenCL optimizations.

Grease Pencil: New frame interpolation tools, per-layer onion skinning.

Alembic: Improvements to compatibility, stability and support.

User Interface: Initial support for reusable custom configurations, automatic DPI scaling.

Twenty Two new and several updated add-ons.

And: 100s of bug fixes and other improvements!


Cycles Rendering

Cycles2.79 denoise room after.jpg

Denoising built into the renderer.

Principled BSDF shader to render a wide variety of materials.

Shadow catcher to composite CGI elements in real-life footage.

Faster AMD OpenCL rendering and feature parity with NVidia CUDA.

Filmic color management for better handling of high dynamic range.


Grease Pencil

Blender2.79 grease pencil.jpg

New tools for interpolating between grease pencil frames.

Per-layer onion skinning, add blank frame tool, and UI improvements.






Blender2.79 alembic logo.jpg

Alembic import and export has been greatly improved, both in compatibility and stability.

New supported features include export of linked dupli-groups, sub-frame sampling, face-varying vertex colors, child hairs and empties.




Mesh Modeling

Blender Surface Deform Modifier.jpg

New surface deform modifier, to transfer motion from another mesh.

Improved displace and mirror modifiers.

Various small new tools and options.




More Features

Blender2.78 viewport object info.jpg

Video encoding settings have been simplified, along with the addition of a Constant Rate Factor (CRF) mode.

Blender render and GLSL viewport support for object info, layer weight and Fresnel shading nodes.




Python API

Blender Python properties illustration.jpg

Custom properties pointing to data-blocks like objects or materials.

Render engine add-ons can now add custom render passes.

Inserting custom items in right click menus.





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New: Dynamic Sky, Magic UV, Mesh Edit Tools, Skinify, Display Tools, Brush Menus, Btrace, Is Key Free, Turnaround Camera, Auto Mirror, Camera Rigs, Snap Utils Line, Add Advanced Objects, Export Paper Model, Kinoraw Tools, Stored Views, Render Clay, Auto Tracker, Refine Tracking Solution, Materials Library VX, Mesh Tissue, Cell Fracture Crack It.

Updated: Collada, POV-Ray, OBJ, Rigify, Ant Landscape, Add Curve Extra Objects, Viewport Pie Menus, Blender ID, Node Wrangler.

Various fixes and improvements across the board.




  • Pose library reordering and keying for selected bones only.
  • Better undo for frame changes.
  • Various small new tools and options.


User Interface

  • Application templates to define a reusable configuration.
  • Automatic scaling for high DPI displays on Windows on Linux.
  • Reorganized sequencer and UV editor panels.
  • Custom shortcuts for keyframing and drivers.


Bug Fixes

  • As for every Blender release, hundreds of bugs were fixed, thanks to the hardworking Blender developers.