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2.42 RC1 Released


node.jpgBlenderheads rejoice! The Blender Foundation has released the first Release Candidate of 2.42 and they need your help to test the code before the final release.

Ton writes:

For at least the period until sunday June 25th, you can help us by giving the official test builds a good test. Since a lot of code shuffles happened the past half year, we are especially interested to see if old projects (done in 2.41 or older) still animate/model/render as usual.

New Features

Of course, all these features have been available to users who compile their own CVS version but if you're lazy like me then this is your chance for a first look at the new tools,such as:

  • Generic Node editing system
  • The Nodes UI
  • Material (Shading) Nodes
  • Composite Nodes
  • Render Pipeline
  • Vector Blur
  • "Curves" UI widget
  • Transmissivity and internal reflection ray tracing
  • True symmetrical mesh editing
  • Armature/pose bone layers
  • Stride support with multiple actions
  • Custom bone drawtypes
  • Anisotropic and fresnel shaders
  • Grouping support
  • Dupli-group (allow full animated instances of groups)
  • Dupli-group NLA (allow to animate group instances)
  • Icon previews in menus (materials, textures, images)
  • Much improved linked library support
  • Shape key tools

You can find more information on these features in the (not yet finished) 2.42 Release Log.


To get started, download the 2.42 RC1 for your platform and grab the 2.42 demo files.


When you find a bug, please register on and enter the bug in the bugtracker.

Final note

Remember that this is beta quality software; don't use it to run nuclear powerplants or to do that mission-critical project that will get you your next promotion.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. I hope that someone (mchs3d) releases an SSE2 optimized build for the next release since we all realize that the standard Windows binary just can't compare!

  2. @BeBraw: I don't know - I just copied the list from the releasenotes. I guess we'll have to wait until they are done ;-)

    @madman: yes, they are upgrading the MySQL database right now in order to be able to do a mediawiki upgrade. Shouldn't take more than a few hours.

  3. Yes I saw this declaration on Blender's site yesterday night (according to our time). I am very excited about this new release because I love to download and get a kick out by thinking that the new version is even more loaded. I am still a novice and hence many of the new features don't make any sense to me like what is the significance of "True symmetrical mesh editing"? ...And I have still not been able to use stride bone. More appropriately I don't understand the stride bone concept. But I do believe that it is even more loaded. Cheers! :-)

  4. This is the Blender World. I started in July '05 with this toy in the funny 2.37 version and less than one year after we are talking about 2.42 version. Thats incredible ...

    Realy Nice...

    Tio Ilmo

  5. I think the 'True symmetrical mesh editing' means that you get rid of those extra faces that appears on the mirror plane when making extrudes. For example - if you are going to extrude out the nose on a character you don't have to go back and delete those extra faces.

    Really cool new features to experiment with, thumbs up for blender!

  6. googleplexer on

    I'm not sure if this is due to my stupidity or whether it is an oversight in the release/the included test files. I downloaded RC1 and the test files from the links and it works great. The only problem is that some of the test files, in the text window, tell you to render one way and then turn on the "unified render."

    In 2.41, the "Unified" button is at the bottom of the "preset" size column, under the “Render Settings” panel, but seems to have either been removed or simply moved in 2.42.

    Can I just not find it, or are the test files slightly outdated? (i.e. the revised render pipeline and node system eliminate the need for the unified rendering feature.)

  7. True symmetrical mesh editing refers to that little button that appears in the "Editing" (F9) Buttons panel when you are in edit mode. It's in "Mesh Tools 1" at the end. When you select a vertex, blender checks to see if there is a matching one on the other side. If there is, it will move when you move the selected vertex (or vertices).

    Sounds great for last minute changes to a once mirror modified mesh. For modeling from scratch, I don't think it's a good idea. Many fancier and important operations, like "Smooth", for example, won't be mirrored at all with this method. A great new feature, but it's not supposed to replace mirror modifiers. It not as robust as a modifier, but can be turned on and off easily.

    Blender just keeps getting better! Don't stop! More, more, more!

  8. I just had a quick look at it and it's looking a lot better.
    The material preview window is very nice, but another thing I noticed was how it renders. Instead of doing it line by line, now i does it section by section.....
    Im not critisizing, I don't mind how it renders, I'm just curious to why it has been changed this way......
    Oh and the gaming side of things is looking much better too.....I can't wait until that OGRE engine or whatever it is they are planning is integrated into it as well.

    Overall, looking very nice ;)

  9. This so cool, I can't wait for the stable version :)

    And a question, what does mean blender SSE2 optimized?

  10. HenryIII: Thanks. Got it work!

    Sephiroth: SSE2 optimized version renders ~much~ faster than normal build if you happen to have a CPU that supports it. Every second counts. :) Some even use optimized Linux or so I have heard.

  11. To all those involved in this task - Thank you for your hard work. There are things I wish Blender would do, but I will not ask for more at this time, that would be ungrateful. I feel that all I can say at the completion of another big step is to say Thank You. I think that you are people with lots of drive and ambition, I am sure you will continually improve this program of your own volition, it is in your blood. Impressive. Again I say Thank you.

  12. rpgsimmaster on

    There are a whole heap of new features which look cool (especially the texture window... Now I have to get used to that part of the interface)

    HOWEVER, I did a test render, loading a file I made in 240, and without changing any settings I rendered it in 242RC1. It took 50.63 seconds in 242 as opposed to 9.46 seconds in 240. Big Difference.

    I did notice that 242, by default, changes XParts and YParts to 4, even from a loaded file, but even when I change both to 1, it still took 46.60 seconds.

    I use Windows, and had the same processes running for each of the renders, so I wonder what it is that needs to be done to optimize either the file or the code.

    After all, even with all the new features, I don't want to be waiting for a file to render in 242, when it could render in a fifth of the time in 240...

  13. I highly recommend everybody to check out the demo files. There are some amazing features and work in there. I'm very, very, very impressed. Blender develops at an amazing rate.

  14. Well, I tested it with a 2.41 scene and it went from (with 2.41) 2.08 mins to 2.55mins with 2.42RC1 and the chrome-material looked horribly jagged even though OSA was the same. So I hope it's an isolated incident :/

  15. If a scene renders much slower or incorrect in 2.42, try to find out what exactly is causing it. Enable/disable options like raytracing or osa, hide an object, remove a material, ..., and see what is causing the difference compared to 2.41. Then report a bug to the tracker with a .blend that shows the problem (as small and simple as possible).

  16. Turns out 2.42rc1 takes HDRI-probes seriously and 2.41 does not - after I changed the world texture to something non-hdr, renders are identical.

  17. Ditto, Aaron, I didn't mean that this release should have more, I was just cheering every one on, you might say. Blender is an amazing program that is being developed at a fantastic rate. It already has tons of features. I'm continually surprised with some new feature that I didn’t know existed.

    There are many small improvements in this release that are not mentioned in the list above. For example, the camera fly mode now works with the viewpoint as well as a camera object, and the controls make more sense.

    There’s a new option in the color picker that allows you to pick the color from any spot in the blender window (like an eyedropper). It’s the sample button in the color select box that shows up when you click on a color.

    The new preview (Shift + P) may still need a little work, but it’s a great feature.

    I think this release is great, and I hope that 2.42 will be out soon. (I want to see the new splash screen!)

    Great work, Blender is a fine program.

  18. AH! archives my favourite! One thing which I find more attractive than the node editor is the fact that the windows version of blender comes in an archive, no nasty installer to damage my ever so delicate windows install!

  19. Rendered same scene on both:

    2.42 RC1 shows:
    FRA1 VE6596 FA7046 LA3 mem 337.43M 3':05".81
    Free Intern memory drops from 602 to 267 at the and of rendering

    2.41 shows:
    FRA1 VE6596 FA7104 LA3 mem 19.82M 1':09".60
    Free Intern memory drops from 602 to 553 at the and of rendering

  20. Olav: Try setting XParts and YParts in Buttons Window\Scene\Render to 1 in 2.42 RC1. I noticed considerable difference on one of my .blends when I tried that. It was slower with 4 X and YParts but faster than 2.41 when I set them to 1. Also the amount of memory being used had huge differences. The one with 4 parts used slightly less than 2.41 but with 1 parts it used only about 25 % of that memory.

  21. BeBraw: Sorry...didn't do any good , just getting worse.
    It looks like 2.42 is eating up MEM during rendering and doesn't release it in time to be free for another part of the scene....sounds stupid maybe, but that
    what it looks like compared to 2.41

  22. Dang....2.42 does have some serious problems......
    Many new features that are great have been added, and things are looking much better than 2.41, but it seems that the rendering side of things is just about to walk out the door....
    Great work on all the new tools, but......Hopefully these rendering problems will be rectified. Even the materials preview window has trouble showing previews....

  23. Yes, the rendering is a lot slower, I noticed... However, it now renders fluids properly; 2.41 did not render transparent fluids properly.

    The longer render times are because of the transmissity and internal reflection. Adds to the complexity. But I think the default should be one X tile and one Y tile.

    Another un-noted feature that's new is the little axis in the bottom left corner... in 2.41 it's static and only shows in orthographic side, top, and front veiw. Now it's 3D and moves when you change veiw, which helps me because I havn't memorized my Axis color code.

  24. If you have serious rendering slowdowns or other bugs, report them _now_. I don't see any render performance bugs in the tracker. Don't assume the developers know about problems with your blend files on your computer.

  25. Hi everyone,

    brecht is right: report the issues in the tracker. Don't assume that mentioning them here is enough.



  26. I notice that the material preview stops the current preview from rendering if an event occurs - unfortunately this seems to stop it from rendering even when something as simple as the mouse being moved over a button happens. I hope that this will be fixed for the release! -epat

  27. @epat
    You don't have to hope. You have to do a bug report, as mentioned before.
    RC releases are released to allow people to discover bugs in time for the official release. If you have a blend that triggers a bug, you should submit it along with a (good) bug report in the tracker.

    There are a lot of new features in this (present) release. Way too much to "looking forward to next releases".

  28. I found a few bugs in 2.42 RC1 and submitted them to the bugtracker. However, I can only see the bugreports when I'm logged in, not when I'm logged out and I doubt than any one else can see them...
    The report numbers are 4400, 4401 and 4402.

    Can anyone pls tell me what I did wrong?

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