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Blender 2.5 'unveiled' at SIGGRAPH, expected release date announced!


blender-logo-whiteThe Blender Foundation issued a press release at SIGGRAPH yesterday with information on Blender 2.5 and its relation to Durian. For the first time ever, an expected release date was included!

New Release offers a new interface with full customization and a completely revamped animation system

New Orleans, August 03 -- Siggraph 2009 -- The Blender Foundation, the organization behind the free and open source 3D creation suite Blender, today unveiled the result of the Blender 2.5 project, a fully customizable interface layout system, with advanced access to all tools and options Blender offers.

During an almost two year process of design, review, and artist feedback, the Blender team has implemented a new core architecture for Blender. The key changes involve a high level of configurability of the interface and the ways tools are used, and a further elaboration of the original non-overlapping and non-blocking parallel working UI system. All of the interface elements in Blender are now defined using a scriptable layout engine, with scripted access to all of the data Blender provides. Keyboard layouts for hot keys and user input can be changed on the fly, including definition of macros, and reapplying tools with adjusted settings. Blender 2.50 also provides a upgraded animation system. Now every setting and option can be animated via function curves, higher level actions, the non-linear animation mixer, or scripting.

Blender Foundation is also preparing the third Open Movie project, "Durian", which will explore epic action content in 4k digital cinema. Six artists and two developers will work in the studio of Blender Institute, for a period of 6-8 months. A key goal of Durian is to ensure that Blender 2.5 series is production ready.

The first of the official 2.5 versions will be released in October, during the 8th annual Blender Conference in Amsterdam. The Blender team plans to give regular updates, with the 2.5 project to be completed with the Durian film premiere in 2nd quarter 2010.


About the Author

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've used Blender in production for the last 2 years. It is a fabulous piece of software. The 2.5 series will tell the world that Blender 3D means serious business!

    I'll be at SIGGRAPH in the morning and I can't wait to check 2.5 out!

  2. Excellent news !
    But from our experience, several days after 2.5 release there will be many bug fixes release as usual ;)
    When you make a new release your "QA department" grows to the community and many more bugs are found (and hopefully fixed as usual).

    Keep the good work !

  3. Already? Jiepiiiiiee Chrismas is early this year! (as madturtle so wisely pointed out)

    I thought that only 1/3 of the scripting was done?

  4. October is good news. I'm a Max user, and I am a little disheartened in the way Autodesk hasn't added anything really substantial to Max since Max 7 in 2004. Blender was my training into 3D and I would love to get back into using it full time, perhaps 2.5 will be a good time to do it.

  5. I didn't understand what was meant with "the 2.5 project to be completed with the Durian film premiere in 2nd quarter 2010."

    The 2.5 release in october will be an alpha or beta version?

  6. Really good news!
    ..perhaps though it sounds a little more finished than it is to say first official 2.50 version in October?
    I imagine although quite a lot will be done it will be a bit alpha/beta surely...maybe Ton just makes the best of a publicity opportunity...

    Aside from the press release I wonder how it has been received by the cg crowd at Siggraph?

  7. If the 2.5 will bring the fetures mentioned I'am preety scared about what we will find in 3.0...

    BTW. Any news on Bmesh?It's the only one thing that keeps me from switching totally to Blender.

  8. I believe the october release is probably somewhere in between a beta and a full release. More of an early adopter/user testing release I think. Since it will be used for Durian they will have to have it in a pretty useable state though, as that is when the project really starts.
    As far as I know bmesh will be integrated, its already being used in the 2.5 branch so by october I imagine it will be pretty well integrated. The builds on graphicall are definitely getting really close to usable, I can't wait to jump ship.

  9. Sweet! I'm stoked about this ... Blender has been quickly growing in popularity for me - ever since I got the Maya/Max layout for it (no, doesn't look anything like them, but the menus are laid out in a more usable fashion for me).

    I'm pretty excited about this. Can't wait to try it out! Hope it works nicely on my laptop cause I'll snag it the second it's released even if I'm at work! I don't want to wait to get home for it!

  10. that's good news. hurray . blender getting better so fast.

    Does anyone know this?
    And when i render scene in HD, i see a grey color on the top and bottom part. i mean in left part. grey look bad . So how can i change that color to black or something that i wish . i try wiki but couldn't find it there.

  11. October! Just in time for Windows 7. Hopefully everyone working on the Windows builds get 2.5 up and running with little to no bugs for Windows 7. I'll be switching to it (and to a new power house quad core machine) as soon as 7 is released.

  12. Customizable interface...this will be extremely useful in widening Blender's user base. Just make a blender that looks more or less like Maya, and voila!

  13. Sorry I couldn't have been there at the conference, I live right next to it practically, but stuff came up. Great to see this news!

  14. This just so happens to coincide nicely with Ubuntu 9.10's release. Not only will I have a new version of my favorite distribution, but a new version of Blender. Sweet!

  15. @Ianvdl:
    For math, you're right: They're exactly the same! But for software version numbers, I'm pretty sure, as far as the computer understands it, 2.5 is less than 2.50 is less than 2.500000. Oddly, I believe (though I'm probably wrong) that 2.5 less than 2.40 less than 2.50.
    Just curious. :)

    (less-than test: < <)

  16. Grypohn & Ianvdl,

    I think they use "2.5" because they refer to the "Blender 2.5 series", and that the "first of the official 2.5 versions will be released in October".

    In other words, they are keeping the door open on 2.5x, e.g.: 2.5, then 2.51, 2.52, 2.53... until "Blender 2.5 series is production ready".

  17. Gryphon & Ianvdl,

    BTW, from a purist maths POV, 2.50 is not = 2.5 is not =2.500000 :-)

    It means that 2.50 is rounded to 2.50, but may be between 2.495 to 2.504 (for example), whereas 2.500000 may mean a rounded value between 2.4999995 and 2.5000005 (if I counted my decimal places correctly).

    It boils down to the accuracy or resolution represented by decimal places.

    (BTW: this is more an edifying joke [in Blender spirit] than negative comment :-)

  18. AnyMation wrote:
    "I think they use "2.5" because they refer to the "Blender 2.5 series"... In other words, they are keeping the door open on 2.5x..."

    I hadn't thought of that. It does make sense. I guess I was expecting to see more "2.5x" in that context. Thanks AnyMation!

    In case anyone cares...
    I created three empty folders (tested in OSX Finder, Vista Explorer and Ubuntu Nautilus), and named them "2.40," "2.50" and "2.5," and in all three file browsers (list view, organized by Name), 2.5 was listed before 2.40 and 2.50. however, when I created three cubes in Blender (2.49a) and gave them the same names as the folders, the Outliner switched the order of "2.5" and "2.40," putting the latter first. So as far as Blender is concerned, 2.40 < 2.5. Interesting? I doubt this is conclusive in any way though, because I'm guessing all four environments are interpreting text strings with numbers in them, rather than numerical values. I guess.

  19. @AnyMation

    Thanks for correcting me in such a friendly non-flamed way :D

    Just goes to show how helpful the community really is.

  20. *sigh*
    In MATH, in a computer, 2.40 is less than 2.5.
    However, in SORTING, the characters are used, and depending on the sorting algorithm, the order could be reversed. B is less than a, because of the way ASCII is used. This means that 2.4B comes before 2.4a.

    As for the 2.5 announcement, Yahoo!!!


  21. @ Statik:
    I'm sorry, I really didn't mean to exasperate anybody! My apologies, I was just pointing out what I thought might be an interesting fact (about the difference between the way file browsers and Blender's Outliner treat the same strings). I don't know anything about ASCII, so forgive me if I'm way off base -- I really was just curious to know whether 2.5 vs. 2.50 made any real difference. I don't know any of this stuff... if I did, I wouldn't be asking!

    Like I said:
    "I'm guessing all four environments are interpreting text strings with numbers in them, rather than numerical values."

    I imagine that if you set a variable via a programming or scripting language to = 2.5, then check to see if it == 2.50, you'll return "true." I just thought it'd be interesting to talk about, since I guess i missed the memo :p

    Thanks for that explanation, too, Statik!

  22. @Gryphon,

    Actually, it would depend on if you set the variable as a string value in which case it would be the ASCII (or ANSI, or UNICODE) values for each character in the string. Otherwise, if it is a actual numeral value, it will depend on the precision of the language, and the datatype for the variable. INTegers are different than FLOATing point numbers, are different than LONG values, etc.

    That's why different sorting algorithms sort such numbers differently. They are using different criteria.

    Ain't programming fun?


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