2016 was another busy year in the Blender community, and I think all the signs are that 2017 will be the year where Blender will make its big breakthrough in the professional market.
Here on BlenderNation things have been pretty hectic too - a more active community means more news to keep track of and as a result, I have increased the number of articles per day to 6 on average. I recognise the need for bringing more in-depth articles and I'm working on a plan for that. More news in the new year!
For now, join me to see which articles got the most views and comments this year and what seems to have the interest of the BlenderNation readers the most. Enjoy, and have a great party tonight! :)
#1: Manuel Bastioni Lab turns Blender in a laboratory for 3d humanoids creation. Manuel Bastioni Lab makes it super easy to generate custom rigged humanoid characters.
#2: Blender PBR viewport Branch v0.2. In terms of rendering technology, PBR (Physically-Based Rendering) is the new buzzword. It allows artists to define shaders once that will yield realistic results in all kinds of lighting conditions. The development in Blender is still in an early stage.
#3: Blender Add-on : "Animation Joiner". Francois "CoyHot" Grassard Animation Joiner merges different animated objects into one mesh for easier handling.
#4: Owen Powell - maps and terrain models. Owen creates gorgeous generated 3D terrains from actual data. This tutorial has been a hit across the internet! (For people who are into maps, I guess ;-)
#5: 3D Game Engine for Cycles. Don't confuse this with the rendering engine - Lubos Lenco is working on a node-based interface for the Blender Game Engine.
#6: Introduction to using Substance Painter with Blender - Substance Painter has been welcomed by the Blender community this year and I've seen many tutorials about how to use it together with Blender. This intro by BlenderBrit covers the basics.
#7: Model download: Ivan. This polished cartoon-style character by Nikolai was the most popular download this year!
#8: Blender 2.77 is now available for download. More popular than 2.78? :)
#9: Model Download: Minecraft Steve Rig. You can find a TON of .blend files in the Minecraft community like video intros (just insert your name and render) and characters. Dulana57's character is very full featured.
#10: Cut-out Animation Tools overview. Blender is being used more and more for NPR (Non Photo Realistic) projects, and tools like Grease Pencil and this new Cutout Animation Tools add-on really help.