The Blender Foundation has just announced the release of Blender 2.53 Beta. Blender is an open-source and free 3D modelling software. It is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and Solaris. Blender was used in the creation of a number Open Movies.
This is how Wikipedia describes Blender:
Blender is a free 3D graphics application that can be used for modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging, water and smoke simulations,skinning, animating, rendering, particle and other simulations, non-linear editing, compositing, and creating interactive 3D applications, including video games, animated film, or visual effects.
With this release, Blender has gained a number of new features and improvements.
Blender 2.53 Beta has a new clearer, better organized and fully customizable user interface. It also has an updated graphic design and a new icon set. Creation of custom keyboard shortcuts is also now possible in Blender. Key definitions can be grouped in “key maps” and each key map can be fully customized and saved.
Supports for add-ons have also been added in Blender. These add-ons are python scripts which do specific functions and can be installed or uninstalled separately.
Support For 64-bit
Blender already has support for 64-bit systems in Linux and Windows. With this release, it has been extended to Mac OS X too.
In the Sculpt mode drawing and editing performances have been improved significantly. It has also been optimized to reduce the memory usage to support more detailed models. The quality and usability of the brush and stroke system have also been significantly improved. All these improvements means that Blender can now generate more detailed 3D models.
Smoke and Particle Simulation
Blender has a new smoke simulation engine, which can create more realistic smoke. The particle simulation now has a fully interactive animation playback and editing.