A release candidate of the upcoming Blender 2.79 has just been released. Blender is a popular cross platform open source comprehensive 3D application available at Blender.org for most popular platforms. RC1 brings several new features to Blender including Cycles renderer improvements, automatic DPI scaling, improved Alembic support, grease pencil improvements and tons of bug fixes.
One important warning about this release is the .blend file generated may not be backward compatible with earlier versions of Blender if using certain add-ons.
When using add-ons in Blender 2.79 that take advantage of the new data-block pointer properties, the resulting .blend files can't be opened in earlier versions of Blender. Attempting to open such .blend files in Blender 2.78c and earlier may crash.
Details from the release notes:
- 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 Three new and several updated add-ons.
- And: 100s of bug fixes and other improvements!