Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

See the hottest Blender tools in progress for 2016

Although for Blender, 2016 is planned to be a year of bugfixes in the run up to a big 2.80 release, that doesn’t mean that interesting new toolsets aren’t being developed for the open-source 3D application.

The official website just posted a round-up of the most promising work going on in the branches of the code outside the main release source, including a new fracture modifier and OpenVDB support.

Space to work on major features
As the article points out, branches provide developers with a space to work on more projects without “too many users breathing down their necks”, and often lead to major new feature sets.

In the past, those major feature sets have included OpenSubdiv support, the Freestyle toon renderer, and the dependency graph.

Although it isn’t certain when the new features will make it into mainstream builds of the software, describes them all as “ones you might hear more of in 2016”.

The hottest new Blender tools for 2016’s picks for 2016 include Martin Felke’s cool new fracture modifier, shown in the video at the top of the story, which scales to comparatively complex destruction effects, and integrates with Bullet physics.

Other highlights include Kevin Dietrich’s work on integrating the OpenVDB format for volumetric data. Early support for OpenVDB data caches is planned for Blender 2.77, with rendering support to follow.

Work on the UI continues in the shape of Julian Eisel’s work on custom viewport widgets and manipulators, while under the hood, work is going on on a new Asset Manager and object node system.

You can read the full list via the link below.

Read’s full list of Blender branches to watch in 2016