Blender 2.5 Beta 1 released
The Blender development team have announced the release of the first beta for what will become version 2.6 of their open source 3D content creation suite. Blender 2.53 Beta, the first beta of the 2.5 series, includes several changes, new features and a number of bug fixes compared to the previous development release.
According to the developers, Blender 2.5 Beta 1 is feature complete, "although some of the 2.5 targets have been postponed". It features a major overhaul in the scripting tools and the addition of a new add-ons system, a new method of extending Blender with Python Scripts. Other changes include various Sculpting improvements that result in faster, more stable and better brushes, and modelling updates. The developers also note that not all of the 2.4x functionality has been restored in the beta and that this version of the software was "used extensively in production of the Durian open movie project 'Sintel'."
As with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. The developers ask users testing the release to report any bugs that they encounter. The first beta will be followed by two additional beta releases. A release date for the final version, labelled Blender 2.6, has yet to be announced.
More details about the release can be found in the release notes, in the change log and on the Blender wiki. Blender 2.53 Beta 1 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Blender is released under version 2 of the GNU General Public License (GPLv2) and sponsored by the non-profit Blender Foundation based in Amsterdam.