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Blender 2.72 Release Notes
Volume rendering and Subsurface Scattering are available on GPU, Volume and Glossy sampling was improved, new Ashikhmin-Shirley distribution for Glossy and Anisotropic BSDFs, memory usage during rendering was lowered, faster OSL rendering, Anamorphic Bokeh support, and better control over caustics.
The long awaited pie menus are available as an addon for ⇆ Tab, Z, Q, ⇆ Tab⇧ ShiftCtrl, ., CtrlSpace operators. New Tooltip design makes important information more noticeable. Python text is displayed in a monospaced font. Blender Internal preview now behaves like the Cycles preview, it starts rendering at low resolution and improves from there. Improved units parsing, even though devs claim Blender not to feature a units engine it does a better job now.
A new intersection tool was added, to quickly cut up geometry. It's a bit like boolean but not calculating interior/exterior.
The Bevel Tool and the Bevel Modifier now have the option to set the material of the newly created faces to the material in a given slot.
Texture painting workflow has been streamlined with easy access to painted images and UV layers, ability to generate strokes with curves and lines has been added, more blend modes are available and new tools to fill and mask have been added.
A new Sun Beams node has been added to the compositor.
A new Mouse Actuator allowing between other things to do mouse look has been added.
The Property Sensor has new evaluation types.
The TrackTo Actuator has new menus to select up/track axis.
The Property Actuator has a new level mode.
The Mouse Over Any Sensor has a new X-Ray and Property/Material detection options.
A new BGE Debug and Contrainst Wrapper API have been added.
The Freestyle line rendering engine has been integrated into Cycles in addition to the Blender Internal (BI). Freestyle provides Cycles users with a versatile non-photorealistic (NPR) line rendering solution. Most Freestyle options work in the same way for both Cycles and BI. Line textures in Freestyle for Cycles are defined by means of shader nodes (unlike Freestyle for BI, which relies on the conventional texture mapping and influence panels). New per-material Freestyle line settings provide a reliable mean to specify line colors applicable to both Cycles and the BI. The Freestyle Python API also has user-visible updates for better code readability and run-time performance.
Animation / More Features
Color ramps now support color interpolation in hue mode both clock- and counter-clock-wise. CtrlF in animation editors now works as a shortcut for activating the Filter by Name functionality. Weights now draw in wireframe mode in the 3D view. Temporary data gets deleted when closing Blender. The video editor got enhanced by a gaussian blur filter. New camera presets: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema and Blackmagic Production 4K.
FBX improvements: Import now supports armatures, shapekeys, animations, with shapekeys also being supported for export.
New DXF importer with support for 3D(SubD) geometry, and geo-referencing. It imports curve types as curves and adds control over various geometry merge options.
New UV addon for align distribution and copy/paste (!!) of UVs.
New Game Publishing Addon is available for game developers!
New addon for named layers & grouped layer management.
See complete release notes at blender.org