In many ways, this is really the "VFX" release, featuring many of the tools developed for/as part of the Mango such as masking, color grading, and compositor improvements.
However, for animators, there have also been a few small goodies included in this release (though you won't find them listed quite so clearly in the bug lists on the wiki). Wondering what these are? Read on for more...
Firstly a little disclaimer: this release cycle has dragged on for so long that it's been a while since I made some of these changes, so it's getting a bit hard to remember whether some of these were in fact added for this release and not the release before!
- Support for group colours has been restored in the Action and Graph Editors. This makes it easier to see which F-Curves and Groups correspond to which bones again, as these groups are now created when inserting keyframes now. See this post, and this post.
- Renaming bones renames the corresponding groups
- Selecting bones in 3D view didn't select corresponding drivers
- "Show Hidden" filtering option now works correctly. Previously, a coding error meant it only worked when "Only Selected" filtering option was also enabled
- Materials (including Cycles Material Nodes) can now be driven using drivers. The old hacks here placing the drivers for these at object level have now been removed as they aren't needed anymore. See this post for a demo file.
- The "Armature" option for the Mask Modifier now works. Finally, the Mask Modifier can be used for its original purpose: for building next-generation rigs where the bones don't need to be visible - just click an area of the mesh corresponding to a control and it lights up. See this post for more details.
- "Add" option of the "Blend from Shape" operator for Shape Keys was broken in the BMesh merge. It now works again.
See this post
- Grease Pencil now works in the Sequencer again
- Indicator circle for eraser is shown again. (+/- and Scrollwheel Up/Down can be used to change its size)