2012 is coming to an end, the aim of this thread is discuss the highlights of blender in 2012, and discuss what blender should aim for in 2013.
I’ll start, a lot of improvements have occurred throughout this year, features such as image layers , freestyle renderer and dynamic topology(sculpting) are yet to be brought into trunk as well as many others. Features such as tiled rendering in cycles as well as improved smoke simulation and newly incorporated modifiers (skin and laplacian smooth) have been part of the massive ‘footprint blender has taken upon my hard-drive’ . Most favoured feature being the improved compositor that to me has taken the correct step towards modernizing blender. 2011 was the year of cycles which continues to boast many features at an incredible speed (in development); 2014 would probably be the year when a cycles is truly ready for the production pipeline. 2012 was the year of TEARS OF STEAL which as always, been a project that’s a pleasure to follow, and an excellent addition to the blender foundations portfolio.
As for 2013, I believe blender would only get better, with advancements in computer technology (touchscreen tablets, ARM, Linux, Kepler, GCN, and HSA etc.), I believe blender should push towards making its features better for these technologies. One technology would be the use of HSA, whilst the other, which I am more in favour of, would be OpenCL, imagine the power of any gpu and cpu combined, in the realm of physics simulation(fluid, cloth, smoke, rigid body etc). As was achieved with the new compositor. If blender was to harness these technologies, we could truly see blender become an early user-a step closer to making blender mainstream, which I’m sure is already happening i.e. more production companies are starting to include blender as part of their production pipeline.