With Blender 2.5 alpha 0 we’ve seen the first release in the 2.5 series, boasting a great many new features on top of the all-new event system – a major overhaul of one of the most central parts of Blender. As one can expect, many problems were readily found during the first few moments after the release. I’ve tried to summarize most of the problems that users may run into that are easy to fix or work around.
Some users reported that the GUI would look incomplete. This turned out to be a problem with paths that contained non-ASCII characters. Although it should be fixed in recent builds (as of this writing), if you still experience that, move Blender to a location that contains only ASCII characters in the path. So no accented or non-latin characters like ë, é, µ and so on.
If you want to see for yourself how broken this looks like, go into the .blender/ directory and rename scripts/ to something like xripts/ and run Blender. You’ll see something like the above image. Rename back to scripts/ to get your nice Blender 2.5 back.
Crash while starting Blender
In some situations Blender would not even start. This would happen where the user had PYTHONPATH in the environment variables, pointing to an older Python version, most often Python 2.6. This could’ve happened either manually, to get Blender 2.49(b) working, where in some cases it could get confused or not find the proper Python installation. Or another program might have added the PYTHONPATH variable and set it to some older, pre-Python 3.1 installation.
The net result of this would be an instant crash? The reason for it is pretty simple: Python 3.1 is incompatible with previous Python versions. If you start Blender 2.5 from a command-line and have that PYTHONPATH pointing to Python 2.6 (or even older, if you have it installed), then you’ll see from the error output in the console that it tries to load Python 2.6 modules, and fails miserably.
To easily work around this, and without touching your environment, create a new file called blender.bat next to the blender.exe and add:
Next time you want to start Blender 2.5, start blender.bat instead. It will ensure that Blender 2.5 will run properly. For now you’ll have to do it for each Blender 2.5 installation you do to a separate directory (if you install over your existing Blender 2.5 that already has the above created blender.bat you don’t have to bother, otherwise just copy the file to the new installation, too).
GUI going gray after a while
This is most likely a problem with your driver. Make sure you have the latest for your videocard. If that really doesn’t seem to help, and you have played with the OpenGL buffer drawing type in the Blender user preferences for the system (triple buffer or any of the others) to no avail, try turning of hardware acceleration. Often using Windows Classic theme will turn of those effects and Aero (on Vista and Windows 7 at least). If that helps the drivers are your problem – waiting for a better driver version is then your only option, unfortunately.
If you know of other problems and work-arounds, please don’t hesitate to tell so in the comments!