Hi there!
Time to have a look at new features of 2.79 (rigging & animation).

Animation

  • DopeSheet : When bones are included into bone groups, now color of these bone groups are displayed in dopesheet too, in area that contains keyframes. Before 2.79, color was displayed only on dopesheet header (area that contains bone and channel names)


  • GraphEditor : Option to make a channel always visible (pin icon)


  • Bbones options are added in Insert Keyframe menu


  • DopeSheet :UI interface of f-curve normalisation is now more compact.


  • DopeSheet : Curve normalisation is now performed without take into account handle, to be more focused on curves themselves.


  • Motion Paths : We can know define styles for motion paths (color, thickness, etc…) for a better visibility.


  • Breakdowner : Interpolation can now be done limited on an axe or a transformation:
  • G /R / S for transformation restriction (can be enhanced with axe X / Y / Z).
  • B for BendyBones properties
  • C for Custom Properties properties


  • Grouped undo during Pose mamagement. All sequential frame changes (without any other operation between) are not store like only 1 frame change in undo stack (Ctrl+Z)

Pose library

  • Now possible to change order in pose library.


  • When adding a new pose, only selected bones are taken into account. (Before 2.79, all bones was taken into account). Now we can create poses on one particular part of the rig (hand pose library for example). When no bones are selected, all rig bones are added to the pose (like before 2.79 feature)

Rigging

Rigify

Some big updates for this 2.79 version:

  • Merge of basic/pitchipoy metarigs into a humanoïd metarig
  • Add metarigs for animals (quadriped, wolf, horse, bird, …)
  • Update in spine and limb samples
  • It’s now possible to add automatically bone groups (and colors), and selection sets
  • Way to generate more than one rig on each blend file
  • UI python file is now automatically imported when you link your rig
  • Lot’s of small updates / bug corrections (including some bugs I reported myself)