By baking normal maps, you can add lots of details to models without increasing the polycount. Baked normal maps are used a lot in games, but are also usefull for animations and still renderings. This tutorial shows you how to bake normals using the Blender Internal renderer.
Blender 2.72 introduced the sun beams node in the compositor. It comes in really handy when creating light rays. Since it is a pure post-pro effect, it can even be applied to images.
Volume scattering is used to create effects like smoke, dust, clouds, sun beams (a.k.a. god rays) and similar things. This tutorial will help you understand everything about volume scatter in Cycles and how to get the effects you expect from it.
Want to create awesome motion graphics with little effort? Sniper is a cool new addon for Blender that helps automate kinetic typography and more. Control your camera by where it should point to.
OpenVDB is not in Blender yet, but there are plans to include it in future releases. You might wonder - what is this OpenVDB all about? BlenderDiplom talked with Ken Museth, lead developer of OpenVDB at Dreamworks, about the project and what users can expect from a software that uses OpenVDB.
Sniper is a Blender Addon by Jacques Lucke that creates professional Motion Graphics like for example Lyric Videos with just a few clicks.