Sketchpad for Maya
Blue Pencil is a plugin for Maya that brings advanced 2D drawing to the 3D viewport. With support for layers, transformations, auto-keying and more, Blue Pencil is a multi-purpose tool that is useful for, but not limited to:
- Grease Pencil - planning, annotation and illustration
- Animation - thumbnails, rough blocking and arc tracking
- Model layout and topology planning
- Shot review tool
- Tutorials and screencasting
Visit the Blue Pencil channel on Vimeo to see more of the features available with Blue Pencil. Better yet, download the demo and try it today.
Draw, sketch, paint and animate. Create thumbnails, block shots, track motion curves and review scenes. With Blue Pencil, the creative possibilites are endless.
Plan and communicate ideas quickly. Make notes directly on a work in progress instead of having to do it in a separate place. Sharing is simple since all Blue Pencil data is stored directly in the Maya scene file.
Designed to be easy and intuitive, Blue Pencil provides a familiar toolset with many of the features found in popular paint programs. Drawing tools include the pencil, brush, eraser and eyedropper. Configurable options include color, line thickness, opacity and hardness.
Block out shots with responsive drawing and real-time playback, Blue Pencil removes the need for playblasting. Quickly create new frames with the included auto-key feature, display neighboring frames with the lightbox (onion-skinning) and quickly navigate keyframes with Maya's timeline hotkeys
Blue Pencil makes it easy to adjust the timing of drawings. The keyframes are visible in the timeline/graph editor and can be retimed using the same methods as regular keys. For advanced retiming operations Blue Pencil includes a custom retiming tool.
Blue Pencil layers add an extra level of control to drawing. Animation layers are keyable for drawings that change over time, draw layers are static and display the same drawing on every frame and fill layers display a solid color or imported image.
Layers are flexible and can be added to any camera. They can be hidden, repositioned, above or below, other layers, and easily moved to different cameras.
As a native C++ plugin, Blue Pencil is fast, clean and integrates seamlessly into Maya's dependency graph. It does not require any 3rd party libraries, supporting scripts, hacks, or complex setup steps.
The Blue Pencil node is non-renderable. Drawings are displayed in playblasts if they are visible in the viewport but are not included in rendered images.
Additionally, Blue Pencil provides a robust set of MEL commands allowing for the creation of custom tools and utility scripts or for integration into a production pipeline.
|General||Blue Pencil||Maya Grease Pencil|
|Supported versions||Maya 2011+||Maya 2014+|
|Familiar 2d tools|
|Independent image resolution|
|Layer types (draw, animate and image)|
|Right-click context menu|
|Drawing data stored in Maya scene file|
|Multiple drawing tools|
|Adjustable color and line thickness|
|Independent layer opacity|
|Move layers between cameras|
|Translate, rotate and scale full image|
|Translate, rotate and scale selected area|
|Cut, copy and paste selected area|
|Straight line between points|
|Duplicate previous key|
|Lightbox (Onion skinning)|
|Lightbox color override|
|Cut/copy/paste keys (current camera)|
|Cut/copy/paste keys (between cameras)|
|Cut/copy/paste keys (between layers)|
|Retime in timeline or graph editor||Timeline only|
|Advanced retiming tool|