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Blue Pencil 2

Advanced Grease Pencil for Maya


Blue Pencil 2 is a robust and comprehensive plug-in for 2D drawing, animation and review.

Providing a wide selection of drawing tools, layers, transformations, retiming, simplified sharing and more, Blue Pencil 2 is a powerful addition to the animator’s toolkit.

Redesigned and developed from the ground up, while maintaining the features that made the original a success, Blue Pencil 2 is built around Viewport 2.0 and provides full integration with the latest versions of Maya.

Drawing Tools

In addition to the pencil, brush and eraser tools, Blue Pencil 2’s new tools are designed to speed up and improve common drawing tasks, markup and review.

The Text Tool makes adding clear, easy-to-read notes a breeze. Simply click and type. No more trying to decypher hand drawn text. Use the Line Tool to quickly make straight lines in any direction and highlight areas of interest using the Arrow, Rectangle and Ellipse Tools.


Blue Pencil 2 includes support for multiple layers on each camera. Layers are flexible and can be added to any camera. They can be hidden, repositioned and easily moved to different cameras.

Layer states add an extra level of control, allowing animators to work in a way that most suits the task at hand. These states include animation, static and locked. An animation layer automatically creates new frames when drawing (autokey). Static layers contain a held frame that can be drawn on at any time (great for backgrounds, arc tracking, etc…) and locked layers disable all drawing operations. A layer’s state is dynamic and can be changed as required.

Transform Tool

Save time with the Transform Tool. This flexible tool allows a selected area of the image to be moved, rotated and scaled without having to erase and redraw. Additionally, the Transform Tool allows for a section of the image to be cut or copied and later pasted (and transformed) on the current frame or a different frame.

Retiming Tool

The Retiming Tool is a helpful script for easily retiming drawings in an animator friendly way. Quickly shift frames left or right, set fixed spacing between frames and move from 1’s to 2’s (or 3’s or 4’s) in the click of a button.


All drawing data is saved directly in the Maya scene file. Sharing a scene is as simple as sending the .ma or .mb file. There are no external images to manage.


Blue Pencil 2 includes an extensive set of MEL commands allowing users to create shelf buttons, write custom scripts and integrate with a production pipeline.

Feature Comparison

GeneralBlue Pencil 2Maya Grease Pencil
2d drawing and animation
Layer Manager
Transform Tool
Retiming Tool
Right-click context menu
Drawing data stored in Maya scene file
Basic drawing tools (pencil, brush, etc...)
Configurable color, size and opacity
Eraser tool
Text tool
Line tool
Arrow tool
Rectangle tool
Ellipse tool
Layer states (animation, static and locked)
Modifiable layer ordering
Move layers between cameras
Translate, rotate and scale full image
Translate, rotate and scale selected area
Cut, copy and paste selected area
Viewport 2.0 (OpenGL and DirectX)
2D Pan and Zoom
Wacom support
Add/remove keys
Duplicate previous key
Timeline frame markers
Customize frame marker color
Ghosting color overrides
Cut/copy/paste keys (current camera)
Cut/copy/paste keys between cameras
Cut/copy/paste keys between layers
Advanced retiming

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** Starting with Maya 2023, Blue Pencil is part of the official Maya installation (replacing the Grease Pencil tools). A license is not required for these releases. **

Blue Pencil 2 may be downloaded and evaluated for free (with some limitations). However, a license must be purchased for continued use (for releases prior to Maya 2023).

For installation instructions see the Online Documentation.