Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Sneak peek: Blender 2.8’s new Grease Pencil features

Daniel Martinez Lara has released a preview video showing the new features of the Grease Pencil toolset due in Blender 2.8, including a complete new 2D animation workspace and new fill options.

New 2D animation workspace, dedicated Grease Pencil objects and fill modes
Developed by Antonio Vazquez and Joshua Leung with support from Martinez Lara, Grease Pencil began as a simple annotation and rough-out tool, but is now evolving into a complete 2D animation toolset.

New features due in the next official release include a new dedicated 2D animation workspace within Blender, providing access to the key controls like animation layers and colours.

There are also now four work modes – Object Mode, Stroke Paint, Edit Mode, Sculpt Mode – each providing a different set of tools on the left-hand side of the workspace.

In addition, a Grease Pencil asset is “no longer just a stroke [but] a real Blender object”, existing on its own layer within 3D space, and can be positioned and oriented by drawing in the 3D viewport.

There are also new fill options for colouring Grease Pencil assets, including pattern, gradient and image fills.

The new features in Grease Pencil are currently in alpha and are due to roll out officially in Blender 2.8 later this year. Being part of Blender, the toolset is open-source, and available for Windows, Linux and macOS.

The Blender Foundation is also slowly assembling online documentation for the other new features in Blender 2.8, the most visible of which is Eevee, the new real-time render engine we covered in March.

Read more about Grease Pencil on the Blender developer blog