Grease Pencil tool feedback

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

THREAD CLOSED
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05 May 2013   #1
Grease Pencil tool feedback

Thought I'd start a thread mentioning some stuff I feel is sub-optimal/missing in the new grease pencil tool in 2014. Not that I don't like it (I do, for one thing the drawing feels very nice with it), but of course any tool can always be better.

#1 For me in terms of a workflow issue is that there's no way to flip between drawings, like you can with regular keyframes (using < and > keys). This seems like a big omission to me, so much so that I've written a script here and modified the < and > (well , and . really) hotkeys so if nothing is selected a command looks for a greasePencilSequenceNode in the scene, counts the frames on it, orders them and then jumps to the previous/next grease pencil frame. It works but kind of fiddly to set up. Learned some useful stuff about arrays in the process of writing that though, heh. If there are more than one grease pencil nodes in the scene though it won't see the 2nd one so not perfect.

#2 - No 'auto add frames' option. ie, when you move to a new frame and start drawing a frame gets added automatically. This is something the Blue Pencil plugin has as well as the C4D doodle tool (essentially the same idea as grease pencil but ironically, horrible to draw with..doh!). It's such an obvious feature I'm kinda bummed this didn't make it to the first release. Of course it should be an option, not the default, but for animation workflow it's a big one for me.

Anyone else with thoughts on these or other points, please chime in!

Cheers,
Brian

Last edited by Horganovski : 05 May 2013 at 03:52 AM.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #2
Originally Posted by Horganovski: #1 For me in terms of a workflow issue is that there's no way to flip between drawings, like you can with regular keyframes (using < and > keys). This seems like a big omission to me, so much so that I've written a script here and modified the < and > (well , and . really) hotkeys so if nothing is selected a command looks for a greasePencilSequenceNode in the scene, counts the frames on it, orders them and then jumps to the previous/next grease pencil frame. It works but kind of fiddly to set up. Learned some useful stuff about arrays in the process of writing that though, heh. If there are more than one grease pencil nodes in the scene though it won't see the 2nd one so not perfect.


Alt+Shift+< and > will jump between GP frames I thought we put that in the documentation but maybe it was an omission I overlooked.

Originally Posted by Horganovski:
#2 - No 'auto add frames' option. ie, when you move to a new frame and start drawing a frame gets added automatically. This is something the Blue Pencil plugin has as well as the C4D doodle tool (essentially the same idea as grease pencil but ironically, horrible to draw with..doh!). It's such an obvious feature I'm kinda bummed this didn't make it to the first release. Of course it should be an option, not the default, but for animation workflow it's a big one for me.


This was one of those contentious things where I really liked the idea, some others did as well but just as many people didn't like the idea. There were a few performance bottlenecks as well early on (we hadn't really nailed down the texture size yet so auto creating massive textures was a hit). That said it's still something I'd like to do or introduce as a toggle on the tool settings for those like me who just like to pen down and instantly start drawing.

Great feedback! Keep it coming!

-s
__________________
My opinions do not represent those of my employer.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #3
Originally Posted by BoostAbuse: Alt+Shift+< and > will jump between GP frames I thought we put that in the documentation but maybe it was an omission I overlooked.


Oops, that will teach me to RTFM more carefully! It is in there but I missed it somehow. I'd like a hotkey I can use with one hand ideally so I just applied that command to my custom hotkeys so that with nothing selected it gets triggered by < and >. I've attached the commands here in case someone else wants to use it this way too (mine was already modded to switch off the undo queue as I flip keys a lot when animating).


global proc bh_prevKeyORgpFrame()
{
string $sel[]=`ls -sl`;
if (`size $sel`==0)
{undoInfo -stateWithoutFlush off;PreviousGreasePencilFrame;undoInfo -stateWithoutFlush on;}
else 
{undoInfo -stateWithoutFlush off;PreviousKey;undoInfo -stateWithoutFlush on;}
}


global proc bh_nextKeyORgpFrame()
{
string $sel[]=`ls -sl`;
if (`size $sel`==0)
{undoInfo -stateWithoutFlush off;NextGreasePencilFrame;;undoInfo -stateWithoutFlush on;}
else 
{undoInfo -stateWithoutFlush off;NextKey;undoInfo -stateWithoutFlush on;}
}


Regarding the Auto-add idea. Yeah I get that it would be slower but I hope too it can be added as a tool option as I'd definitely use it if it was available.

One other idea I thought of was that since Grease Pencil is using regular file nodes it would be cool if there was the option to import images to GP frames. Sort of like camera image planes but with the ability to easily retime and no need to have consecutive frames. I think that would be handy when a client sends a storyboard as you could import those in to GP and then play with timing, essentially building an animatic right inside Maya.

Cheers,
Brian
 
Old 05 May 2013   #4
Brian have you tried Blue Pencil? Heaps better in every aspect. It has all the autokey stuff you mentioned grease pencil is lacking. And has layers. Grease pencil would suffice for a modeler needing to do draw overs for proportions or retopology, a layout man drawing compositions etc., but it's not enough for a character animator.

It's the best plugin I own. Very valuable. iAnimate students get a discount, but it's not listed in the software download section of the site. The password in the JRA forum somewhere from a few workshops/months ago.
It's hell cheap anyway.

http://zurbrigg.com/blue-pencil#downloads

Last edited by egglybagelface : 05 May 2013 at 06:00 PM.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #5
Thanks, didn't know about the discount. I have tried the demo and like it, there are a few things I prefer about the native one though, one is that the drawing seems smoother and another is that it works with the 2d zoom on the camera, and lastly Blue Pencil doesn't work in Viewport 2.0.

I would agree that the workflow in general feels better in Blue Pencil though from an animation workflow point of view, the main reason I didn't buy it though is that right now I'm still doing my assignments and client work in 2013.5 as I find it more stable on my machines than the first release of 2014. I spoke to the developer of Blue Pencil and unfortunately he has no plans to release a compile of Blue pencil for 2013.5. So I'm in limbo now in a way, by the time I switch over fully to 2014 I may just use the native Grease Pencil for the reasons I mentioned above, plus the fact that I don't like to rely on external plugins as it becomes a pain getting updates when the host app gets updated. I made that mistake in C4D and became very reliant on plugins for lots of my workflow and it got really tedious chasing updates/bug fixes each time a new version was released. In Maya if I can't script it myself then I'm loath to use it.

Cheers,
Brian

Last edited by Horganovski : 05 May 2013 at 06:23 PM.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #6
Thread automatically closed

This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.
__________________
CGTalk Policy/Legalities
Note that as CGTalk Members, you agree to the terms and conditions of using this website.
 
Thread Closed share thread



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
CGSociety
Society of Digital Artists
www.cgsociety.org

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright 2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump
Miscellaneous

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.