Blender 2.8 Grease Pencil basics

Getting the started with the new grease pencil tool in Blender 2.8 can be a bit tricky at first. In this post I will simply list some “gotchas” that I bumped into in case it may help others:

Question 1: Why can’t I create a fill color for my object with the fill-tool?
I’m clicking inside a closed stroke, but the stroke seems to be getting thicker instead of a fill appearing.

Answer: You probably need to set the fill opacity alpha to 1. it’s zero for materials by default which makes the fill transparent.

Question 2: How can I tween or interpolate between grease pencil shapes?

Answer: The basic tween workflow can be tested like this:
-Draw a shape
-Duplicate the first keyframe on the dopesheet timeline (shift + d) and move it further in time
-Go to this second keyframe and enter the sculpt mode
-Change the shape of the stroke by sculpting
-Go between these two keyframes and from the “interpolate” menu on the top choose “sequence” to have Blender automatically create the in-betweens

Question 3: Why does the brush size and strength change from what I set it to be in the top bar when I try to sculpt my strokes with grab tool in sculpt mode?

Answer: Still working on the answer for this one! 🙂

Question 4: What’s the difference between “Draw block”, “Draw ink”, “Draw Marker” “Draw Noise”, “Draw Pen” and “Draw Pencil”?

Answer: Try them and you will see they all produce a different kind of stroke. The Draw Ink -brush doesn’t seem to do ink-like angles when painting with a mouse, but using a pressure sensitive tablet and pen helped.

Question 5: How do I create new grease pencil layers or collections in 2.8?

Answer:You can add new layers to grease pencil by selecting the little pen icon in the properties area (one tab before the materials tab) and creating layers there.

Question 6: Where does the white background come from when using the new 2d-animation project preset?

Answer:N-panel –> “grease pencil paper”

Basic workflow suggestion for 2.8 Grease pencil:
-Add a new empty grease pencil object in object mode (shift+a keyboard shortcut). This step is needed to be able to activate the draw mode in the next step.
-Switch from object mode to draw mode
-Select your pencil/brush type from the left side tool panel
-Modify your brush settings from the “tool settings” panel in the right side property buttons -area. You might want to try the turn on the “active smooth” for example to get an interesting, smooth and accurate drawing experience even with just the computer mouse.
-Sculpt your strokes in the sculpt mode. You can for example add width variations to the stroke with the width tool.
-Go to the materials tab and change stroke color and add a fill (change fill opacity to 1 first)

That’s it for now, I will append this article with more questions and answers as I continue studying the tool.

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