Here is one example of drawing one frame. We start in a Bitmap Layer and use the Pencil Tool to sketch a character:

Once the sketch is finished, we go to a Vector Layer and use the Pen Tool to clean up the drawing with solid smooth lines. In order to draw precisely, you might need to zoom in the picture. To do that, select the hand tool  and right click on the picture (or click with Apple-key on the Mac) and drag the mouse. You will get a dynamic zoom into the centre of the picture (Note that you can also use the View⇒Zoom Menu to incrementally zoom and/or use keyboard shortcuts (command up/down on the Mac). If you experience some difficulty drawing with the Pen Tool (especially with a mouse instead of a stylus), you can also use the Polyline Tool .

The next step is to put some colors. Select the Paint Bucket Tool and select a color in the colors palette (click the black square in the Options palette to show the color palette). The palette comes with a limited number predefined colors. You can change them at any time and add as many colors as you want. Once you’ve picked a color, click with the Paint Bucket Tool inside a region you want to fill. Make sure there is no gap in your drawing. Sometimes, the program fails to fill the region and may produce strange artifacts. In this case, undo the action and click at another place or zoom in the region and try again. Also be sure that no other vector objects lie within the defined space that is intended for color fill, you can move the objects over that filled space after.

If you prefer invisible lines, such as adding shadows to the subject of your picture. You can do that using the Pencil Tool. Used on the Vector Layer, this tool creates a dashed path which do not appear in the final version of your animation. These paths will define the border of a contour and can act as the enclosing space for a fill color. Then you can fill these regions with darker colors.

To hide or show these paths, press the “Show invisible lines” button . Finally, click on the circle next to the Bitmap Layer to hide the original sketch.

When producing animation footage, you can utilize the Bitmap layer for lots of sketches and pencil tests before locking down the final picture and inking on the vector layer.

This process is but one of many an animator can choose to do for their workflow. Some animators have resorted to a fully rasterized process or fully vectorized one, regardless the end result is animation.

6 thoughts on “Example

  1. A

    Second Paragraph:
    “…you might need to zoom in the picture. To do that, select the hand tool [Hand] and right click on the picture (or click with Apple-key on the Mac) and drag the mouse. ”

    Dynamic zoom appears to work with any tool (which is great) in v0.5.4. So that part of the insrtuction should be shortened to:
    “[…]To do that, right click on the picture (or click with Apple-key on the Mac) and drag the mouse.”

    1. Gracen

      Hey, when ever I use the paint bucket tool on this program whatever color I choose turns to red when I click it on to the canvas.

      1. Helpme

        Me too, whatever color I choose with paint bucket on a vector layer becomes redish orange that shows on the camera as well. However the pen tool’s color works fine, but I do not want to color my vector images with a pen. Am I doing something wrong or will this be fixed anytime soon?

        1. Jose Moreno

          Hi, sorry to hear that you’re having problems with Pencil2D. For further assistance on your issues please use the forum here: http://www.pencil2d.org/?post_type=forum the manual is not a place to comment on bugs because the devs are only aware of the forum and it’s easier to give you proper support. Again don’t reply back here but on the forum, because these comments are unsuited for proper support.

          Either way What you describe sounds like a bug on a nightly build, but I am not sure. When you post on the forum can you describe:
          1) Which version you are using (e.g V0.5.4b, Pencil Nightly Build November 15 2015, etc) ; you can see this on the “help” menu under the “about” option.
          2) What Operating System do you have (e.g Windows 7, MAC OSX, etc)
          3) Number the steps you are following to reach the undesired result (e.g 1. I create a layer, 2. I pick the color from the palette, 3…) so our devs can reproduce it

  2. darkgryphon

    is there a way to adjust the pen tool to have more smoothing when drawing? I find I keep getting wobbly lines when they need to be nice and smooth for certain drawings. I am using a cintiq tablet so I would prefer not using the point by point tool.


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