New Pencil Tool

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Drawing with the Brush or the Pencil

The Brush and Pencil tools are used to draw and sketch with.

Both the Brush and Pencil tools support pressure sensitivity, allowing you to create lines with variable thickness. The Pencil and Shape tools produce central vector lines. The Brush tool produces contour vector lines. This means that a Pencil line's control points (used to deform its shape) are located along the length of the central spine and the Brush line's control points are located along the contour.

  • If you draw with the Pencil tool and want to modify the thickness variation, you can use the Pencil Editor tool.
  • If you draw with the Brush tool and want to modify the thickness, use the Contour Editor tool.
  • You can also convert a brush zone into a Pencil line with the Brush Stroke to Pencil Line option.

If you sketch a drawing using a semi-transparent colour to get a paper-like feel, we recommend that you use the Brush tool as it produces a more realistic and natural feel. The Pencil line is very useful for tracing, clean or final drawings.

It is also recommended to use brush lines when designing cut-out puppets' articulations which use patches.

Refer to the Chapter Building a Character in the Harmony User Guide to learn more about cut-out puppets and patch joints.

Refer to the Drawing and Animating chapter in the Harmony User Guide to learn more about adjusting the Brush line's thickness and the Brush line to Pencil Line option.

Drawing Using the Pencil Tool

The Pencil tool creates a centreline shape. Pencil lines now support pressure sensitivity and texture.

Refer to the Chapter Drawing and Animating in the Harmony User Guide to learn more about central and contour shapes and the Pencil tool options.

To draw with the Pencil tool:

  1. In the Timeline or Xsheet view, select the cell where you want to draw.
  2. In the Tools toolbar, select the Pencil tool, you can also use the default keyboard shortcut [Alt]+[Y].
  3. In the Colour View, click on a colour swatch to select a colour.
  4. In the Drawing or Camera view, start drawing.
    • When you get close to an existing pencil line, hold [Alt] to draw connect your stroke to the existing one. Pencil lines are central vector lines and you might think your line is connected, but in fact, only the contour is touching the other one. You have to make sure the central vector crossed the other one.
    • You can use the [Alt] key to connect the start of your stroke or the end of it by holding it when you start drawing or when you finish your line.
    • Hold [Shift] + [Alt] to draw a straight line.

Reshaping Pencil Lines with the Pencil Editor Tool

The Pencil Editor tool is used to modify the thick and thin contour of a pencil line. A pencil line is a central vector shape. The shape control points are located all along the central spine allowing to adjust the stroke curve and position. When using the Contour Editor tool, you will be able to reposition the spine of the stroke. When using the Pencil Editor tool, you will be able to adjust the thick and thin areas of the line.

To use the Pencil Editor tool:

  1. In the Tools toolbar, select the Pencil Editor tool located in the Contour Editor drop-down menu.
  2. In the Camera or Drawing view, select a pencil line.
  3. In the Drawing or Camera view, click on the line to reshape it.
  4. Select one or several points by clicking on them or circling around.
  5. Press [Delete] to delete a selected point.
  6. Press [Ctrl] (Windows/Linux) or [z] (Mac OS X) and click on the central spine to add a set of points to adjust the contour.
  7. To modify the shape, you can:
    Move the selected points to a new area.
    • Pull on the Bezier handle. Both point's handles will move as one.
    • Hold [Alt] down and pull on one of the Bezier handles. The point's handle will move independently from the other one.
    • Pull directly on the line in-between two points. No selection is necessary. Holding down the [Shift] key will limit the contour modification to the curve between the two first points.
    • If an anchor point has no visible bezier, hold down the [Alt] key to get them.

Editing a Pencil Line Gradient

A pencil line can have its gradient, texture or texture's gradient edited in two different ways, either with the Pencil Editor or with the Edit Gradient/Texture tool.

To use Pencil Editor tool to edit the texture or gradient on a pencil line:

  1. In the Tools toolbar, select the Pencil Editor tool. You can also select this tool from the top menu under Drawing > Tools > Pencil Editor.
  2. Click on the pencil line to be modified to bring up its contour envelope.
  3. Select one of the contour points around the envelope and move its position to change the size of the tiled texture or gradient. You can also pull directly on the lines of the contour envelope or play with the bezier handles of any given point in order to continue to modify the envelope form.
    Expanding the width of the envelope parallel to the pencil line's central vector will cause the tiled texture to be stretched. Conversely, reducing the envelope's width will cause the tiled texture to look squashed.
    Reducing the contour's width perpendicular to the pencil line's central vector will reduce the number of tiles, while expanding it will increase the number of tiled images.
    This editing technique does not just work on texture fills, but can also be applied to pencil lines drawn with a textured "brush".

To use Edit Gradient/Texture tool to edit the texture or gradient on a pencil line:

  1. In the Tools toolbar, select the Edit Gradient/Texture tool. You can also select this tool from the top menu under Drawing > Tools > Edit Gradient/Texture. The default keyboard shortcut is [Shift]+[F].
  2. Click on the pencil line to be modified to bring up the editor controls.
  3. The editor controls delineate a single tile in the texture. For gradients, this is less applicable. Pull on the top of the editor controls to stretch the tiled texture throughout the length of the stroke.
    As gradients are parallel to the stroke's central vector, this will stretch the way that the gradient is distributed in the pencil line's envelope. The envelope still acts as a boundary for the texture or gradient.
  4. Drag the editor control perpendicular to the stroke. You will feel it glide along the strokes central vector line. This is another way to resize the texture tile. Instead of stretching or shrinking it vertically, this motion stretches or shrinks it vertically. As gradients are parallel to the pencil line's central vector, stretching them vertically gives no visual result.
    This way of ediTo draw with the Pencil tting a texture using the Edit Gradient/Texture tool also works with pencil lines drawn with textured "brushes". If you then paint your textured pencil line with a gradient, you can do so and then edit both elements independently at the same time.

To use Edit Gradient/Texture tool to edit both the texture and the gradient of a pencil line:

  1. In the Tools toolbar, select the Edit Gradient/Texture tool. You can also select this tool from the top menu under Drawing > Tools > Edit Gradient/Texture. The default keyboard shortcut is [Shift]+[F].
  2. Click on the pencil line to be modified to bring up the editor controls.
  3. Use the top editor controls edit the gradient.
  4. Use the bottom controls edit the "brush" texture.

For more information about pencil lines, please refer to the chapter Drawing and Animating in the Harmony User Guide.