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About the Author

Christina Halstead

Christina Halstead

2D Animator and Character Designer

Burbank, USA


Video Transcript

Hi there, I'm Christina Halstead and this is a quick tutorial about how to use the Pencil tool.

So as you can see, you got the Pencil tool and the Brush tool. Basically when you use the Brush tool, you'll have a line that is basically made up of a fill and you can affect the contour of this line. And the main difference between that and the Pencil tool is that [with] the Pencil tool there is no contour that you can affect, only the middle central line. So basically you can make a pencil line and then you can move it around and reshape it how you see fit using this little, white arrow right here, which is called the Contour Editor. If you double-click on any of these little, orange points, little contour points here, You can actually change their handle bar shape. Move them around. You can detach them from the symmetry of the other one by holding [Alt] and the handle.

You can always put them back together by getting it so that they are mirroring again. And you can also delete these contour points by double-clicking on them and then hitting [Delete]. So it's pretty useful to be able to have a line and then alter it if it doesn't quite line up with what you wanted it to do in the first place.

Little quick tip here: if you're looking to select the handle bar and not the centre point or the contour point you can check by what icon they give you. The arrow with the square means you're looking at the contour point. The arrow with the circle means you're looking at the handle for it.

If you want to alter a pencil line that you've already done You can go to the Select tool and down in the Select tool preferences you can see that there's a size. You can actually change the width of the line you made after the fact.

That's pretty useful if you worked on a character and decide, you know what, that line is too thick or too thin. You can go on in and just change it up and that solves that problem.

The last thing I can show you is that you have the Smoothing effect. It basically alters how the line is drawn after you've laid it down. So if you have, let's say, a shaky hand you can put the Smoothing on higher. and it will smooth it out for you. Let's make that a little bigger, so that you can see that a litte bit easier. So the higher the Smoothing the smoother the line will be. The lower the Smoothing, the more it's going to follow what you laid down.

One more thing that I can show you is that you can actually alter the line one more way after you've drawn it. So you draw your line. If you want to skew or slant it, you can go ahead and use the black arrow which is the Select [tool] and you can actually change the shape of the line this way.

Now bear in mind that with the Pencil tool, the line will always remain the same thickness, because the computer is controlling the thickness, no matter what you do to the line.

Whereas the Brush tool would actually change shape, because that's more of a fill, rather than an actual line tool. So you can always do a little bit of nudging and pushing and pulling just with your Select tool.

And that's the Pencil tool.