Better "blue pencil" mode

The biggest thing I’d like to see (outside of solving the issue we all have with using the product on 2 machines in different locations) is to see a better blue-pencil tool. Easiest implementation would be to implement a bitmap layer as an option, and just do a simple bitmap brush that uses tablet pressure to set opacity. Even better would be allowing tablet pressure to effect opacity of vector lines/brushes (end of the day it’s just another value per knot).

The purpose is that currently doing rough sketches digitally in toonboom is usable, but not nearly as nice as being able to lightly build up a line like on real paper or in photoshop or sketchbook. True, you can always draw in one of those and then import it, but then you lose onion skinning. Anyway, that’s my #1 feature request, and if you guys ever expose enough in an SDK that I can just write it myself, I’d be happy to :wink:


I hafa agree, I make a drawing layer and “rough” a blue line. I am sure it wouldn’t be a whole lotta programming to include in the drop down adds a “rough” that defaulted you to a blue pencil, then you could always have the option to use it or not. Then again, every additional upgrade means I also
hafta "upgrade my version to get the newer cooler stuff (maybe I should just keep quiet) :open_mouth:

Ohwww yes! This blue-pencil features from SeanN would be a great value to the software’s evolution.

Hi Lilly!

I use the same method as you do for the blue pencil mode. :slight_smile:

But the fact of staying at the same level of opacity (a constant between 0>100%) while doodeling with the blue pencil don’t feel natural.

Like SeanN wrote, the fact of linking tablet pressure with the blue pencil/bitmap mode would be a great step forward.

Great thx for the feedback, Lilly.

Don B

have you thought about keeping the vector but allowing the opactiy to change on the vectors in a similar manner to the vector?

Yeah it isn’t going to be a 2 minute job, as you would be adding something that nobody (i am aware of) has done yet. But being an industry leader is always a good thing.

Boy, this is an old thread. Manga Studio has both vector and bitmap drawing capabilities. Pencil, a freeware animation program for the Mac, has both (but the vector drawing tools don’t work too well).

I do my roughs in TVPaint, but would love to be able to sketch directly in ToonBoom. Vectors are never fast or responsive enough, although at least it’s better than Flash.

A tip I got from the Studio forum is to lower the alpha and uncheck “Draw top layer” or whatever it is called. That way you can build up your drawing, making it darker and darker.

Another tip is to place a piece of paper on your wacom(Or what you use), to get a more natural feeling, and your hand floats better on paper…


By the way, if anyone is interested, there is a free program called “Plastic Animation Paper” (at that is quite nice and feature-rich. There are a couple of problems in that it is Windows-only and doesn’t work well with a Cintiq. The developers ran into some snags and abandoned it.

As a side note, in Animate Pro there is the option to paint with a texture brush that can much more closely approximate drawing with a blue pencil. Simply select a texture brush and you can change the opacity of your blue colour pot down a little and it will feel very much more like drawing with the traditional blue pencil.


I understand your desire. Of course, with a vector colour pot this is not possible because the alpha cannot varry along the course of the line. Thus we’re back to thinking about whether it’s possible or desired to be able to actually draw a bitmap layer. At the moment it’s not possible to draw in bitmap - our software is vector-only - but we can certainly consider the options.


As far as I know this is not possible - but I will definitely discuss it with the development team. Thanks for the ideas!



I brought the idea to the table, so now all we have to do is wait and see if it bears fruit.