Linking pen pressure to alpha levels?

Is it possible to link tablet pen pressure with the alpha levels of the colours so the strokes would be partially transparent when using less pressure, as in other graphic programs? And if not, is it a feature planned for the future releases?

the answer to the first part is no because vectors don’t support this.

Just curious. What do you forsee in the colours that couldn’t work with this.

Logically I think the current colours system would perfectly link with this feature. I am trying to think what feature you would lose/disadvantage with this and I can’t actually see one.

I don’t fully understand what people want when they ask for this feature. This is a vector program after all and this seems like something that is only for bitmap type programs.

Is anybody able to come up with another vector drawing type program that uses pen pressure to control the alpha level of a color for strokes? Does Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, etc have this ability?

Hypothetically, what if we did have this brush that would fade the color in and out with pen pressure? I make a drawing of many strokes, but what happens when they overlap? What happens when I want to flatten all of my strokes? How is the program supposed to work that out? To resolve all of the different values of that color? It seems like it would have to create something like the gradient mesh in Illustrator to pull this off.

I guess, for me, it would be helpful to actually see a concrete example of what people want Toon Boom to implement.

Here is my view (lets talk about pencil lines but all the same logic applies to brush strokes)

-You have a line down the centre which calculates the vector. Now all you need to do is add an equation which keeps track of opacity.

-When lines overlap it is additive

-When you flatten the additions are made unchangable

-you would have the base value of the colour attached. You could even tag it as a special type of colour if your so inclined. There would be an option to turn this off which would revert the entire shape to the base colour.

-You can select the line and trace over it while pressing a key to readjust the opactiy(now I say this, this would be an awesome feature for the brush width don’t you think?)

-I would also like the option of using a soft brush that follows the centre of the vector(this is something I would love to use). I would also like the option of textures following the centre as well. Currently it makes drawing with textures a lot less appealing for me.

Yes it isn’t done elsewhere, all the more reason for toonboom to be the first. I think it could be implemented with the current colour logic staying in tact.

Obviously this isn’t a 2 minute implementation job, but I can’t see why it couldn’t be done.

I tend to agree with you that something like this would be a first and probably all the more reason for Toon Boom not to do it.

I brought up the issues of converting from pencil to brush and vice versa, flattening, etc, but what if you want to do some morphing? Sure enough you would have somebody demanding that still be an option with this new coloring model.

I just see this as something that would make things needlessly complex. This might be something worthwhile in a vector drawing app that deals with static images, but to do this in an animation program seems like a very tall order.


because the alpha would be an algorithm down the centre of the pencil line and brush stroke it would fit perfectly into the current morphing framework.

I think it would be interesting and had lots of possibilities, afterall you wouldn’t have to use it. Lots of people use Animate for still images, Adam Phillips has a few amazing ones which you would never guess are done with vector art.

I am going to disagree for now that I think it would fit nicely into the framework. I am however trying to think of downsides and situations it definitly wouldn’t work.

I agree it could be complex (i never said it was easy to implement :P). The way I look at is an option to be switched on for certain situtions, not the default.

As far as the colour pots you could handle them 3 ways in my opinion:
1. just raise/lower all opacities on that line when you change the opacity. The opacity level of the pot is should be 50% pressure. So to have maximum range you would need to use a colour at 50% opacity.
2. When using lines with an opacity line it simply doesn’t use the opacity on the colour pot ignoring it, so when you change it has no effect.
3. This is a pretty crappy option since the other 2 would work, but have special colour pots for this effect.

There’s a discussion on this topic in the Feature Requests section of the forum. I’m not sure that we could support this without breaking the way that our colours work, which is one of our major strong points. I can always bring it back to the table for discussion.


So the way that our colour pots work right now is that we have a colour pot with its own colour ID, and this means that all brush strokes that reference that colour pot can be edited at the same time. This colour pot has an alpha channel associated with it.

If we had an additional parameter for opacity, on top of width, centreline, and texture, it might be complex in terms of implementation, not just on our side but on the side of the animator. Having to adjust all of those elements could be difficult.

But I find the idea intriguing. We are doing many improvements on the drawing tools, and while I think this one might be more of a long-term goal, we can think about the possibilities.