Freehand drawing is one of the most flexible and efficient ways of expressing creative ideas. However, it can often also be tedious and technically challenging to animate complex dimensional environments or dynamic choreographies. We present a case study of how freehand drawing tools can be integrated into an end-to-end 3D content creation platform to reap the benefits from both worlds. Creative opportunities and challenges in achieving this type of integration are discussed. We also present examples from short films demonstrating the potential of how these techniques can be deployed in production environments.



Grease Pencil: Integrating Animated Freehand Drawings into 3D Production Environments



Technical Briefs at Siggraph Asia 2015 (Kobe, Japan)


The published version is available from the ACM DL (Open Access).

Demos and Downloads


For You (Accompanying Video)

GP - "ForYou" two diferent versions and Blender 3D scene overview by Daniel M. Lara (pepeland) from psl on Vimeo.

Bye - Animatic Test

GP - "Bye" animatic test (sound) with Blender Grease Pencil by Daniel M. Lara (pepeland) from psl on Vimeo.

Gooseberry Storyboard Test

Volumetric Strokes - "Tree" Test

Test - GP Strokes Rendered Using Freestyle

(Note: Each frame had to be manually converted to curves for this test. However, this test shows the power of combining Grease Pencil and Freestyle NPR engine)

GP - "ForYou" Line Tests using Freestyle and Grease Pencil from psl on Vimeo.

Demo Files

These require Blender >= 2.73 to work. Download a free build for your platform blender.org.


 author = {Leung, Joshua and Lara, Daniel M.},
 title = {Grease Pencil: Integrating Animated Freehand Drawings into 3D Production Environments},
 booktitle = {SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 Technical Briefs},
 series = {SA '15},
 year = {2015},
 isbn = {978-1-4503-3930-8},
 location = {Kobe, Japan},
 pages = {16:1--16:4},
 articleno = {16},
 numpages = {4},
 url = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2820903.2820924},
 doi = {10.1145/2820903.2820924},
 acmid = {2820924},
 publisher = {ACM},
 address = {New York, NY, USA},
 keywords = {2D, 3D, NPR, animation, drawing, freehand, interface, sketch, storyboarding, storytelling, stroke-based illustration},