A Better Blender Keymap For 2D Artists

I have been working on a 2D friendly keymap, and I wanted to submit it for feedback.

The idea behind this is to make blender and Grease Pencil a more welcoming experience for people who come from a 2D background, and to give them some shortcuts that will stay close to their expectations. I have been using it quite a bit and while I’m still always adding stuff and tweaking, I think I can submit it so people can tell me what they would like to find in something like this.

Make your 2D artist friend try this keymap and let me know!

The global layout is very reminiscent of habits people will have developped in Adobe softwares such as photoshop, flash and after FX. I think there is still a lot to add but I hope it’s a good starting point.

Here are some of the main features:

  • Pan With Space : Staple of 2D softwares, you can now pan with space, zoom with space+ctrl, dezoom with space+ctrl+alt, and rotate the view with left click+alt.

  • play with Return : to easily play your animation now that space is used.

  • ctrl+left click for lasso everywhere : no matter the mode, select defaults to lasso, and box select in the dope sheet and outliner. Box select with ctrl+alt.

  • ctrl+A selects all, ctrl+D unselects all.

  • for grease pencil objects; B for draw mode, L for edit mode (kind of like the lasso tool in 2D), E for sculpt (as in 2.79), Tab always brings back to Object Mode. Keys for modes because in 2D, modes are tools.

  • Same sort of things for the sculpt mesh tools because these are the more “traditional artist” modes and they go hand in hand: L for edit mode, E for sculpt, and B for texture paint.

  • Arrows to move strokes in increments (this one is still buggy because of issues with blender, I’m waiting to get a response)

  • Since this is based on AZERTY layouts, “,” and “;” change frames, “:” and “!” go from key to key to easily flip drawings (this corresponds to the settings in flash or Animate CC which uses < and > in qwerty. Maybe I should set it up that way as default?)

  • Move objects and keys with a right click tweak to avoid conflict with selection and tools

Many other improvements here and there.

The main questions I still have :

  • no shortcut I can find to extend a keyframe duration?

  • I’m tempted to go B for draw, E for edit mode and S for sculpt but S is taken by scale. I don’t know if this would be work removing? I’ve set transform tool to Ctrl+S and maybe we can use that instead… G-R-S is just such a useful set of shortcuts.

You can download it here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FakJsD35JyTtHVgopXzCcWXTA2khTvgO

I wonder if a github would be a better format for this?

I’m not entirely familiar with Github but here is a repository I’ve set up that includes a startup file with a grease pencil already in the scene and a good way to setup the UI.

Please let me know if you would like to see some improvements or if that helps you feel like you’re doing 2D, and if you would like to see something like that in the official blender release.

3 Likes

This is very cool and the pan and zoom controls seem to work great! left click alt rotates the 3d viewport. Pressing ctrl seems to make a lasso tool, but it doesn’t seem to select anything. The shortcuts for switching modes don’t seem to work either. I’m using Blender 2.81a, so maybe something broke between versions. I do enjoy the pan and zoom controls in any case. Thank you!