Simple Draw/Annotate Tool For Blender

Just wanted to get an opinion on this:

I have an idea for a Blender script that I’ve half completed - basically it’s a very simple OpenGL drawing program (think MS Paint but much simpler). I started writing it for practice, but with (or even without) the new PyTablet Module it could easily be turned into a simple tool for annotating Blender scenes, keeping animation notes etc. If I can get it to work the way I would like, it could even be used for group projects; submit your anim to another team member and they can return it with comments per frame scribbled into the Python script window.

So… Does this seem useful? Would you use it? Have you seen similar functionality in other apps that could provide inspiration? Have you any suggestions of your own?

Note that the idea is NOT to write an all-singing-all-dancing paint program in Blender but to provide a tool for keeping notes and aiding collaboration.

Over to you…


first basic test is here:

Should be fairly self-explanatory. Use the m key to reveal the key bindings for toggling various settings.

It would be good if someone could test this on a really low-spec computer and let me know if they get acceptable realtime performance. On my 3 yr old laptop it’s just about ok.

To do:
Adjustable document size
Save document to image file
Text mode
Link different documents to different frames to enable animation notes
** Your Suggestions Here**

hey, it works fine :slight_smile:

I have some bugs : try to resize the script window, and your cursor don’t match where you are painting…

Anotations are a good idea. What could be usefull is to create anotations popups that reveals when you want. So you can make anotations just everywhere in blender :slight_smile:

it works well on my PC though I feel a little slow response for the mouse-click
My PC specs: win98se, AMD Duron 750Mhz,NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 Model 64/Model 64 Pro, 80060024bits screen, 384M ram
Can add/toggle the annotation on 3d window without mess the mesh up?

Oyster and -efbie-, thanks for testing, glad you like the idea.

I know about the window resize bug but it should be easy enough to fix. these are early days…

I think it would be a very good idea and fairly simple to be able to display notes in the 3D window. I’m not sure how easy it would be to actually write in the window (or if it would be desirable) but I’ll try.

The work flow I’m thinking of is:
(1)Animator or director makes notes or suggestions on the notepad (script window) for particular frames
(2)These are saved somewhere (this could be the tricky bit)
(3)If a note exists for the current frame, it’s displayed in the 3D window

Great Idea, and works a treat on my wacom :slight_smile:
I like the Idea of being able to sketch notes instead
of writing endless discriptive essays when exchanging
Ideas and notes.

Great work Flippyneck :smiley:


Great idea, Bassam!

Jason Schleifer (Gollum´s animator) is working on a “similar” script. It´s purpose is to sketch out an animation in 2D on Maya´s 3D view before doing it in 3D. Check it out js_GreasePencil.mel at

Rangel, thanks for saving me hours of googling for that script. I saw it a while back and couldn’t remember for the life of me where…

Downloading now, wonder if it works with Maya PLE?

Next update…

I’ve added the ability to save the current document to a tga file (hit the ‘s’ key in the script window to do so). At present this will save to a file called fn.tga where fn is the current frame number. Can some of you folks on exotic (i.e. non-windows) systems please check that this works? If it does, a suitable success message will appear in the console and fn.tga will be added to Blender as an image object.

known bugs:
Resizing script window still leads to incorrect placement of marks.
The red and blue channels of the output image are swapped.

Saving does not work on Debian.

I’m pretty chuffed - I’ve got this working as I want it to. Unfortunately there seems to be a bug in the Python API that will stop me releasing a new version until it’s fixed or I can find a way around it. Meanwhile here’s some screenys to give you a flavour of what’s to come:

(1) write a note in the editor…

(2) when you are viewing a frame for which a note exists, it will appear in the 3D window!