Whiteboard animation in Blender

I want to do something like whiteboard animation in Blender (for example, like this video).

Suppose I have an image with simulated hand-drawing and a transparent background. I can prepare this image in Inkscape (or any other software) and import it to Blender by using addon “Import Images as Planes” or manually.

I can imagine how to make an animation of the moving hand with a pencil. It can be done by driver moving along a given curve. But I want the same driver (sphere for example) to control the visibility of areas of my image. Other words I want to show only those parts of the image where the specified object (driver) was already moving. Thus it will be possible to realize an animation of gradual and realistic appearance of my hand-drawing image.

What is the best and easiest way to implement such a thing?

I got the idea. Maybe I can try to using a Boolean modifier to make visible parts of the plane with image when some object intersects it.
In any case, I will be grateful for any help and tips.
It would be good to have a simple solution. Perhaps for similar purposes already exists some addon or other ready-made solution?

Have you ever tried Dynamic Paint?

If you want to gradually reveal an underlying drawing/sketch, you could use the brush to draw transparency on an otherwise opaque, white top surface.

Create a plane, unwrap it, give it a black material --> DynamicPaint --> Canvas.
Set the Canvas Format to ‘Image Sequence’, set frame range, assign the UVMap, set render path
Create a sphere, animate it on the plane surface --> DynamicPaint --> Brush, set the brush color to white.
In the DP / Canvas settings, press ‘Bake Image Sequence’

Use the sequence as an alpha information for the top surface…

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Wow! Seems that it exactly what I need. And it’s much easier way than using a Boolean modifier.
I looked at the examples on YouTube and I think it will work well for my case. It is strange that I previously did not know about this wonderful opportunity.
motimo, thank you very much for idea and for detail instructions. I will implement these instructions in life right now.


I just recorded a tutorial on making a whiteboard animation in Blender with the grease pencil tool. It’s a pretty easy process:

Basically you draw in your picture (pressure sensitive tablet is supported and helpful), then convert the grease pencil strokes into curves, give them some bevel and materials and animate them with the build-modifier.

What makes this so easy is that Blender will record the order and speed of your strokes automatically when you are using the grease pencil.

Thanks, but grease pencil is not very useful for me. Disadvantages are obvious - you need to re-draw already finished drawing, and you need to use uncomfortable tools (grease pencil) for this. For me much better to draw picture with handy drawing tool (Inkscape in my case) and then animate it with Blender.

That’s certainly a valid approach to it as well. Here’s the reason why I personally prefer the grease pencil method though: When the artwork has already been created in a program like Inkscape, it always comes down to masking. And this kind of masking can get really slow, especially when there are tricky details like lines crossing each other.

I guess the question then becomes how accurate the animation should be. If everything will be animated in really quickly, then the masks might not have to be that accurate.

Let me also clarify that you don’t need to have a finished drawing when you do the grease pencil thing. It can just be helpful to have a reference image as a guide, but you could certainly draw everything from scratch in Blender.

Well, that makes sense. The tricky details can really be uncomfortable during masking. I’ll revise my attitude to grease pencil and will try it afresh. Thanks again :slight_smile: