Several issues with Grease Pencil (no bugs)
Open, NormalPublic


System Information
Windows 7 64bit
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760

Blender Version
Broken: 2.73

Short description of error
There are several issues with the Grease Pencil in the recent blender 2.73. None of this is considered a bug.

Exact steps for others to reproduce the error
Based on a (as simple as possible) attached .blend file with minimum amount of steps

Issue 1:
The Grease Pencil block uses to much space. In the Properties panel (N) the list with grease pencil strokes
takes to much space. Especially if it is empty.

Issue 2:
In the same space as issue 1, there are the "list item up and down" buttons that appear when the on item was
created. They are only needed when the list contains more than one item. This is a Blender wide issue. This
buttons are even sometimes grayed out (Shape Keys).

Issue 3:
In the Image Editor Grease Pencil can be activated when there is no image selected. In the VSE and the Movie Clip
Editor this is only possible, if there is a stripe or a movie clip loaded.

Issue 4:
The user can "draw" a GP line in the VSE, when there is no stripe active, but this stripe is there and will be visible, when a
stripe is added. The user can draw in the Luma Waveform, Chroma Vectorscope and Histogram too. Those strokes
are only visible when Image Preview is selected.

Issue 5:
In the Node Editor the tab for Grease Pencil is at first position. That tool is used here rarley, so this should be
consistent with the other Editor Windows and located at the last position of the tab list.

Issue 6:
In the Properties panel (N) there is sometimes a second tab called "Grease Pencil Settings". It can be found in
the VSE and the Node Editor, but not in the 3D View, the MCE and the Image Editor. In the VSE it makes no
sence, because the VSE lacks the Tool Shelf (T), and in the Node Editor the purpose of the Grease Pencil is
only to annotate.

Issue 7:
Editing. Wouldn't it be an option to go to the GP edit mode through the tab key? The user can leave the GP
edit mode via the tab key, but not enter it.

Issue 8:
The user can draw the GP line strokes in different windows: 3D View, Image Editor, VSE, MCE and Node Editor.
The user can draw the strokes i.e. in Node Editor, but although open the Data-Block in a separate editor window,
sometimes not seeing anything, like between Node Editor -> 3D View. The other way around it works
(3D-View -> Node Editor).


Michael P. (forest-house) updated the task description. (Show Details)
Michael P. (forest-house) raised the priority of this task from to Needs Triage.
Michael P. (forest-house) set Type to Bug.

Didn't read it entirely yet, but as you already said: No bugs ;)

Julian Eisel (Severin) changed Type from Bug to To Do.Feb 8 2015, 4:36 PM
Julian Eisel (Severin) changed Type from To Do to Design.
  1. I don't consider this an issue. I rather optimise this for people actually using it, whuch means ensuring that all that is useful is easily accessible.
  1. As you said, it's a blender wider issue. We're just following the convention here
  1. On first thought, this is legitimately something that needs some attention. However, IIRC this was done since the Image Editor can also be used to edit UV alyouts with no image assigned yet, so in that case, it makes sense to be able to annotate.
  1. OK. I agree there is some weirdness going on here. It comes about from some old weirdness in the sequencer code...
  1. I know! Sadly, this is one case where we have to consider it a technical limitation for now. From my investigations at the time, it's because all the other tabs only get populated much later than the rest of the UI. Unless I missed something obvious here, there isn't that much we can do here :/
  1. Eh, what is your point here? In the VSE, it was added specifically there is no toolbar - especially not one that can apply to only one of the sub editors like that. So, we added this panel so that those things could stilled be accessed via some widgets there. In the node editor, it is used to provide access to the stuff in the toolbar that is frequently closed for that particular editor; even if you think most of the editing tools are of lesser importance in that case, I'd argue that setting cursor space, and being able to enter editmode to tweak wonky strokes or to get them back in line with nodes is something useful (and somewhat addictive once you get used to doing it). So, I think this is a reasonable compromise in this case.
  1. Entering via Tab is problematic because GP can be used frim many different editors, many of which actually have some primary data for which it makes sense to give them priority still. e.g. If you've got an mesh selected, the computer really can't tell when you want to edit the mesh, and when the Grease Pencil. If this is really so confusing, maybe it's time to drop the tab to exit instead?
  1. What's probably happening here is that you've got incompatible stroke types. The only type which works across all is view/screen aligned. Other than that, 3d strokes obviously cannot work in 2D, while 2D strokes could be quite limited back in 3D (though there isn't anything technic stopping it in this case :) Image editor strokes are another exception here, since the image editor draws in a weird way (i.e. everything is normalised to a 0-1 coordinate system, which is mqpped relative to whatever image may/may not be loaded. The other 2d editors should be fine brtween each other though

@Joshua Leung (aligorith). Thank you for all these answers.

  1. The GP is not used all the time. If you use it, you can adjust the height of the list box as much as you want. The "default" height takes away too much space. I.e. in the list boxes there is a tiny plus icon that reveals the serach box and the sorting widgets. They aren't enabled by default. Only if you need them, you activate them. And this should be true for the height of the list box height too. Know what I mean?
  1. Then this needs to be assign to somone else then, maybe ask mont29? ;-)
  1. Maybe lukastoenne knows more. I belive it was him who added the tabs in 2.72 to theNode Editor
  1. I would argue, that the VSE nor the Node Editor need those complex GP strokes that can be

edited and animated. I see the GP there only for annotations. Or can you think of a actural use case? And the additional panel is in the Properties panel, because the VSE doesn't even have a Tools Shelf panel. It's the inconsistent and sometimes confusing UI, that I dont't like. Less is more.

  1. I belive the tab = exit mode is a hidden or secret function anyway. I don't know if dropping it is a

solution. It would made the behaviour more consistent I guess. On the other side, I understand know,
that is not so easy to put new functions in Blender without interfering with existing ones.

And thank you for the great additions the Grease Pencil! Outstanding work!

Joshua Leung (aligorith) triaged this task as Normal priority.

Regarding 1 & 2, I've just committed some changes to make this a bit more compact when it doesn't need to be that long.

Aaron Carlisle (Blendify) added projects: BF Blender, Restricted Project.