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Rename Grease Pencil
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Description

Recently, the grease pencil team has received some requests about the name of the tool. The current name using "grease" word in its name is confused and can transmit a wrong idea.

After some meeting, we agreed that we could change the name, but only slightly, because there was a big work for several years to create an image in the market.

As we are using internally in all areas of code the "gpencil" prefix already, the main change would be at UI level.

Our proposal is rename "Grease Pencil" to "GPencil", but there are some topics to decide.

  1. Rename to "GPencil" or "Gpencil". We think the use of two capitals is better because transmit something like "Graphic Pencil". If we use only one capital letter, it looks we want emphasize only the "G".
  1. What to do with python API. Actually, a lot of code is done using "grease_pencil" (example: bpy.data.grease_pencils).

Ton wrote about this:
"I support the name change. For python it's fine to keep the old API though, we've been breaking too much already? I suggest to put this on the todo for the next massive breaking-api moment (3.0 ;)"

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Antonio Vazquez (antoniov) renamed this task from Rename Grease Pencil object to Rename Grease Pencil.
Antonio Vazquez (antoniov) triaged this task as Normal priority.

I would like to hear your opinions before making the change.

If the choice is between Grease Pencil and GPencil I don't really see much of a point in changing it. GPencil is just a shortened version of the same thing.

Either we should choose to value the 'brand'/recongnition in which case I think we could just keep Grease Pencil.

Or, we should try and think of a name that fits better.

I can think of some options:

  • Depth Pencil
  • Depth Sketch
  • Depth Paint
  • XYZ Pencil
  • Cel Object
  • Cel Paint

Etc. There are many more possible names.

But it's very much the 11th hour making this kind of change :)

I would just stick with Grease Pencil, I much prefer it over GPencil in any case.

We could use a more descriptive name, but I don't think there's that much confusion about this and it's not bad to have a brand name for a major feature like this.

Either we should choose to value the 'brand'/recongnition in which case I think we could just keep Grease Pencil.

As developers, we tend to ignore the value of branding. We have already published videos selling a nifty new feature as Grease Pencil and the name seems to be taking hold in the community (on YouTube and CGCookie, for example) It would be a shame to throw away that name recognition.

The name Grease Pencil may not be technically accurate, but it gives your brain a hook to hang the idea on. With GPencil we know what a pencil is, but what does the 'G' mean?

Update: at the risk of belaboring my point, I just got mail from CGCookie about a Blender course titled "Create 2D Fire with Grease Pencil".

The change of name does not seem relevant to me.
"Grease" word alone could mean one thing, but "Grease Pencil" is another. I suppose that in English there are many other cases where words can mean a thing individually, but combined something else.
You see in YouTube videos a lot of users coming to Blender thanks to the new Grease Pencil in 2.8, and they apparently have no problem with the name. They were testing Grease Pencil from very early stages of 2.8 and they did not even worry about unfinished GUI while they could enjoy Grease Pencil.

Grease Pencil is not a good name (misleading) but GPencil is no better. Apple also kept iTunes after they added movies and TV Shows.

Just to add some background: Some users seem to not even know what a 'grease pencil' is.

A grease pencil is this:

It is made of some kind of wax, so it makes it possible to write on glass surfaces, such as a display. These kinds of pencils have been used by animators to mark up their screen with annotations for animation. In the context of animation software, that is what the feature alludes to: Annotation markup for animation notation.

This is why it is considered misleading: Grease Pencil in Blender is no longer a tool for marking up your 3d animation, but is now a full on 2D animation tool in it's own right, not for annotating 3d but for making actual animations, which is a completely different intended use-case from the original Grease Pencil tool.

That said, I also think it's probably ok to keep the name - just explaining why it's misleading.

Or, we should try and think of a name that fits better.
I can think of some options:

  • Depth Pencil
  • XYZ Pencil

Perhaps Blender could claim stake to the unused brand name ZPencil ?

  • very similar to the existing "GPencil"
  • describes it's added functionality (pencil drawing with Z-depth)
  • comparable to the familiar ZBrush name 😉

the name seems to be taking hold in the community (on YouTube and CGCookie, for example) It would be a shame to throw away that name recognition.

True, but there's also an opportunity to create new hype during the official release of 2.80

Grease Pencil still has the notion of annotations in my mind. T64315#674111
Just my 2 cents.

How about calling it "Pencil"

Leha (leha) added a subscriber: Leha (leha).EditedMay 8 2019, 8:27 PM

How about calling it "Pencil"

Nice! "Pencil" object inside of Blender and "Blender Pencil" as a brand for 2D animation and drawing capabilities of Blender. Simple and descriptive. It's like "Blender Compositor" or "Blender Video Editor"

@Bobbin (bobbin) not sure why that didn't occur to me but that seems quite ok I think?

when we create a new blank object it has the name "GPencil" in the outliner, which i assume it's internal code name, doesn't that cause a problem if you change it to something else? i would vote for "Anim Pencil" or "2d Pencil"..etc, something that shows the same naming convention.

YAFU (YAFU) added a comment.EditedMay 8 2019, 9:26 PM

In my case I know what "Grease Pencil" is. Regarding what Antonio said in the first message, he apparently received complaints about what the word "grease" could mean. I may have misunderstood him.

Regarding proposed names, please, no more very generic names that hinder the search, we already have too many problems with respect to generic "Blender" word. If you search on YouTube with the words: Blender Pencil
You get a lot of results that are not related to Blender 3D.
Regarding the inclusion of "2D" string in the name, this is discrediting how wonderful is Grease Pencil feature, which is not only something that works in 2 dimensions.

@YAFU (YAFU) what about "3d Pencil", that's something you don't see everyday :)

As there are so many opinions in all directions, we decided to keep the actual name. If this change in the future, we can reopen the task.