After you have your drawing created in a Grease Pencil object, may want to go in and do some custom tweaks to it. Perhaps you want thicker or thinner lines in some places. Or maybe you drew the whole thing with your mouse and the linework is all shaky and uneven so you need to smooth it out. Or it could be that your proportions are slightly off and you need to push the parts of your drawing around to fix it.
Perhaps you did your original Grease Pencil without the benefit of a pressure-sensitive tablet and you want to add variation to line thickness and opacity after the fact. For those kinds of situations, Blender’s Sculpt mode for Grease Pencil objects is perfect.
You can quickly switch between modes by pressing Ctrl+Tab and using the mode switching pie menu.When you enter Sculpt mode on a Grease Pencil object, you have the following Blender tools at your disposal:
- Smooth: Choose this tool and you can use it to take the jitter out of any strokes you made while drawing. One thing to note about the Smooth tool is that it affects the control points of your stroke, not really the stroke itself. That means if you created a stroke using the Ink Pen Rough brush in Draw mode, the Smooth tool isn’t going to reduce the noisiness of the stroke, just the smoothness of the segments from one control point to the next.
Like the Smooth tool when mesh sculpting, you can quickly access this tool from any other tool by holding down Shift as you left-click and drag in the 3D Viewport.
- Thickness: If you find that you’re not satisfied with the line width of the strokes in your drawing, you can use the Thickness tool to adjust it. Left-click and drag over a stroke and it gets wider. If you hold Ctrl while sculpting with the Thickness tool, it reduces the width of the strokes your brush cursor touches.
- Strength: Think of this as a kind of opacity tool for sculpting. Using this tool you can make semitransparent strokes more opaque and, if you hold down Ctrl, you can soften strokes that are already dark.
- Randomize: The Randomize tool is kind of like the evil doppelganger of the Smooth tool. Rather than reduce variation along the length of a stroke, the Randomize brush increases variability, ultimately making your linework more shaky and uneven. Used with animation, this sculpt tool could be used to add a bit of “line boil” to your lines so they undulate over time.
- Grab: Much like the corresponding tool in mesh sculpting, the Grease Pencil sculpting Grab tool moves the control points of your strokes around, much like if you’d selected them in Edit mode and moved them with Proportional Editing enabled.
- Push: The Push tool is kind of like a cousin of the Grab tool. Functionally, they’re similar in that they move around the control points that are within the area of your brush cursor. However, the Push tool relies more on the direction you move that brush cursor. If you’ve worked with a “liquefy” effect in 2D graphics application, the Push tool feels very much like that.
- Twist: You might think that the Twist tool is like the Rotate tool when mesh sculpting or even the regular Rotate tool. If you did, you’d only be partially correct. Although this tool does rotate control points that are under your brush cursor, it’s more of a cumulative effect; you don’t have to move your brush cursor at all. Just hold down the left mouse button and anything within the area of the brush cursor spins around its center. By default, the Twist tool spins things counterclockwise. Hold down Ctrl to twist in the clockwise direction.
- Pinch: When you sculpt with the Pinch tool, any control points within the area of your brush cursor are pulled to its center. By sculpting with this tool, you can pull control points closer to each other. Hold down Ctrl to repel control points from the center of your brush cursor, effectively spreading them apart.
- Clone: The Clone tool allows you to paste copies of a stroke in other parts of the scene. This tool is not at all like the Clone tool when in Texture Paint mode. The only similarity is that you need to select a reference to actually clone. In the case of the Clone tool in Grease Pencil’s Sculpt mode, you make that reference by selecting all or part of a stroke in Edit mode and copying it (Grease Pencil→Copy or Ctrl+C). With a stroke copied, Ctrl+Tab back over to Sculpt mode and you can use the Clone tool to paste as may copies of that stroke as you’d like.
Want to keep improving? Try these tips to be a more effective Blender artist.