Feel free to watch the video tutorial above or simply keep scrolling and reading!
Hey guys, welcome to the user guide for my new Blender addon - quickDraw. This is a tool that automates many of the tedious processes involved with making geometry from Grease Pencil sketches. It creates a very easy way to draw in Grease Pencil and have reasonably solid geometry come out of it with one click. My main inspirations were 3DCoat, Procreate and CAD software.
I am using the 2.8 Sculpt Branch, which you can find located in this thread - https://blender.community/c/graphicall/Tdbbbc/ . While the Sculpt Branch is a personal recommendation, it is not a requirement for quickDraw. If you want to stick with 2.80 Master then you will have access to every feature besides the VDB remesher. Please do not hesitate to email me if there are any questions or problems with the tool, just scroll down to the bottom of this page to find my contact info. I also would like to recommend a few add-ons to go along with quickDraw, these are my Blender must haves: Hard Ops, BoxCutter, MachineTools, MeshMachine, DecalMachine
Remesher - CTRL SHIFT R
GREASE PENCIL DRAW MODE:
Stroke Placement 3D Cursor - 1
Stroke Placement Surface Draw - 2
Stroke Placement Stroke 1st Point - 4
Line Material - G
Shape Fill Material- SHIFT G
Simplify Adaptive - A
Straighten - S
RoundIt - C
Tuber - V
PolyAdd- CTRL W
PolySub- CTRL SHIFT W
DrawAdd - CTRL D
DrawSub - CTRL SHIFT D
DrawExpand- CTRL E
DrawMove - CTRL SHIFT E
Well there are plenty of features to discuss so let’s get started with our first GIF! This shows you the basic process for installing the addon.
When you are in object mode, press W to activate DrawIt and begin drawing. You do not need to create a new 2D animation file, just stay in the default layout mode and let quickDraw do the work. Make sure you do not have any objects named “GPencil” in the outline. You’ll notice a collection named ‘trash’ gets made, just minimize it and pretend it doesn’t exist :) This is home base for all of our upcoming tools besides Remesher. Please note that you can do whatever you want in sculpt mode, edit mode etc to the grease pencil lines- in fact it is encouraged- just make sure you go back into draw mode before you activate any of the following tools. If you plan to use any of the Sub, Expand or Move tools that have you editing existing geometry instead of creating new geo, please make sure you have selected your object before pressing W.
If you press SHIFT + G you will switch to a filled shape for your NEXT stroke. When you want to be in the default line mode again, press G. This is exactly what I needed to make Grease Pencil feel like that old drawing app Alchemy.
Press C for the RoundIt tool which will turn your previously drawn stroke into a perfect circle.
By pressing S you can use Straighten to delete every point in your last stroke besides the first and last, creating a perfectly straight line.
Activate Tuber by pressing V after drawing a line. In the lower left you’ll see the settings popup, in this case it has width, extrude and simplify. Width is the depth of the curve, extrude is the bezier extrude setting, and simplify just reduces the points.
PolyAdd is activated with CTRL W and is useful for creating strips of geometry, the general workflow for working with these sliders is: Extrude is just the depth of the object. Width and Simplify work together, the more points you remove the wider you can make it. However Straighten also removes points but only based on an angle. So as you raise the Straighten value you’ll find that it keeps the points that make up the “corners” of your sketch. If you use Straighten, then you can follow it up with a 2D bevel which will bevel those corners. 3D Bevel is more of a general bevel. You can hit Closed to finish the shape for you as shown in the second gif. More on all of these settings at the bottom.
PolySub is activated by pressing CTRL SHIFT W. Make sure you have an object selected before you press W to begin drawing. This is really useful for cut lines or just little inset details.
CTRL D activates DrawAdd. Note in the 3rd gif I show that you can use the box draw in Grease Pencil, but personally I just switch to BoxCutter if I need to make perfect boxes.
Make sure you selected your geo before you press W, then draw your shape, and finally press CTRL SHIFT D to activate DrawSub.
DrawExpand is activated with CTRL E. Leave the extrude slider at 0 to just create 2 separate pieces of geometry like 3D Coat’s VOX hide tool.
DrawMove is activated with CTRL SHIFT E. It lets you cut edge loops very quickly.
Here we have Remesher activated with CTRL SHIFT R. This creates a modifier, so it is only available in the sculpt branch for the time being. Note how it lets you select a bunch of objects and remesh them together as a base for sculpting. It also fills any holes in your geo for you prior to remeshing.
Make sure you are in a normal scene prior to using quickDraw, if you create a new 2D animation file it will create a new grease pencil object and go into stroke mode for you, this will cause problems. quickDraw expects that there are NO objects named “GPencil” at the time of entering draw mode. If you want to use a sketch as a reference, just rename it from “GPencil” to whatever else first.
Tuber, PolyAdd and PolySub prefer one continuous stroke. DrawAdd prefers intersected strokes. DrawSub, DrawExpand and DrawMove work best with intersected strokes or one continuous stroke.. These are not requirements though, after a bit of time you get a feel for how far you can push it.
If your geo is bad, the process of fixing it usually goes like this: Simplify -> Straighten -> Scale -> CTRL Z back into the GP draw and press A for simplify. In most cases the first two are enough, but running through that entire process will definitely get you a good result. Expect this process to be vastly improved for QuickDraw V3.
Extrude - For every tool this is just the thickness/extrusion amount of the 2D shape. For “tuber” this specifically refers to the extrude option in the bevel settings.
Width - This will only show up on “tuber”, “polyadd” and “polysub” and is pretty self explanatory.
Simplify - This is one of the most important settings, this is basically merging by distance but it is a little smarter than that. It also ensures that the first and last point of each Grease Pencil stroke you drew does not change.
Straighten - This is another way to simplify the amount of points you have, but removes points based on angle. This is a MUST if you wish to use 2D bevel.
2D Bevel Amount & Segments: Controls the bevel modifier’s segments and size. It is clamped to protect your geometry. This is just for beveling your corners, so instead of drawing those slowly and manually you can just use straighten and 2D Bevel.
3D Bevel Amount & Segments: Controls the bevel modifier’s segments and size. It is clamped to protect your geometry. 3D Bevel does not rely on geo that has been straightened. Use the Limit Angle to ensure its beveling only the front and end faces.
Scale - In rare cases the geometry that comes out of the GP sketch does not look right. In the worst cases, it has spiky edges on the corners and looks super weird. If none of the above settings fix it, this one should. In most cases I never have to use this setting. It functions as a fail safe.
So, I hope you have enjoyed checking out quickDraw! I am very excited to release this tool and to continue developing it. I want to encourage you all to go out there, draw some shapes, convert them to geo, and have a great time doing it quickly, easily and efficiently. If you have any questions, complaints or suggestions please email me at - email@example.com . Thank you!