It’s been a while in development, but Blender’s Grease Pencil may just blow After Effects out of the water. Well, that may be an oversimplification, but for character animation, there might be some truth to that headline.

I mean, the shortcomings in After Effects when it comes to character animation… runs pretty deep. It has no clear joint/bone system, effectors, true nulls for rigging, native solvers, nor constraints. Not to mention key animation views, you would expect, like a dope sheet.

It is missing all concepts that animators and TD’s are already familiar with — but those tools are pretty standard in any other animation application. (Not even going to speak about Adobe’s Character Animator, which sadly isn’t a tool aimed at animators at all.)

Blender has all those great tools, in addition to the grease pencil and bendy bones tools. It’s all shaping up to be an amazing workflow for 2D, and 2.5D character animation.

Just how amazing? Well, you can have a look for yourself, because Daneil M. Lara (PepeLand) has been pushing the technology with some great little tests.

The video above shows off some Grease Pencil rigging, and some amazing flexibility. Daniel mentions that the current development of Grease Pencil is more focused in a “TV paint” animation style but this kind of “Flash” animation style is fun to play with.