There are a lot of tools that will allow you to draw on the screen while in Autodesk Maya. If you animate this is an absolute necessity for notations, arcs and so on. And although there are many grease pencil type tools, none are as well thought out and elegant as the up-coming Blue Pencil Tool for Maya.

Blue Pencil is a plugin for Maya that brings 2D drawing to the 3D viewport and it is built to be a multi-purpose tool that can be used to Grease Pencil, planning, annotation and illustration, create animation thumbnails, rough blocking and arc tracking, Model layout and topology planning, Shot review tool and also Tutorials and screen-casting. Blue Pencil looks really great as well with an intuitive and familiar interface that looks like a tiny photoshop pallet right inside of Maya and includes pressure sensitivity and brush control setting panels as well.

Blue Pencil is currently in Beta form, and will be available soon for Maya versions on Windows, Windows 64, and Mac OS X.

Chris Zurbrigg shows off some of the features of Blue Pencil:

Blue Pencil Features include:


  • Sketch, draw and paint on the Maya viewport
  • Familiar 2d tools (Pencil, Brush, Eraser and Eyedropper)
  • Independent image resolution
  • Undo/redo
  • Background image import
  • Independent layer opacity
  • Data stored directly in the Maya scene file (.ma and .mb)
  • Drawing

Pencil, brush and eraser

  • Configurable color, line thickness, opacity and hardness
  • Pressure-sensitive drawing (Wacom support)
  • Multiple layers (foreground, background and canvas)
  • Straight horizontal and vertical line drawing (holding the Shift key)
  • Animation

Quick planning, sketching and shot blocking

  • Easily add, duplicate and remove frames
  • Cut, copy and paste keys
  • Retime directly in the timeline or graph editor
  • Configurable lightbox (onion skinning)
  • Advanced retiming tool
  • Playblast support
  • Technical

Cross-platform (Windows and OSX)

  • Native C++ plugin
  • Optimised for speed
  • No 3rd-party requirements
  • Easily installs into any production environment
  • Fully integrated into Maya’s dependency graph
  • Scripting support


  1. Tyler Dykstra

    This is one of the coolest looking plug-ins I’ve seen for Maya in a long time.

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