New life of Pencil
As you probably know, we use Pencil software as frame-by-frame animation tool in our workflow. But due to the fact that original project is dead, we have published our changes in our own repository at github. That made many people treat our version as “fork” Personally, I never wanted to call it a “fork”, because that implies the serious intentions for active development. Although we have polished this software to our needs and our workflow, we had no plans for further intensive development – partially due to the lack of time, partially for other reasons. So we just keep Pencil as an ad-hoc solution for creating frame-by-frame animation.
Recently situation is changed – I’ve got aware about the “Pencil 2D” initiative, which is targeted to bring together the community around this software and continue development of Pencil. More than that, I was happy to discover that they used our version as a base! That means their fork includes all “critical for us” features and 100%-compatible with our workflow.
What does this mean? For me that means a kind of re-birth of Pencil project and I’m happy to see the people who seriously dedicate their time to it. So, instead of maintaining our own branch, from now on I prefer to contribute into Pencil 2D project and use their version in our toolchain.
By this moment I have already contacted with the developers and we managed to merge our repositories in github-friendly way. My next steps is to prepare updated versions of Pencil 2D packages and integrate them into our toolchain (some tweaks are needed because of the program name change).
By the way, it’s a good chance to update the whole package set – such a shame to have Blender 2.63, while Blender 2.68 is almost here… But that’s a theme for another post!
And yes, if you curious to know some behind-the-scene details of this Pencil story, here are a few articles to look:
- “Pencil, Pencil and Pencil” by Nathan Willis
- “2D animation tools on Linux: the age of revival” by Alexandre Prokoudine