scripted grease pencil animation experiment 1

Nikolaus Gradwohl2019-07-10T05:09:18+00:00

i recently read an article by Alex Martinelli about scripting the grease pencil objects in blender 2.8 (available here) and had to try this myself. I haven't used the grease pencil system in blender much so far, but now that I can use it to script in 3D I will definitly do more experiments with it.

you can download the blend file here

grease pencil experiment 1

the source code is heavily based on the examples of Alex, only the two nested loops are my code

import bpy
import math
import numpy as np

def get_grease_pencil(gpencil_obj_name='GPencil') -> bpy.types.GreasePencil:
    Return the grease-pencil object with the given name. Initialize one if not already present.
    :param gpencil_obj_name: name/key of the grease pencil object in the scene

    # If not present already, create grease pencil object
    if gpencil_obj_name not in bpy.context.scene.objects:
        bpy.ops.object.gpencil_add(location=(0, 0, 0), type='EMPTY')
        # rename grease pencil
        bpy.context.scene.objects[-1].name = gpencil_obj_name

    # Get grease pencil object
    gpencil = bpy.context.scene.objects[gpencil_obj_name]

    return gpencil

def get_grease_pencil_layer(gpencil: bpy.types.GreasePencil, gpencil_layer_name='GP_Layer',
                            clear_layer=False) -> bpy.types.GPencilLayer:
    Return the grease-pencil layer with the given name. Create one if not already present.
    :param gpencil: grease-pencil object for the layer data
    :param gpencil_layer_name: name/key of the grease pencil layer
    :param clear_layer: whether to clear all previous layer data

    # Get grease pencil layer or create one if none exists
    if and gpencil_layer_name in
        gpencil_layer =[gpencil_layer_name]
        gpencil_layer =, set_active=True)

    if clear_layer:
        gpencil_layer.clear()  # clear all previous layer data

    # bpy.ops.gpencil.paintmode_toggle()  # need to trigger otherwise there is no frame

    return gpencil_layer

# Util for default behavior merging previous two methods
def init_grease_pencil(gpencil_obj_name='GPencil', gpencil_layer_name='GP_Layer',
                       clear_layer=True) -> bpy.types.GPencilLayer:
    gpencil = get_grease_pencil(gpencil_obj_name)
    gpencil_layer = get_grease_pencil_layer(gpencil, gpencil_layer_name, clear_layer=clear_layer)
    return gpencil_layer

def draw_line(gp_frame, p0: tuple, p1: tuple):
    # Init new stroke
    gp_stroke =
    gp_stroke.display_mode = '3DSPACE'  # allows for editing

    # Define stroke geometry
    gp_stroke.points[0].co = p0
    gp_stroke.points[1].co = p1
    return gp_stroke

def draw_circle(gp_frame, center: tuple, radius: float, segments: int):
    # Init new stroke
    gp_stroke =
    gp_stroke.display_mode = '3DSPACE'  # allows for editing
    gp_stroke.draw_cyclic = True        # closes the stroke

    # Define stroke geometry
    angle = 2*math.pi/segments  # angle in radians
    for i in range(segments):
        x = center[0] + radius*math.cos(angle*i)
        y = center[1] + radius*math.sin(angle*i)
        z = center[2]
        gp_stroke.points[i].co = (x, y, z)

    return gp_stroke

from math import sin, cos

def rotate_stroke(stroke, angle, axis='z'):
    # Define rotation matrix based on axis
    if axis.lower() == 'x':
        transform_matrix = np.array([[1, 0, 0],
                                     [0, cos(angle), -sin(angle)],
                                     [0, sin(angle), cos(angle)]])
    elif axis.lower() == 'y':
        transform_matrix = np.array([[cos(angle), 0, -sin(angle)],
                                     [0, 1, 0],
                                     [sin(angle), 0, cos(angle)]])
    # default on z
        transform_matrix = np.array([[cos(angle), -sin(angle), 0],
                                     [sin(angle), cos(angle), 0],
                                     [0, 0, 1]])

    # Apply rotation matrix to each point
    for i, p in enumerate(stroke.points): = transform_matrix @ np.array(, 1)

gp_layer = init_grease_pencil()
gp_frame =

FRAMES_SPACING = 1;  # distance between frames
bpy.context.scene.frame_start = 0;
bpy.context.scene.frame_end = NUM_FRAMES*FRAMES_SPACING;

for frame in range(NUM_FRAMES):
    if frame > 0:
        gp_frame =*FRAMES_SPACING);

    for i in range(0,10):
        c = draw_circle(gp_frame, (0,0,0), i/10, 64);
        rotate_stroke(c, frame/250.0 * i/10*math.pi, 'x');
        rotate_stroke(c, frame/250.0 * math.pi * 2, 'z');
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See also:

grease pencil experiment 4 - filled shapes
grease pencil experiment 4 - depth of field
grease pencil experiment 3 - animated circles
grease pencil experiment 2 - freestyle
blender 2.80 experiment 7 - keyframes



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