Paint Guide > Toon Boom Harmony 10 Paint User Guide > Chapter 4: Clean Up and Drawing Tools > Drawing Using the Pencil Tool > Pencil Tool Options

Pencil Tool Options

When you select the Pencil tool, its properties and options appears in the Tool Properties view.

These are the options available for the Pencil tool:

Draw Behind
Create Colour Art Automatically
Auto-Flatten Mode
Auto-Close Gap
Line Building Mode
Auto Adjust Thickness
Line Pushing Mode
Thickness Stencils
Minimum and Maximum Size
Central Line Smoothness
Contour Optimization
Changing the Line Shape
Previewing the Stroke
Pencil Line Texture

Draw Behind

When drawing on vector layers, the Draw Behind mode lets you paint behind existing art. By default, strokes will appear over your work until you release the tool. If you want to have live preview of your stroke in draw behind mode, you must activate the Realistic Preview option.

To activate Realistic Preview:

From the top menu, select View > Realistic Preview.

Create Colour Art Automatically

As you draw in the Line Art layer, the Create Colour Art Automatically automatically creates the corresponding strokes in the Colour Art layer.

Auto-Flatten Mode

When drawing on vector layers, lines do not usually become one object. The Auto-Flatten mode automatically merges lines created with the existing ones into one single object as you draw.

When drawing on a bitmap layer, you are laying down the bare pixels, so they are always flattened. You can no longer access the individual stroke after you draw it.

Using the Select tool, you can use the middle mouse button to select a segment of a flattened pencil line to create a nice finish on the lines and corners of your artwork.

Auto-Close Gap

When using the pencil tool, you can automatically close strokes with an invisible stroke.

It is recommended to keep this option enabled when drawing with the Pencil tool.

Line Building Mode

The Line Building mode is very useful when drawing long lines and curves in small increments with pencil lines. As the pencil lines are central vector lines and it may be difficult to align the line tips perfectly to create a uniform stroke and close all gaps.

In this mode, you can draw lines in small increments and the tip are merge into one single stroke.

This mode only works with pencil lines.

Auto Adjust Thickness

The Auto Adjust Thickness tool is useful when you want to render a portion of a line thicker. When tracing a drawing on paper, you will often go back to a section of a curve to make it thicker to add dynamism to the line. Using the Auto Adjust Thickness tool, you can draw highlight strokes over the section to make thicker. Once you release the pen or the mouse, the line gets thicker following the shape and curve of the original stroke. This way is much faster and smoother than using the Pencil Editor tool. You do not have to add extra points and adjust the position and Bezier handles.

The default overlay colour is light yellow. If this colour is difficult to see because of your background or drawing colour, you can adjust the colour.

To change the Auto Adjust Thickness Colour:

1. In the Tools toolbar, select the Pencil tool.
2. In the Tool Properties view, select the Auto Adjust Thickness button.
3. Click the colour swatch.

The Colour Picker window opens.

4. In the Colour Picker window, select a new colour.

Line Pushing Mode

The Line Pushing Mode option lets you draw highlight strokes over your existing pencil lines. You can reshape the curves. Depending how you draw the pushing stroke over your line, the highlighted section will be reshaped in one direction or the other.

The default overlay colour is light yellow. If this colour is difficult to see because of your background or drawing colour, you can adjust the colour.

To change the Line Pushing Mode colour:

1. In the Tools toolbar, select the Pencil tool.
2. In the Tool Properties view, select the Line Pushing Mode button.
3. Click the colour swatch.

The Colour Picker window opens.

4. In the Colour Picker window, select a new colour.

Thickness Stencils

Toon Boom Harmony provides a variety of thickness stencils and also lets you create and save your own. It is a good idea to create and save pencils with precise sizes and parameters when you draw and design.

A thickness stencil saves a preset of how the thickness information looks across the length of the line. When drawing with a thickness stencil, the pressure sensitivity of the tablet is discarded in order to apply the thickness stencil.

A thickness stencil can be used while drawing, or applied afterwards.

You also have the possibility to apply different textures to your lines by either using the preset ones or importing your own—see Working with Templates

Minimum and Maximum Size

This is where you set the minimum and maximum sizes of your drawing tool which will produce the thick and thin effect on your stroke. This works with the pressure sensitivity of a pen tablet.

1. Minimum Size field: Type a value in this field to set the minimum width of the line.
2. Maximum Size field: Type a value in this field to set the maximum width of the line.
3. Up/Down arrows: Use the up and down arrows to set the minimum size value.
4. Up/Down arrows: Use the up and down arrows to set the maximum size value.

Central Line Smoothness

You can modify the Central Line Smoothness of your line using this option. This parameter smoothes the initial movement of your line. Increasing the value will result in a smoother line with fewer control points.

Contour Optimization

You can optimize the Contour Line Smoothness of you line using this option. This parameter will smooth the contour of your line once the line has been traced, the higher the value the less control points will compose your line.

1. Smoothness field: Type a value to set the smoothness of the line.
2. Contour Optimization field: Type a value to set the contour optimization of the line.
3. Up/Down arrows: Use the up and down arrows to set smoothness value.
4. Up/Down arrows: Use the up and down arrows to set the contour optimization value.

Changing the Line Shape

 

There are several line shape to choose from. You can select how the start, end, and joints in the pencil line are drawn.

To change the line shape:

In the Pencil Properties window, click a line shape in the Shape section and select a shape from the menu.

Start: Make the beginning of the line round or flat.
End: Make the end of the line round or flat.
Join: Make joints round, mitred, or bevelled.

Previewing the Stroke

1. The Arrow button lets you show or hide the Preview area.
2. The Preview field is where the brush line is displayed.

Pencil Line Texture

You can apply a bitmap texture on your pencil line and adjust it as needed—see Pencil Line Texture

Related Topics 

Drawing with Line Texture
Pencil Line Texture
Working with Templates
Drawing Using the Pencil Tool