I'm doing some video editing and would like to be able to draw directly onto the video in order to highlight objects, produce arrows, etc. It should be possible to do this with Grease Pencil, but I can't figure out how. How do I do this?

Looking for other people who've done this, it seems that it can be done, but I can't find any instructions. The obvious thing (drawing on the video with D held down) just creates an annotation rather than adding a Grease Pencil layer, and annotations seem to be ephemeral and are intended for notes to the editor rather than actual video edits --- I'd also expect them to belong to a strip, which they don't. I have found a few references to people who've created a 3D scene with the video projected onto a square and then used the 3D Grease Pencil to draw on that, but that seems... wrong. Also, this appears to be for Blender 2.7.

But I keep finding refrences to people who've actually done this, so it does seem to be possible. Can anyone tell me how?

For reference: this is with Blender 2.82. I know that Grease Pencil has had a major overhaul since 2.80.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, the grease pencil was rewritten completely in version 2.83, but as far as I know, it works only for the 3D environment. So most likely those who are doing what you want are compositing/overlaying the images from the scene over background video or images. If you go that route it would be easier to use the video as camera image, you don't need a plane with the video file as texture. $\endgroup$
    – susu
    Jun 30, 2020 at 23:59
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    $\begingroup$ This means I'm effectively creating an animation where the video is a source for one of the animation elements, though, right? So I have to edit the two separately, and can't apply video effects to the drawing. I suppose I could create an additional scene and add that as a video strip, but then I can't draw on the video? $\endgroup$ Jul 1, 2020 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ Read: Live action footage and grease pencil animation $\endgroup$
    – susu
    Jan 23, 2021 at 5:50

1 Answer 1


Afaik, annotations are not for output, but only for notes inside Blender and therefore can't be added to the exported video. However you can draw with grease pencil in the 3d view in a new scene and add that scene as a scene strip to the sequencer(check transparent and change blend mode to alpha over), and that will be in the exported file.

Btw. same question here: Grease Pencil to Video Sequencer

How to draw GP on top of video: enter image description here

How to add a grease pencil scene to the vse: enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks --- but can you describe it in words? I can't follow the animated gifs. $\endgroup$ Jul 2, 2020 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ If you click on the gifs, they'll become bigger. $\endgroup$
    – tintwotin
    Jul 3, 2020 at 14:06
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    $\begingroup$ Size isn't the problem. They move too quickly, they can't be paused, and your setup isn't laid out the same as mine is, so trying to figure out what's actually going on is very frustrating. If you have a pointer to instructions in the form of text I can read, that'd be so much better. $\endgroup$ Jul 4, 2020 at 16:18

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