SPA Studios released the source code of its Blender fork with Grease Pencil improvements


Blender SPA is the fork and toolset of Blender used internally in SPA Studios.

Recently the news was released that the Spanish animation studio SPA Studios, best known for the Klaus cartoon, has opened its fork internal 3D modeling suite Blender and related plugins.

The fork has been in the studio for over a year while working on the new Amber cartoon and was first announced at BlenderCon in October 2022.

For those who don't know Blender yet, you should know that this is an open source and multiplatform program servant for shaping 3D objects, lighting, rendering, animation, etc. This includes technologies used in 3D modeling and design, including sculptural modeling, meshes, curves, surfaces, and more.

The app us allows the creation of animations, from the most complex such as fur, the animation of liquids, gases, even the simplest among which we find the animation of soft bodies, particles and more. New properties have been added to the program among the shader options to achieve more realistic textures.

Blender It also has its own game engine, with which we can create great things such as virtual tours, scenarios for large-scale video games, the only limit is the user's imagination.

Also has with the possibility of audio editing and video synchronizationas well as the possibility of versatile internal rendering and external integration.

About the fork of SPA Studios

The developers of the fork were in direct contact with the studio's artists, implementing the necessary functionality, taking into account their wishes and the difficulties they had to face in the process of using Blender to create an animated movie.

As a result, added new tools and modifications to the system interface of drawing and animation 2D Grease Pencil, which allowed to provide comfortable work for 2D animators in the program.

Main changes from Grease Pencil:

  • Support for rotating/duplicating the 2D viewport.
  • Compact dock for handling layers/patterns/materials/…
  • Ability to select a layer/object by clicking (+modifier key) on the corresponding drawing on the canvas.
  • Ability to “mute” the color of currently inactive layers/objects.
  • A tool to change a drawing (selection) without exiting Drawing mode (similar to the Transform tool in Photoshop/Krita).
  • The Move and Trace tool allows you to temporarily move any drawing to a new place/frame for tracing (this technique is common among 2D animators) and after tracing restore the original drawing to its original place.
  • The “Pegbars” tool allows you to add and link an additional layer of transform animation (pan/rotate/scale…) to an existing drawing layer.
  • Easily insert and manipulate reference images for strokes.
  • A separately released plugin adds the ability to edit any Blender scene (3D pencil animations/Grease etc) in the Blender Video Editor (VSE) in real time without first converting them to intermediate video files.

It was also stated at the conference that work is underway to significantly increase the speed of Grease Penсil when working with a large number of objects/vertices (it is not known if these changes were included in the open fork). Also, Falk David, one of the developers of the released fork, returns to work at Blender as a developer and community coordinator for the Grease Penсil team.

Finally if you are interested in knowing more about it, you can check the details In the following link.

How to test the Fork of SPA Studios?

For those interested in being able to try this SPA Studios fork, it is important to mention that SPA Studios officially only offers support for its fork only for Windows, so the compilation offered can be obtained from the link below.

Unofficially, for Linux and MacOS users, "in theory", to test this fork the first thing we have to do is compile Blender ENG from its source code and after that manually install the plugins 2D Animation y sequencer.

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  1.   Gonzalo (Infogon) said

    There is a problem in the HTML of the article. (5/2/23) The reading is set from right to left instead of left to right.
    For convenience of reading, please if you can change:


    it is to be thankful

    1.    pablinux said


      I see it well on a laptop, but it is true that I have ever seen something similar.

      I'll forward your comment to the webmaster. Thank you.

      A greeting.