My experience with Pencil has always been pretty swell. As a bitmap sketch tool, I never had any complaints other than the selection and transform tool. It definitely needs lasso selection and the ability to rotate. This has already been mentioned, so I will move on.
Most of the major improvements that I can see taking Pencil far would be to the vector graphics engine. I have scoured the internet for a software that deals with SVG graphics sequentially with little luck (Tupi isn’t dynamic enough and Synfig deals with interpolation/tweening only). So I revisited Pencil… It’s vector tools are quite primitive, lacking bezier handles and point addition and subtraction. But it does handle them frame by frame and I will say that its “vector curve smoothing” does quite a good job at simplifying curves.
But then again, this is what got me to stop using Pencil in the first place. I would finish drafting and then when it came time to finalize line quality and color, it seemed nearly impossible. Only because it became too tedious to draw and redraw vector lines. And I thought, “This is the opposite intention of vector graphics.” It should be much easier to lay down a curve and make small adjustments as needed. Most of that would be made easier with multiple point selection and bezier handles alone.
Would the source code for an extremely stable iOS vector software be of use?
I believe it was coded in C++
I would put this software against Inkscape, Illustrator, or iDraw any day of the week.
My focus is to explain why vector has a significant advantage over raster/bitmap even in a frame by frame process. Longevity (in terms of resolution), superior refinement/editing capabilities, and overall interconnectivity (I will explain this more in depth as I try and introduce tools that depend on vector graphics for functionality). Just to be clear, I don’t think interpolation or tweening is of great interest to Pencil so things of that nature will not be addressed.
Is this something that any of you feel is worth a lot of attention? I think that clean lines and the ability to manipulate them freely could be a great asset to Pencil. Any takers?