Wacom x Praxinos Feature Image

Storyboarding in Unreal Engine with Praxinos and Wacom

December 18, 2023

Wacom products have been integral to the storyboarding step of the film and TV production process for decades. Since the early days of digital drawing, tablets have helped storyboard artists bring their ideas to life, make changes quickly, and collaborate with creators in other phases of the filmmaking process. Modern day storyboarding, while still reliant on what’s worked for decades, has also changed in many ways to adapt to the current 3D workflow that involves tools like Unreal Engine to create worlds and scenes.

The challenge with this adaptation? Many talented 2D storyboard artists don’t have experience working in complex 3D programs. That’s where EPOS by Praxinos comes in. EPOS is a smart plugin for Unreal Engine to manage scene placement in both space and time, designed entirely for 2D storyboard artists who have never used 3D software before. When using EPOS, artists can close all of the unnecessary panels in Unreal Engine and focus on their art.

Wacom and Praxinos – an Overview

A Wacom pen tablet or pen display provides an incredibly intuitive digital workflow, especially when replicating traditional media. Of course, you can technically sketch and paint with a mouse or other input devices, but it would be anything but intuitive for achieving professional results. 

Wacom pen tablets and pen displays allow artists to take full advantage of the brush engine that Praxinos built into their ILIAD and EPOS plugins. Full pressure sensitivity makes storyboarding in Unreal Engine 5 not only possible, but incredibly efficient. ILIAD lets users create intricate texture painting for materials directly in UE as well. When not using the pen for creative workflows, it’s just an outright more comfortable device compared to a mouse for more procedural processes in Unreal Engine.

While a creator’s workstation is a construction of completely personal preference, it is hard to beat sketching and painting directly on the display of a Wacom Cintiq or Cintiq Pro for storyboarding in EPOS or texture painting in ILIAD. Working on a Wacom pen display is as close to replicating a pen and paper workflow as it gets. You have direct focus and control over your creative input. With that being said, there are quite a few artists that prefer working with a pen tablet, like the Intuos Pro, as they are able to see their work unobstructed.

We did a Q&A with Elodie Moog, Co-Founder of Praxinos, about the origin story of their technology, and how it helps creators today. You’ll also learn more about how using Praxinos with a Wacom device allows for better use of your Wacom pen in Unreal Engine.

What challenges were you looking to solve when creating EPOS and ILIAD?

ILIAD and EPOS are prototypes for a bigger project named Odyssey, a 2D animation software powered by Unreal Engine. When my team and I co-founded Praxinos in late 2018 with this project in mind, we knew it was very ambitious, since we knew nothing about Unreal Engine code. Unreal is a collection of modules and plugins working together so, after several weeks, we realized it was much easier to also work in our own modules. The very first step was the ability to draw, create brushes, create images, create layers – and be compatible with graphic tablets like Wacom.

After several months, we had the idea to turn this module into a plugin named ILIAD, in order to show the world what Praxinos team was capable of. ILIAD was released for free on Unreal Engine Marketplace in late 2019 and is a versatile tool, since it allows the creator to edit and create Texture 2D. This asset is used for many different purposes in Unreal: for characters, props, foliages, decals, post-process volumes, and more. 

How do your tools bridge the gap for 2D artists using a 3D system like Unreal Engine?

So, after we’ve been able to draw in Unreal Engine, we wondered how to combine 2D and 3D together, but through the Unreal 3D viewport. In 2020, ILIAD was limited to its own window, so we had to figure out how to use 3D environments as a reference. In Unreal Engine, you can’t just draw stuff out of nowhere: Texture 2D must be used in a 3D actor, like a primitive (plane, sphere, cube, etc). So first, ILIAD had to evolve to be used in a 3D context.

Secondly, let’s remember Praxinos purpose is to make a tool designed for 2D animation in a 3D real-time environment. But in animation, specifically in 2D animation, creators must be really efficient to tell a story and not to waste time on unnecessary details. That’s what a storyboard is made for: it’s the blueprint of a film with all you need to know like framing, actions and rhythm. 

How do EPOS and ILIAD help storyboard artists?

Since storyboarding is the first big step in production, we had to consider a module for this in Odyssey. It’s been a long process, because it meant changing the whole philosophy of some inner tools of Unreal Engine, like the Sequencer.

The Sequencer is a timeline that manages existing actors (3D characters and cameras placed into the environment) and assets (sound and music) combined together to make a sequence of a film or a video game. It works a little like an editing software.

But in storyboards, or 2D animation in general, you don’t assemble existing elements together to make a sequence: you create the elements and the sequence at the same time. Making a 2D storyboard in Unreal Engine implies the creation of assets (Textures 2D, Materials, Sequences) and actors (planes and cameras). It’s impossible to ask a storyboard artist to create all these elements manually. It’s too complicated.

With all this consideration in mind, Praxinos made a new module to create 2D/3D storyboards in Unreal Engine, and released this module as a plugin named EPOS, for free, in Unreal Marketplace. And just like ILIAD, it’s free too.

Plus, EPOS is not only designed for storyboards, but for layout too: since drawings are made on planes, it’s easy to move them and place them specifically in the environment and combine them with other 3D assets.

To learn more about using Praxinos tools for Unreal Engine, you can check out EPOS and ILIAD on the Unreal Engine Marketplace. You can also check out their documentation and guides (EPOS and ILIAD) and Discord for further technical questions and answers.

Save up to $100 on Wacom Intuos

Related posts:

The complete guide to Adobe Photoshop brushes, Part 3: The brush settings panel

The complete guide to Adobe Photoshop brushes, Part 3: The brush settings panel

The best new features in Clip Studio Paint Version 3.0, just released!

The best new features in Clip Studio Paint Version 3.0, just released!

The complete guide to Adobe Photoshop brushes, Part 2: Types of brushes

The complete guide to Adobe Photoshop brushes, Part 2: Types of brushes

Making a cute Valentine’s Day postcard with The Bun Bun Shop’s Lina Vork

Making a cute Valentine’s Day postcard with The Bun Bun Shop’s Lina Vork

Connect with Wacom on social media


Learn how to customize your pen and change the brush size in just two  steps ✍️

Discover all the amazing features about your Pen in the link in bio!

#WacomOne #WacomPen
400 3
For a creative professional team like @parasolisland , efficiency and productivity is key to deliver the best results to their clients 🚀

For years they were using pen tablets and pen displays in combination with high-end monitors, and today they can reduce all of that into one single device: the New Wacom Cintiq Pro.

Thanks to the excellent colour accuracy of the Cintiq Pro 27, this makes a big difference on their workflow.

Get in touch with our enterprise team in the link in bio.

#WacomCintiqPro #Animation
175 5
Exciting news for all creatives! 🚀

💫 Join Wacom at Playgrounds for a celebration of design, animation, and gaming craftsmanship! @tad.playgrounds @weareplaygrounds 

💡 Dive into artist talks, demos, screenings, and live sketching sessions.

✍️ Swing by our booth to test out our cutting-edge pen-displays and tablets, meet Wacom experts, and pick up some pro tips!

Meet us in:
📅 Eindhoven (April 18th-19th)
📅  Berlin, DE (May 25th-26th)

For more info visit @tad.playgrounds 💫

#Wacom #Playgrounds #CreativeCommunity
161 2
🌀 City Doodling: Amsterdam edition 🚲

This time creativity strikes us directly from the Amsterdam canals in the hands of @fragileart 💫

#Doodling #Creativeinspiration #MadeWitjwacom
490 0
Two ways of scrolling in the same display ✍️👀

Which one is your favourite move? 👇

Customize your Wacom One and see where it takes you!

#WacomOne #WacomPen #CreativeInspiration
460 3
We chat with @adansilvart, illustrator and artist who has been working in branding & illustration projects for different brands. 🚀

Join us while Adan shares insights into his creative journey and the vital role Wacom products has played in his career. ❤️

#ArtistInterview #illustration #DigitalArt
339 40
Today, we celebrate World Pencil Day 🎉

Wacom has been at the forefront of innovation, creating a digital pen that allows you to bring all your creations to life and have thousands of colors and textures in a single pen. ✍️

One of the features we love most about our Wacom One is that you can use any Wacom pen or any compatible pen with it.

Have you tried any of these? Let us know in the comments. 👇

Check out our special offers in the link in bio!

#WorldPencilDay #WacomOne
573 15
Friday with F like Finished work 💫

We want to see your finished pieces, feel fry to join our artwork chain using the hashtag #MadewithWacom 🚀

How are you ending the week?

#MadewithWacom #CreativeInspiration
322 1
Bedtime stories by @nlanzillo 📚😴⁣
It’s so cool to see all you can do in 3D and animation using the #CintiqPro27 🚀⁣
#MadebyWacom in a #CintiqPro27
196 4
At @parasolisland , where innovation is key to provide professional excellence as a high end studio, the Cintiq Pro family stands out for its design & ergonomic excellence. 🚀

The Cintiq Pro’s adjustable design optimizes workspace, offering a productive workspace where professional creatives can improve their workflow . 🌟
Invest in the best tools for your team. 

Go to the link in bio to connect with our enterprise team.

#WacomCintiqPro #EfficientDesign #CreativeWorkspace
154 0