A cool new take on a traditional tool

I recently received a great little gift. Now it wasn’t specifically designed to help with blender, but you know me, I can and do use a great many tools and resources in my blender projects and activities. And just because it wasn’t designed to complement blender, doesn’t mean that I won’t find a way to do just that.

So just what is this new wonder gift? It is a Pulse Smart Pen by LiveScribe. It was designed to be a study aid for college students and a productivity tool for professionals and journalists. It’s biggest claim to fame is its ability to link audio to the text or notes you are taking.

I definitely agree that is a great use for it. It’s not what I plan to do with it, but it is a great use none the less.

So what do I plan on doing with my Pulse smart pen, especially as it doesn’t interact with blender at all. Well after playing with my new pen for the last week, I have come up with several fun and productive ways to use my new pen.

Writing: Yeah, this one was kind or a given.

  • BAM articles
  • blog posts
  • Animation scripts.

I am aware I could just type articles, blog posts and scripts, but I have always preferred pen and paper for writing anything longer than an email. To me, it just feels more creative. Plus, there is the whole portability issue, I can carry a pen and paper anywhere and work on projects. The biggest drawback was that I then still had to type it afterwards. Well problem solved. 😛 And in fact, I am writing this blog post with my new pen while sitting on my couch watching TV. 😛


  • Story boards
  • Character/model sketches

I can use the pen to sketch out my story boards and character sketches, then upload the drawings straight to my computer for use in either Blender or Celtx, depending on what I am up to that day. Yeah, I could also use plain pen and paper, then use my scanner. But that wouldn’t be near as much fun, now would it? Also this way I get to eliminate the time consuming clean up of the scans. 🙂


  • Editing purposes
    • record changes/additions at spots in articles (etc) if editing away from computer
  • For research while taking notes
  • For planning out of storyboards
    • I can record audio explaining scene setup, camera direction etc.
    • Could be used as quick way to get dialog synced to the shots for timing

As a product feature, the linking of audio is more of a fun quirky thing for me. I no longer need to record class lectures, (I have been out of school for over 20 years) and as a stay at home mom, I really don’t attend any meetings that need to be recorded. 😛 I suppose I could record me and my toddler practicing our ABC’s. Nah, probably not. But after giving it some thought, I did come up with a few ways to use the audio feature.

Possible Future Uses:

The software included with the pen also allows you upload something called a pencast to their community website. The pencasts are interactive flash type things with audio linked to the text/notes you wrote. I haven’t figured out how to use that in blender related projects just yet, but give me time, I ‘ll come up with something. I ‘m sure over time I will come up with a great number of uses for my new little pen. One thing I know I will enjoy the most, is the mobility and portability of the pen. Now I can work on a great many of my projects while not at my computer, which is more often than most of you realize. 😛


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