A bunch of questions from an absolute newbie

Newbie here, just installed Pencil 2D and used it for around 10 minutes.
First of all, I’d like to say that I love this program, simple, free, easy to use. But I have a couple questions/problems.

First off, I like how the “CTRL+Space+drag zooms in/out” and “Space+drag moves canvas” works. Very useful when using a tablet!
However, in the drawing program I used to use (Krita), if I pressed ctrl+space then dragged up, it zoomed in (and vice versa). But in Pencil 2D, it’s the opposite. (drag up zooms out, etc)
I’m not complaining, but if there’s any way to change that, it would be nice to know.

Second, When I create a new layer, only one of the 3 layers (Bitmap, Vector, Camera) gets a layer added. This is most likely intentional and I just don’t get it because I know nothing about “bitmaps” or “vectors”, (I do sort of get the “camera” layer though.) but can someone explain a little?

Third, when I select parts of the layer using the “Select Tool”, it seems to only be able to select in rectangles. I didn’t have any problems with that yet, but in the future I probably will; Is there a separate option for free selecting?

That’s all for now!
Thanks for listening. I like this program, and I’d like to do lots of things with it! :slight_smile:

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@BeardWix Hi. We currently don’t have a manual out yet, but I’m working on it. However there’s a quick reference which only touches on the essentials, like tools and panels but doesn’t treat workflow tips at all.

If you’re willing and have time, I can gladly livestream a quick session for you to show you how to use Pencil2D right now with all it’s quirks. There are many little things that the program has which need to be addressed in the manual but it might be too time consuming for me to outline them in this thread.

@BeardWix As for your particular questions:

  1. You can change the hotkeys for zoom in/out (ctrl+up / ctrl+down) and rotate CW /CCW (R / Z) but the “gestures” are not changeable right now. I’ll take note of this to see if it’s possible that developers can allow the user to customize them

  2. You can click on the new layer button on the timeline and you’ll be able to add any type of layer you want.

  • Bitmap layers are used for pixel / raster based drawings. This will be used mostly for roughing animation and pre-production art, but will be made flexible enough to go through a full pipeline of animation for a more painterly look. Think of TVPaint or Krita.
  • Vector layers are used for “vector” drawings, which are mathematically calculated and thus more “lightweight”, right now they are a WIP in Pencil2D so we are not recommending them for work until dvelopers fix the vector engine. This will be used mostly for Inking and Coloring stages in a pipeline of animation production, but Pencil2D will make them flexible enough to allow you to go through a full pipeline with only that layer. Think of Flash or Toonboom Harmony style of drawings.
  • Camera layers are best to be thought of as real cameras. Zooming in/out the camera will simulate the camera getting closer / farther from the subject it films. You can PAN, ZOOM or ROTATE cameras and you can also animate these transformations.
  • Sound Layers are made to import sounds. You can currently only import WAV files (losless quality) and MP3 (lossy quality), note: Do NOT bring mp3’s created with soundforge. They simply don’t work. Use Audacity to convert them into WAV’s if that’s the case.
  1. Yes a “lasso” / freehand tool has been already proposed and hopefully it will be considered for a future version relatively soon.

Thanks for the detailed and effortful reply!
I already know the basics for Pencil 2D, and the rest I will learn as I go on (I don’t think I can even remember everything if I learned it all at once! XD).
So far, everything is fine, nothing is “unacceptable”, just a little annoying or takes a little more work than usual. So that’s good. Some programs are filled with overly complicated features or glitchy workflows; This program is the best so far. :slight_smile:

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OK, after a little more use, I’ve got a few more problems.

First, I can’t copy and paste frames. I can only duplicate them.
I’ve tried selecting a frame, CTRL+C, (or manually pressing the “copy” button via the Edit button) then:
-Immediately pressing CTRL+V (or manually pressing “paste”)
-Creating a new frame then CTRL+V (or manually… you get the point)
-Selecting the next frame (with no frame created) then pressing CTRL+V (or… y’know.)

On a similar note, it would be AWESOME (game-changing, even) if you had the ability to right-click on a frame and be able to do things such as copy/paste the frame, delete the frame (or multiple selected frames all at once), or duplicate it. Much easier than clicking on it then pressing separate buttons that are sometimes confusing and are not that close together.

Lastly, and this is just a minor detail, the program auto-saves the file too frequently, it seems. This wouldn’t be a problem if it just saved secretly, in an invisible way, but whenever it saves, a “Saving document” popup pops up for a fraction of a second. This isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s distracting and often makes me stumble in my work.
I don’t expect any “fix” for this, but is there any way to control the times between the saves (Such as “Once every _ minutes”)?

Thanks for the help! I really appreciate it!

@BeardWix Hi. Yes. There was an issue with the download version where you couldn’t copy and paste the frame content, but this has been fixed in the development builds. You can download the latest versions here (Oct 14th): http://pencil2d.org/download#nightlybuild

  • Duplicating has to be currently done with the playback scrub (red column) on the frame you want to duplicate, and you can press F6.

  • Pencil2D also has a new drawing behavior that occurs when drawing on an empty (empty) frame to allow you to either:

    • Create a new (blank) “keyframe”
    • Duplicate the previous “keyframe” so you can continue drawing on it.
    • Keep drawing on the previous “keyframe” without create a new drawing container.
  • You can change the frequency of the auto-save by going to Edit > Preferences > Files > change # of Modifications to 200 (max)

As for the game changing feature…you might want to check our twitter to see if that fits the bill :wink: (right clicking has been proposed as well but that will have to happen as a separate implementation due to how the program is structured)