Animation Frame Disaster

My animation is now ruined. I animated over 300 frames and then when I was re-checking my animation that I did to see if it looked good, almost half of my frames went missing, and this animation is really important since I need it for a competition on the 26th. Please help me.

@A07236 Hi. Sorry to hear about this. Unfortunately there’s only so much we can do to help.

  1. First off make sure you are using the latest version.
  2. There are times where frames might appear blank but they are not, particularly if your computer memory is full, make sure to check the temporary file directory first to see if the drawings are still there or not (review the recovery guide below, point 4 first parragraph)
  3. There are other times this happens when an external app deletes the files on the temporary file folder which is where files are stored during a work session (we’ve had reports of this).

    Also windows OS can prevent drawings from being written to the save file without your knowledge (we’ve also had some reports on this).

    With those issues in mind first try the general tips in the thread linked below to make Windows a bit more easygoing when dealing with third party apps like Pencil2D, so future work won’t cause you grief (though it’s not guaranteed), there’s also advice on antiviruses.
  • I recommend as well to pause or stop any file cleaner software & antivirus real time shield when working. Also make sure to add an antivirus exception folder to the temporary folder where Pencil2D drops the drawings when you are working, and to except the folder where Pencil2D.exe exists. This is so aggressive antiviruses that flag everything as malign, won’t hinder your work by erasing allegedly “unknown” files.
  1. However because of issues like this we always, always recommend to save backup copies of your project file.

    No software is perfect and even commercial software can get get your files corrupted (I’ve had this experience a lot unfortunately)

  2. Now to attempt to recover your work please refer to the guide linked below under point 4 & point 7

  • If after following the guide you can’t recover the frames from the temporary file directory as mentioned in the guide, nor recover frames with a file recovery tool respectively I’m afraid you might need to do the missing work again.
  1. As a personal recommendation, and this doesn’t have anything to do with the Pencil2D team, never trust any software to keep your work safe, as a professional it’s better to keep it safe manually by yourself in as many places as possible, be it external media like a USB stick or using a versioning system (you can read about this in the first guide on windows), computers are imperfect and any electrical imbalance can cause file corruption, as well as going through a black out during a saving procedure can also corrupt your files.
  • I also recommend to always exporting PNG sequences with transparency to have hard data as a backup so you can go back to if all else fails.

@A07236 As a last piece of personal advice from me, If you can’t manage to get any of your work back and are really on a stretch to finish your work because of the due date … and you simply don’t trust Pencil2D anymore, you can try other software.

I can recommend Opentoonz or Krita to speed up your workflow a bit, though these apps despite being free require a beefy computer, so be warned.

That said, those apps will likely help you since those have better drawing tools, some motion interpolation tools for opacity and layers (you can automagically move objects without having to redraw them), and even text layers.

Here’s also a list with the links to those apps and other free apps you could try if you want something else.

Edit: In case it’s not obvious you would need to export whatever work you still have from Pencil2D to a potentially new app by using transparent PNG’s. To do this go to

File > Export > Image Sequence > Check transparency :ballot_box_with_check: > Then press the browse button, select a folder to dump all the images > If you want only the main drawings you did, check the Keyframes Only :ballot_box_with_check: feature, if not then press OK and export.

Then import the image sequence into either Krita or Opentoonz normally and keep going. If you have multiple levels with backgrounds and effects, you have to export each separate layer (you can simply turn off the others) and export each layer individually then import them in the same way.

hey btw this happened to me too long time ago when I first open my project in pencil2D and my frames have been cleared with no reason but I stopped it by clicking exit and not saving it then I opened it again and the frames came back, luckily I didn’t added some frames and add some drawings on it before clicking the exit so no worries it came back we ppl need to check our animations and play it when we open it, but now It just happened to me again and I forgot to check it, I didn’t even notice it so I accidentally saved it and when I opened my project again, I saw the frames became cleared so I can’t do anything about it now cause I accidentally just saved it when it happened