Background layer

Hi, just to know: using 2 bitmap layers, one as background and the other as primary animated one, I may need to make more dynamic giving the characters to even stay inside the background (let say to be shadowed by a wall during a walk). Maybe I need to use more bitmap layers? And if so, may I assign to each one a priority level? Another one: could I recognise which layer is the primary and which is the secondary and so on? Finally may I switch a frame between two layer? Thank you…

@Raffaisen Hmm I hope I’m understanding you correctly so, If not I apologize.

You can create any amount of bitmap layers you want. I’m not sure about what you mean by priority though? In Pencil2D there is no system to “prioritize” each layer except having a visual priority from top to bottom (that is, when a layer is on top it shows the drawing “in front” other layers or if it is at the bottom it shows behind other layers)

By the context of what you’re saying I actually think you are asking if you can “mask” the shadow over the wall in your example so the shadow only appears over the wall. If that is the case, then no, currently Pencil2D has no masking features.

Normally background, characters and effects such as shadows or highlights are “layered” in “compositing software” like After Effects ($) or free software like Synfig or Natron. Look for compositing and masking tutorials in youtube to understand what I mean.

As for moving a frame between two layers, that is not currently possible, but hopefully it will become possible on the next version. For now you would have to select all the content of a frame (CTRL + A) , copy the content (CTRL + C), create a new keyframe on the new layer and paste the selection (CTRL + V)

Perhaps I’m bringing you in a wrong yay: change the concept “shadow” in “hide”. But well, if the second or third layers are prioritised just because they’re 2nd or 3rd, I would not have problem.
The issue that i’m Now facing into, and I think I would have big trouble to solving is:
I’n In a timeline with a song and, when i’m Running in to P2D I go little bit slow in setting a frame exactly on time…while when I export the work into Quick time, all the project seems to run a little bit fast…that is a new scene comes earlier than expected…o man!!!

And worst is that the error increase time by time along the song…

@Raffaisen I see, well even if it wasn’t “shadows” the concept of masking applies to “hiding” a part of your animation.

Obviously the easiest is to create the layer below the “wall” layer (just to continue using the previous example)

As for the sound, I personally recommend to synchronize the audio with your animation using a video editor. Pencil2D still needs fine tuning to use sound accurately.

Normally you should use Pencil2D sound capabilities to give yourself an idea, but in professional settings the sound is mixed and synchronized with the visuals using a video editor.

To be precise when I play into P2D the sequence is late (too slow) but and when I export it into Quick Time it comes early (too fast)…

Which is why I am suggesting that you should use a video editor for accurate synchronization of sound with your animation. Consider all the time you lose using Pencil2D to position sound, so instead you can take advantage of your time and check how the sound works with a video editor and fix it there for a final render

Think of it like this:

  1. Create the animation using a sound guide in Pencil2D
  2. Export animation as image sequence or movie file (no sound)
  3. import image sequence or movie clip into video editor to check
  4. import and synchronize audio in video editor.
  5. save the video editor file

Now everytime you update the movie clip / image sequence from pencil2d it will update in the video editor.

Could be a camera problem? For instance when I want to set a camera very focused, let say above 130%, and then move out in 20to30 frames, it seems that the time line plays slower in that time window, and when I continue to move out to below 100% it accelerates again to normal. Could it be?

@Raffaisen We have heard that zooming in /out ridiculous amounts (e.g 1000% or 2%) can slow playback, but if you’re using the latest version (0.6.2+) you shouldn’t have any problem.

In the recent “development” versions you can set the “Frame Caching” option to something like 200 so the animation can be saved to memory and then played back more easily. This option is found in the preferences (Edit > Preferences > General).

But other than that, I still recommend using sound in Pencil2D ONLY to plan the animation, but then you should check out the audio in a video editor to be sure you are working the rhythm properly.

Thank you very much for the time you’re spending for my issues. Video editor could be iMovie? And when you say to export the sequence and create a file on the video editor with sound, are you saying that I can check this scene by scene, or I have to do this only at final? And what you mean by “every time I export the sequence from P2D the file in the video editor update itself?”

Unable to find in preferences>general The feature “frame caching”…version is 0.6.2. Mac. I’ve checked also the edit menu but there you only have cut copy paste select…options

And i’m Also unable to copy paste a frame or a simple draw…there maybe be still problem in Mac version?

@Raffaisen Hi. As I mentioned in my comment you need a “development” version for the frame caching to appear. Also the download version of 0.6.2 had an issue with copy paste. W have announced this in every platform ever since 2 months ago but I guess it wasn’t enough.

Please download this specific version for MAC OSX:

This development version has the copy & paste issue fixed, and it has overall improvements as well. It’s also as stable as the release version (the one you have already)

Thanks JoseMoreno, i’m Trying to export to iMovie an animated Gif to check synchro with sound and it is the entire afternoon that i’m Trying without success, trying to export an exact frame that into iMovie it will be n1 in order to “catch” the sound, or trying to cut some frames, but every time I export it is always little bit forward or rearward the timing, I Also tried to export an image sequence but when into iMovie it becomes very long (1 hour and a half :joy::joy:). Probably it’s me that i’m unable to fix the issue…but this making me frustrated and the will to continue is getting low…:sweat:

@Raffaisen You can use a free video editor called shotcut ( iMovie is a consumer type of editor for doing simple things, but if you really want to synchronize the audio you need a professional grade editor.

Be careful that you are also using the same FPS speed in both Pencil2D and your video editor project.

So if Pencil2D has 12 fps, your video project should also have 12 fps.

Thanks again, but the issue should be first inside pencil because: (example that i’m Working on) I know for sure that at time 2:06 of the song there will be the guitar solo And so I want to change the image there. I also know that my P2D is running at 12fps that is my keyframe should be the 1512 (126sec*12=1512). I create my new frame in P2D at 1512 of the timeline. Now listen: if I start to play from 10/20 frames before the 1512 (1490 or more) the 1512 is correctly synchronised with the beginning of the guitar solo. But, if I start from the beginning I have to set the key frame around 1428 to be synchronised with the solo because it comes almost 100frames before!!! Hope you understand me!

@Raffaisen Yes I understand that you have an audio synchronization problem. In the first comments I made I mentioned Pencil2D is not accurate for sound sync just yet. That’s why I recommended a video editor.

I really understand that you are having problems with this, but right now the developers can’t fix the audio sync problem because it’s too difficult and it will take time. Sometimes audio synchronizes just fine, but since you are trying to animate a really long video (1500+ frames) in a single file you are getting sound problems over time.

I honestly don’t really know what else to recommend to fix your “problem” because I provided you with a valid solution and you say that you still can’t synchronize the sound on a video editor however that is a problem that is beyond the scope of Pencil2D.

Due to all of this, I personally think you should just try to use another animation software considering Pencil2D is really not working for you.

Here’s a list we compiled for animation software alternatives:

Export the image sequence at the current frame rate and then import that 1500+ frame image sequence with the same frame rate (12 fps) in another animation program and keep working there.

If you want upload your animation to a cloud service like google drive and send me a private message with the link so I can ask the developers to take a look at it to see if the problem can be fixed in the future, but for now I think it might be better for you to use a more professional program that has proper sound support to finish your work in time.

Thank Jose, for the time being I will continue to use P2D, because I think it’s great, just considering that is free and that I can message with professional people like you giving me help, anyway I will try to set keyframes counting seconds from a video editor where there is the sound as explained before (2:06 for the solo) concerting in fps rate at 12 and set the keyframe there regardless how it’s work in PD2. Like this I should have a fixed frame that I know it will work outside P2D. I will move with my animation between those fixed frames along the song. And I hope it will play good. For the moment I really don’t know which animation software is better for me. However I want to conclude this song with P2D (hope so). Then when I finish I will advise you…