"Could not open"

I recently tried saving an animation I’ve been working on, but when I tried reopening it later it gave me this message. Is there anyway to recover my animation?

@Sum_Cynical_Animator Hi welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear this had happened to you. If you’re using Windows 10, there are a few extra steps you need to help prevent this happening less in the future.

  1. Please read this to setup your Windows environment to run thirdparty apps with minimal interruption form the operating system [Guide] How to Train Your Pencil2D (Windows)
  2. Now please read this guide to help you learn about prevention tips as well as potential recovery steps. Bear in mind that depending on the damage it may be impossible to recover all the file, but there’s still hope Pencil2D Project File Corruption Prevention / Partial Recovery Guide
  3. While it may be obvious for some, we’ve had users saving files incorrectly, so here’s a small tip: Pencil2D projects are always to be saved with a PCL or PCLX file extension, if you saved the file with any other format you may not be able to open it. For example if you exported as an mp4 file, this is a video format that will not be editable.
  4. Lastly make always sure to save various copies of a working file through the lifetime of your project. That way you can ensure that you won’t lose work regardless of software. Pencil2D is not the only software that can suffer from loss of data, I’ve had personal experiences with Adobe Animate CC and Toonboom Harmony to name a few. But the worst part is that the latter were paid software :sweat_smile:

I hope you can recover at least part of your work.

Thanks for responding! I’ve read elsewhere on the forum that the file maybe corrupted. Is there anyway I can recover the frames I drew?

@Sum_Cynical_Animator Hi. I’m not sure if you have already read my previous reply, but if you haven’t please read it attentively and make sure to read the linked guides thoroughly for prevention & recovery purposes.

That said with the presented methods it is possible to partially recover work depending on the condition of the file, but it’s better to prepare yourself to redo at least part of your work.

Hi! I followed the steps, but it doesn’t seem like I’ll be recover my work. Thanks for the help though!

@Sum_Cynical_Animator I’m sorry to read that you couldn’t recover your work :pensive: If you want please share the corrupted file with us and we’ll look into it just in case we can do something else to recover the work.

hi! i’m having the same problem right now. my .pclx file seems to be missing its .xml file… it’s not even in the %temp% folders for some reason, although my animation was normally saved when i closed the program. i have managed to recover the data folder with all the pictures but there’s little i can do with that on its own - if i import the images directly into their layers they are automatically set to the center of the screen so the frames are all misplaced and the animation is shaky.
i looked in the forum and read that it was possible to send the files directly to the support team, so i’m sending the corrupted .pclx as well as the data folder through wetransfer. i hope you can do something with that. thank you in advance.

@sagpi Hi. Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear you had this kind of issue. Unfortunately if you already recovered the image folder, there’s little we can do beyond that.

The guide we have is meant to recover the drawings because recovering the XML file that binds everything together is nearly impossible once it’s deleted.

Your best bet would be to use the XML from a previous project file if you have one handy, replace the image folder with the one you recovered (assuming it has more images) and then reimport the missing pictures and re align them manually. You can use CTRL + A to select a drawing and activate the onion skins to readjust the drawings closely to your original intent.

To import the images and preserve the timing, you can use the File > Import > Image Predefined Set option, but this only affects the frame position on the timeline, it doesn’t affect the position on the canvas since the PNG files are always cut to the size of the strokes, and placed by the software over the virtual canvas; that’s what the XML keeps record of.

As a future recommendation please consider keeping regular backup copies of your file. In commercial animation production it’s frowned upon always saving on the same file since this can happen even with commercial, industry-standard software.

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