disappearance of work

I have a problem. I am using Pencil 2D v 0.6.5 on a Windows 10 operating system, 64 bit, 12 gig RAM, Intel I5 chipset. I was creating an animation, using 5 bit layers, no sound track, about 1,100 frames long. I had saved manually many times along the way, and it was also save automatically by the program many times.

When I opened it up yesterday to work on the animation, I found only the base layer and the last few frames of the last layer I worked on were there, nothing else would display. As I had saved many times, and had opened it to work on it many times over the last two weeks without a problem, I suspect the work may still be in memory, but I can’t access it, and it won’t display. I also redrew some of the frames yesterday, but when I went in today, even some of that work was missing.

What is wrong, and what can I do about it? I am now reluctant to use the program, as any future work could go the same way.

@gshorser Greetings. I’m sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced. Unfortunately there are various issues that stem from Windows 10 itself that could have played part in this as well as using the old version 0.6.5. Let me explain:

  1. The most recent version is 0.6.6 on all platforms. Please download and use this as soon as you can since it comes with a basic crash recovery feature as well https://pencil2d.org/download
  2. Please visit and read this Windows 10 exclusive guide [Guide] How to Train Your Pencil2D (Windows) it will help you prepare your computer to use Pencil2D or any other third party app that might not be signed or come from the Microsoft App Store. It is known that Win10 might actively block processes from unsigned apps leading to potential loss of data while saving. The antivirus annotation is also key, particularly with Windows Defender or industrial strength A / V tools
  3. Please look at our recovery guide Pencil2D Project File Corruption Prevention / Partial Recovery Guide the procedures are time sensitive as temporal files get overwritten quickly under Windows 10. Try the procedures and as a last resort look into the “experimental recovery” category.
  4. The loss of work you have experienced is most likely guaranteed if the drawings are not showing, because Pencil2D saves the files into a zip package (PCLX) and then unpacks whatever it stored last time you saved. While the guide above mentions this, it is never recommended to save over the same file only as a digital animator or artist you must create backup files to fallback in case of technical failure.
    This is something that is not a Pencil2D requirement but something one has to make a habit of. I have personally lost many files over the years to commercial applications (it hurts more when you’re a paying customer :confounded: ) and even with the best technology and money, not even companies like Adobe or Autodesk have realized a proper way to counter data loss in hese cases.
    So what i’m saying here is that, prevention is the best way to battle these issues, however we are looking into ways to further improve the survival of data once users are afflicted with any potential condition that might cause harm. Nevertheless these improvements will take time and we encourage everyone to really make a habit of saving multiple backup copies to represent their milestone achievements within a project.

Thank you for your prompt email., although it is discouraging to hear that “saving” doesn’t always do that. Is this mentioned anywhere in the Pencil program, maybe as a pop-up caution, for all of us who are new to it?

I will attempt to work through the recovery steps, but don’t normally work with zip files, am not a computer nerd, so this may be a bit beyond me.

@gshorser Hi. It is unfortunate for sure, I’m sorry I can’t be of more assistance in this particular case.

Is this mentioned anywhere in the Pencil program, maybe as a pop-up caution, for all of us who are new to it?

That’s why we created the first guide I linked, specifically for Win10 users. Since we support various platforms it’s not feasible to only warn a specific part of the userbase without compromises on the software, as far as I know.

Pencil2D is in theory always expected to save work. When it doesn’t due to a software error, it’s a bug, when it’s blocked by external software or agent, it’s interference. There’s also the so called Murphy’s law at play “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”

Surprising as it may sound there are less cases of people losing work than those who do. Despite appearances Pencil2D has over of ~70 thousand downloads a month and only less than 0.0001% users complain or report about this. Due to this It’s pretty much impossible for developers to foresee everyone’s unique hardware and software configuration to provide failsafes :pensive:

It is common knowledge that any computer app can fail, so it should not be a surprise when it does. Developers can only prepare to prevent it transparently within the app, but users have the unique ability to prevent the consequence of losing work by having backups.

That said we’ll look into ways of improving how people can interact with these problems and hopefully how the data can be backed up, but for the most part there’s only so much we can do about this from the app perspective itself.

but don’t normally work with zip files, am not a computer nerd, so this may be a bit beyond me.

The first guide has a section on handling zip files under Windows 10, make sure to give it a read.

Either way thank you again for your report. I hope you can recover something back :+1: If that’s not possible and you don’t feel at ease, let me know and i’ll provide you with links to alternative animation apps in case you want to look for other tools.