Duplicate Multiple Frames

I have an 8 frame walk cycle that I’d like to duplicate several times throughout the timeline. At present we can duplicate 1 frame to another place on the timeline but multiple frames would be very helpful when duplicating a walk cycle… I have no programming knowledge so not sure what this task would entail.
You guys have been a great help!

I think your gonna have to do it the hard way. I would double the frame rate. 24 instead of 12 or 12 instead of 6 that can let you have space betwen KeyFrames. In this space you have place for duplicate frame.
You duplicate all the frames of the cycle and fill all the holes. After that you select all the duplicate and move them to the right place.
Unfortunately That not the kind off features that pencil2D is specialised in. It’s all about drawing. But wee mill need a bit of these easy life cycle tools. If pencil2D grows enough wee might see it happen! So let’s use it and make others use it too!


For repeating sections of animation I usually let the video editor handle it (in my case the Blender VSE, but any decent editor will do). So, say I had a 72 frame sequence with a cycle that starts at 25 and ends at 48 that I want to repeat 3 times before moving on to what’s currently at frame 49. I’d export the 72-frame image sequence from Pencil and then import the result into Blender as three separate sections: 1-24, 25-48, and 49-72. Then, from within Blender, I’d duplicate the 25-48 segment twice (making a total of three times through the cycle) and arrange the various strips on the timeline as needed. Doing it this way is much faster than trying to wrangle all of that duplication inside Pencil. In short, I highly recommend using each tool for what it’s best at: pencil for animation, and an editor like the Blender VSE for editing, compositing, etc.


I couldn’t agree more. But still i could do with some improvement of duplication. For example if you had a walk cycle you would expect to have the possibility to duplicate the number of frames of your footstep and move them all by the distance of the footstep. It’s no like interpolation or any fancy stuff like magic flash-like automatic “animation”. Of course for the moment it doesn’t work and blender is a very good idea for all the editing! (specially now there is the UV offset modifier!!!) But i think that should be part of pencil2D.
Even though i agree with you i don’t want to send new users away from Pencil2D to quickly :-p

But YES it’s not about one software but about building a work pipeline.

Ok, Im starting to get it… I think I may be using Pencil for the wrong reason. I am not great at drawing so my drawings/characters/walk cycle have been created in Photoshop, not Pencil (For which it was designed) I am really using pencil to structure my animation only. I had not heard of Blender before and it looks great for what I want to achieve, albeit complicated…

I found a work around for my walk cycle: I copied the 8 frames as many times as needed on my desktop (88 times) renaming them 1-88 and then imported these into Pencil. It technically worked but seemingly could not handle all the bitmap frames. Any frame imported after frame 16 reported the warning “this is not a bitmap file Pencil recognises” thus did not playback. I use Pencil 0.4.4b but as Luke advised Pencil2d is more up-to-date. Do you think Pencil2d would handle this many frames?

I agree! I have also had this problem but I think that in addition to fixing this, they should also make pencil2d more like an editing software. I think they could learn a lot from kdenlive.

@GoombaGuru In the original vision for Pencil, the forefather of this project thought about getting video editing features into the program.

The actual problem is that, there’s really but a handful of volunteers devs (3 + the webmaster) working on Pencil2D in their spare time since they have full time jobs and families to sustain.

Quite honestly, and this is my personal opinion and not an opinion from the Pencil2D tea, If we had more people interested in coding the program rather than just using it and either a) shoving it aside because it was “too basic” or b) dismissing it (and some have even insulted us) because it was “not great enough” it would definitely help solve these kind of issues faster, but until we do find such kind of people, ideas like this, which entail a huge amount of work will just not happen regardless of how much we want it (I really want it to happen!)

I personally take every amount of feedback I find on the internet about Pencil2D and incorporate it to the feature tracker (if it’s not a duplicate) https://github.com/pencil2d/pencil/issues/540 but for now the best we can do as users is to encourage the devs to continue to fix the program until it’s good enough for regular people to notice it and make it so they too want to improve it.

Thanks for commenting, have a good time as well :slight_smile:

The workaround I use is to export the frames to a file and then import them multiple times. I find this works best (image quality wise) when you export as a series of stills, but it’s faster when you export as a gif or MP4, since you don’t have to select multiple stills every time you import.

There’s a much easier workaround. Separate the frames in your cycle, by say two frames.

Duplicate each frame in the sequence individually.

Then select the first copy. Pressing the control key select the next. Repeat this process for the remaining frames.

Then simply move the highlighted frames to their new position.

Repeat this procedure as many times as required.

I just want to tell everyone in this thread that in an upcoming version Pencil2D will finally have a way to copy / paste multiple selected frames across layers of the same type. This will make your workflow more efficient.

Once this is merged in the nightly builds I’ll update this thread with a link to the development versions so you can test this.