Half of animation gone, layers/frames still present

Hi there, I’ve only just started with the whole animation thing so this really isn’t the most heartening time for this issue. I opened up my pclx file to do some work on my animation and most of the drawing just isn’t there. The layers/frames which the drawings were on are still there, but no line or colour is to be found.

There is only one camera frame and the animation flowed seamlessly before this issue, so I sincerely doubt it’s a movement of the camera; that being said I’ve zoomed far out anyway and cannot see anything.

Someone please help, I’ve lost about a week’s work on this animation that means a lot to me, particularly being my first one.

@mbru Sorry to hear you had this issue. While there are many possible problems that might be happening let me ask the following information:

  1. What is the version of Pencil2D you’re currently using?
  2. What is your current OS? Note: To quickly answer 1 & 2 Go to the Help Menu > About > Press the Copy to Clipboard button and immediately press CTRL + V on your next reply so we can know this basic computer information.
  3. Did Pencil2D crash at any point before losing your work? Like did it close itself without warning, or did it close with a warning?
  4. Have you been moving large amounts of frames before saving?

If you’re using Windows 10 this is likely one of the main causes for your work loss, so please read this guide before attempting to resume work [Guide] How to Train Your Pencil2D (Windows) Seriously don’t skip this as Win10 has been playing a big part on these work loss issues lately.

Apart from this, please upload your project here or online and send us a link. You can use wetransfer.com, google drive, dropbox, or you can drop the PCLX file directly on your reply box and upload it here so the developers can take a look at your file.

Other than this it’s hard to say what happened and it might not be possible to recover the lost work, however please make sure to read the following guide thoroughly to learn how to prevent these and many other rare issues that could happen as well as to develop a habit of saving multiple files to preserve your work. Pencil2D Project File Corruption Prevention / Partial Recovery Guide

There are some experimental file recovery steps at the bottom of the guide using third party software for Windows, if that’s your current OS you could try to follow to try to recover the lost frames, but this is a last resort and it’s done under your own risk.

I have to be frank, recovering lost data is very difficult if you don’t do it quickly and in the same computer where the data was “lost”, so after we try all of this you should prepare yourself to repaint whatever was lost, and make a point to keep a series of backup files to avoid these issues, not only with Pencil2D but with any software.

I’ve personally lost paid work with expensive commercial software that has 300x times more people working on than Pencil2D, and all I can say is that, software can fail, so we can’t always rely on it, as a future professional in whatever you will do, you always have to plan ahead for unforeseen problems & deal with their consequences. Don’t get discouraged, this is a part of digital animation & art in general that is unavoidable, but these experiences help us grow and next time, you know you won’t get caught in a bad spot :slightly_smiling_face: :+1:

@mbru I’d also like to recommend some other tools to make your coloring more efficient so you don’t have to worry about losing too much time.

A serious recommendation I can provide you so you can finish your work would be to use the free animation software suite Opentoonz as a complementary application.

It may be a bit more difficult to grasp at first but they have a lot of learning resources on youtube and a proper manual.

  1. You would to export a PNG image sequence of your lineart from Pencil2D
  2. Then import that into Opentoonz.

Since you’ve already done the lineart in Pencil2D, Opentoonz has an automatic tracing feature which should allow you to convert all the PNG images into coloring-ready lineart.

I always recommend the following playlist for people trying to bridge Pencil2D with Opentoonz, just replace the “pencil & paper” step with the animation you did in Pencil2D and instead of scanning use the images exported from Pencil2D and the rest will be the same:

Note: I’m only recommending this to help you finish your work in case you are on a due date for delivery, there are other programs I could recommend but none that are free are as complete and actively developed, except maybe Krita.

I am using mac 10.15.4 and pencil2d 0.6.4. It does crash occasionally, but I’m not sure about a timescale as it was the first 300 or so frames that were lost, not the most recently done. Here’s the file.https://www.dropbox.com/s/10bb87zfpx06mt2/COL%20if%20that’s%20alright%20by%20you.pclx?dl=0

I think I’ve decided to just try to redo it, and use what was left where possible. It sucks but there’s not much else can be done.

Here is what I could recover:

And here is a list of frames and layers I’ve removed to make it work (*.txt-file): Maybe @JoseMoreno can do better…?

@davidlamhauge Unfortunately I can’t recover what’s gone. No one can. The provided file opens fine, the problem was that the frames were erased inexplicably, not that the file got corrupted.

@mbru I’m honestly sorry to hear this happened. I see you have macOSX 10.15, which is “Catalina”, this one introduced the notarization features which have been giving headaches to developers of third party software due to permissions problems, which I believe have invariably lead to this and other similar issues we’re facing.

I’ll be honest with you, try another app. Take what you have left, export it and reconstruct it in a different application that is more robust or has more developers. Our guys work really hard to improve the software, but keeping up-to-date with major tech is always a challenge for small teams.

While Pencil2D has been growing, it is still considered beta and every time someone loses their work because of fringe problems that are difficult to track, it simply pains my heart to tell users “we can’t do anything for you right now”.

And while one of the main problems you could have faced that messed your frames has actually been fixed recently, we really don’t know how the new security crazyness over macOSX and Windows OS have affected not only Pencil2D but any third party app that is “unsigned” (that means not provided through their app stores).

For now I can only offer words of encouragement and ask you not to give up because of this obstacle. Please finish your work, just don’t try to keep finishing it with Pencil2D. Use whatever tools you can get at your disposal so you finish and won’t lose heart again. Also make sure to save extra copies to prevent this from happening, because it will happen regardless of software, trust me, I’ve been there too.

I can only hope you can show us the finished work eventually even if you choose another software, that would be preferred than not finishing at all.

Here’s a list of alternative animation apps you can try out, we try to keep it updated but it’s quite complete:

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