Holy $heit

(reaction39) #1

I just discovered pencil 0.4 .4 a few days ago and then I got discouraged when my sound timing randomly got thrown off and then really discouraged when I realized there was no way to export a usable file on windows.

I saw NO LINKS on their site forwarding you to this site. Maybe they are on there, but I didn’t catch them. Over the past night I have been so depressed. Almost downloaded or order Anime Studio but stopped at the last second when reading reviews that it was very poor for drawing. Anyways, as a last ditch effort I went online before going to bed and googled 1 more time. This time i just typed “Traditional Animation Software” And somehow I got to this, came to the site and noticed, wtf… this seems more advanced than the pencil I was using. I read some of the history (sorry not all) and immediately downloaded the newer version to see if you could export into files that I can actually use to share on youtube, etc.

Least to say, it looks very promising. You have no… well you probably do have an idea. But this is a huge weight off my shoulders. At least for now. Tomorrow I will actually give the program a try and for the 3rd time in the last week, completely redo the animation I am trying to create.

Hopefully we can get it right this time!

(gordie) #2

@reaction39 : your story is almost the same than mine :slight_smile:

(reaction39) #3

well, I am dissapointed again

I have researched a lot of topics in the forums, downloaded nighttime versions and other files to try to get exporting to work and it still will not export. The sound also does not work yet as well.

I think it’s awesome that you all would put so much time and effort into making something like this. I really need it. I don’t need all those fancy expensive animation programs out there. All I need is something I can create animations with frame by frame, with multiple layers and be able to add sound to the file, and then be able to share that file online, with or without sound. I am willing to pay for it. I would be happy to donate to this cause. It seems like a great start. But I am currently uncomfortable donating to something that doesn’t even work for me. If you can fix the export issue (which says it was fixed in the desc of the latest night time update :/) And if you can make sound work. I will donate whatever I can!


(gordie) #4

Hi @reaction39 !
I guess developpers (@chchwy, @jose, and others) are already working on this.
But development takes time !

  • I wrote a post on pencil-animation.org to ask them to put a link to our website for visitors, like you; who do not know about this website.

  • We will think about the “donation” thing.


(CC D) #5

Hi :slight_smile: I have the exact same experience… pencil don’t export, by a chance I ended up here, downloaded the new version but, again no… no export!

However, I have a (not so fun) solution and any wish for transparent background is to forget but… I used a screen recorder to record the movie.

(Cirus) #6

Thank you @reaction39 @cc_d

Movie export is working fine but, you’re right, it doesn’t work when there is a sound layer instance; I hope I can have available time to fix that soon, all the remaining bugs and pending features are a bit large for my ultra short available time.

Thank you!


(reaction39) #7

ok so your saying the movie export works fine when you don’t have a sound layer? So when I have a sound layer added, that is what’s keeping it from exporting? Thanks. I will try to save again later with no sound layer added and see if that works. That really would be good enough for now :slight_smile:


Thanks for responding.



(CC D) #8

Okay, maybe it is my computer then?

I try to export and a pop-up shows for a fraction of a second that says something? but no luck exporting. With or without sound. Now I am much pleased over the diversity of tools that are being created in “good will”. I am grateful for those who take their time to develope for others.

Still, me atleast can’t export but, since I found a solution I am not disappointed, even if I need to do more work.

So… I made my short movie (first drawing) - looks like picasso but, that’s lack of skill.

I wanted a transparent background so I made a green background which i pasted in every keyframe before drawing… I recorded the movie with a screen recorder, ran it in VSDC and took away the green color, pasted it in VSDC on the screen of a mobile phone, used Audacity to render the sound and mixed it together in Windows movie maker…

It was cool, much extra work but fun, free and creative.



(reaction39) #9

Yeah I tried exporting with no sound and it still will not export. Using windows xp

Also with the latest nightly build, I cannot even open saved work. After it is saved as a .pcl or a .pclx, when I reopen the program and then try to open the file, the program just closes.

I appreciate all that you all have done. Thanks for everything you do!

I’m hoping around christmas time we will be able to get a newer pc and then hopefully I will be able to run some real animation programs on it. I tried using photoshop but the movie I am making is so large that it uses up too much ram. we only have 2 gb - very old pc at the moment. In the mean time what I am thinking is I can just use the old original pencil program. That one seems to work the best for me. And I can just use a screen recorder to record the image somehow.


Looking forward to trying the next update though!



(sama) #10

Have you tried exporting your animation as an image sequence, then loading it up into a video editor? That worked for me with the old version of Pencil.

(Cirus) #11


EXPORT: Possible solutions

A) If you installed this way

  1. Download Pencil2D 0.5.4b
    2. Uncompress it to a new folder.
  2. Download the nightly build Pencil.exe
    4. Overwrite pencil.exe, in your new folder

make sure that the files ffmpeg.exe, ffplay.exe and ffprobe.exe are present in the plugins directory. If not, try to copy the “plugins” directory from another previous version.

BTW, prior to overwriting pencil.exe, make sure you have a working copy (backup)

B) If your folder structure and updates are correct, maybe it’s a codec problem. I’m using the default codecs from installing videolan ( www.videolan.org ). The “icon” is horrible but the “media-player” is kind of “all-terrain” and it includes all the main codecs you’ll probably need. You can inccrease/decrease speed by simply pressing [+] [-] and more… It’s open-source.


The last nighly-build did not include this new fix, but you’ll have it in a few days, when it is possible for Matt to update it.

Hope it helps!

(Shoshon) #12

Because it was my fault, that Pencil crashes during open file process, and for now I can’t see fixed build of Pencil.exe, so I decided to publish my build - it is simple Pencil.exe build from Cirus fixed version . This build Pencil.exe you can download from here.

So in the above procedure in 3rd point if you want to try fixed build version download this instead of last nightly build version.

(system) #13


Now it is OK. Pencil opens documents normally.

I have seen the onion-colour-layer from @Cirus, and that is kind of professional feature. It is so simple now to work with onionlayers.

Thank you for the build!

(laulaulau) #14


If you’re using windows, or wine, try http://plasticanimationpaper.dk/

I have only tried it in wine, I don’t know if they have any plans to open source it, that would be nice thou :slight_smile:

(mikshaw) #15


I installed that in a virtual Windows XP not long ago, but it had a lot of redraw problems that made it really annoying to work with. There have been several Windows programs that fail to redraw properly for me, though, in both Wine and Virtualbox, so i’m guessing it might be either a bug somewhere in my graphical environment or a UI feature that my system doesn’t know how to deal with (like an unsupported directX element, for example)

It does look like it would be enjoyable.

(sama) #16

I have it installed on my laptop. Plastic animation seems like a good program but it is only useful for doing line work. You can’t fill the objects in with color. It is also not aimed towards beginners like pencil is, as its interface is kinda confusing and slightly archaic. But other than that it does seem pretty cool, if you get the hang of it.

(mikshaw) #17

I wouldn’t say there’s any direct connection between interface simplicity and targeting beginners, and i wouldn’t say Pencil2D is aimed at beginners. At this point in development I’d say Pencil2D is aimed at users who want to do simple frame-by-frame animations in an uncluttered and intuitive interface. Many programs seem to be developed with the assumption that a powerful application requires an interface with a button for every function, and scores of boxes, multiple menus, all this complexity that requires study simply to use the program’s most basic tasks. As I see it, a good interface is an uncluttered one with only the most used tools visible by default, and one that makes use of the basic common visual elements that we’ve all been familiar with in computing for the last 20 years. There are programs like Synfig, Blender (the old UI), and ZBrush which IMO have made unnecessarily crazy interface choices in an effort, as far as i can tell, just to be unique, but they did it at the cost of many potential users who were put off by having to learn entirely new ways to navigate them.

And i’m gonna stop rambling now…in summary, I think Pencil2D is aimed at every artist and animator. It just has a simple interface.

(sama) #18

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree to what you said.

I guess I should have said: “Due to the simplicity of Pencil2d’s interface, users can learn all of its functions within 10 minutes; thus it is very user-friendly.”

(Cirus) #19

After reading some posts, I suddenly felt the need to write an answer to @mikshaw

It’s a pity that I have no time for “pencil” right now but, at least, it’s great to know there are people helping others with patience, and supporting developers the fairest way they can, @mikshaw is a good example of that. His intuition is brilliant and he’s giving good solutions to a lot of user problems.

Thank you @mikshaw for being so faithful to Pencil , you’re keeping the project alive !

(mikshaw) #20

Thanks for the kind words, @jose =o)

I just really like Pencil (even though i’m finding it hard to get myself to do more than static doodles lately), and i hope the users and devs will grow into a thriving community. Even before Pencil2D, i thought to myself “If i had money, i would absolutely pay to get Pencil back into development”. Instead i have to support it how i can…with tech support and testing. There are few animation packages available for Linux, fewer that are cross-platform, even fewer that are light and easy to use, and none quite like Pencil. At this point i’d say the only thing close to Pencil is Tupi, but it’s another vector program, and not yet available for Windows.