Moving one layer in camera & documentation

Hello !
I’m new to pencil2d, downloaded it yesterday - mac version - and I’ve been trying to find a way to move one layer into the frame (such as a character entering and exiting a scene) while the rest (on another layer) remains still but I can’t manage to do that.
When I’m in the camera layer, I can’t select any tool, I can only pan and zoom in/out (is this normal) ? So, any movement of the camera is applied to all layers since I can’t select any particular object.
I figured I would attempt to do the entering/exiting by moving the vector layer instead but that’s a very inefficient way since I need to constantly jump back and forth from the camera layer to the vector layer to assess how much i should move between one frame and the other, since I can’t visualise the camera frame limits when I’m in the vector layer. Any help would be appreciated!
On another note, in the documentation section on the website, it says “Use the left menu to select a documentation page” but I see no menu, no documents… where is the mentioned documentation?
thank you!

@untitled Hi. Welcome. Fist of all, in newer versions the Camera layer functionality was disabled for making animated pans and zooms due to people wanting to have always a visible framing of the canvas. The old Pencil had sort of an infinite kind-of canvas space to draw and the camera is the only way you could export.

If by some miracle you’re using version 0.5.4b you can keyframe the camera pans and zooms, that is you can add a keyframe on frame 1 then go to the last frame and change the position of the camera, but you wouldn’t be able to export.

If you’re using the latest Nightly Build, you don’t have to change between camera layer and other layers, since youll always be able to see the camera frame, and now you can export your animation.

Nightly builds have usually lots of fixes, but they aren’t representative of the final version we want to release, so you’ll have to use it under your own risk, but for MAC uses is basically the best version to use so far:

It’s a trade-off meanwhile we figure out how to enable that feature again, since to me it’s incredibly useful to animate the camera independently of the animation.

If you require a way to make camera animation with the Nightly Build, you’ll have to plan it beforehand (like traditional animators do it) and use a different software to execute it, particularly if you don’t want to animate the characters frame by frame to enter /exit the stage.

Also to move them you’d have to use the marquee tool to select them and use the arrow tool to move frame by frame, be that in vector or bitmap layers. I suggest using different levels / layers for each individual character meanwhile.

Regarding the documentation, we’ve suffered several attacks from hackers, spammers and an annoying hosting service so the webmaster had to disable the docs, but we’re thinking of migrating the documentation to a different place.

But don’t worry Pencil version 0.5.4b comes with a pdf manual that treats the essential features of the program, although some are slightly outdated it works as intended. To get the manual go to Help > Help menu and you’d be able to open the manual. If you can’t go to the installation folder and find a folder called help.

Inside Nightly builds we don’t have this because as I said some features are no longer applicable and others have been changed for good.

Hope this helps and sorry I can’t help you further. I’ll gladly answer anything else you require the best I can.

Hi! Thanks for your quick reply. In fact I downloaded what was available on the home page, so yes I guess I’m working on “Pencil2D 0.5.4 beta for Mac OS X” and I guess that’s why I have the camera layer as a separate layer from the bitmap and vector layers which are ‘infinite’. So if I understand what you’re saying, I won’t be able to animate the camera and export with this version. If I need to “visualise” the final exported camera frame while I draw my frames without jumping from camera layer to bitmap/vector layor I need to download ‘Nightly builds’ because this would not possible within my current version, correct ?

A last remark, I stumbled upon a question in the forum about selective rotation ( and the solution was given as follows for the Windows version :
"– Select the object (shortkey V) by just clicking on one of its line. A selected box will be displayed
– Press (CTRL + Drag Left/Right) INSIDE the selected box: Left rotate anticlockwise, right rotate clockwise. (Improved last build of February)"
However this does not seem to work for me, I tried different combinations of keys, do you know if it is inherently different for the MAC version ?

thanks again !

@untitled Hi! Let me break it down better:

Version 0.5.4b.
Persistent Camera Frame: No
Camera animation: Yes
Video export: No
Image Sequence export: Yes

Latest Nightly Build
Persistent Camera Frame: Yes
Camera animation: No
Video export: Yes
Image Sequence export: Yes

Selective rotation only works in newer nightly builds.

I did this video response as well in case that’s more helpful. In the video I’m using November 2nd 2016 NB. You should download Nov 8 which is specific for MAC from previous link.

In the video I also discuss other software which you can use to animate camera motion if needed and also free.

Edit: Please turn the volume up, I had to speak softly because we had someone visiting. Sorry about that!