No Stereo sound in exported movie

G’day community of my favorite animation software! I have a problem… I’m not positive about if this is just my problem, or if it is a problem no one else noticed, but I’ll humbly bring it up here just in case… I’m using the Oct 7 nightly build of Pencil 2D for Windows (10). I’d like to make good use of Stereo sound every occasional animation I create (such as background music and panned clips). However (though it is not a huge problem), I noticed in the editor, it plays as Stereo (true to my original audio clips), but upon exporting to an MP4 movie, it changes to Mono sound. As I parenthetically stated above, it isn’t a big problem, and it may just be the nightly build’s problem. Recently, I’ve been noticing the songs I write have parts in them that, for some odd reason, cannot be heard in mono, and I’ve become a bit spoiled for stereo sound… Maybe there’s a way I can fix this (preferably not updating until 0.6.7), or if it is just another strange bug that the developers need to fix (no pressure)… Thank you developers for the work you do! I prefer this software any day and I appreciate you guys for it! Cheers, - Joey H.

@JoeyH Hi Joey. This is not a bug. While it may be obvious Pencil2D is only an animation editor, you are not meant to masterize sound in Pencil2D.

From a video and even a sound producer perspective you usually get input sounds as mono (single channel), and at the end of the pipeline after applying sound processing effects like equalization or noise reduction then you would double your channels for a stereo mix before exporting.

So in summary rather than using Pencil2D to get the final movie, consider using a video editor to finalize the movie instead so you can have proper audio channel support and apply sound panning there (e.g when you hear stuff from left to right or right to left); most video editors allow for such effects.

Sound in Pencil2D should only be meant to be used for lip sync and beat syncing (ost), then take the animation parts from Pencil2D and compose the video in a proper tool where you can have audio and video channels with special effects.

Lastly I’ll probably move this thead to the feature request category instead.

Ah, okay! That was my idea for a solution, replacing the audio after exporting… Thank you for the info!

The downmixing when exporting from Pencil2D is an intentional choice that was made for technical reasons. I do plan on changing that to stereo at some point, however some other big changes to the exporter have to be completed before I would move on to this, so it is likely something you will not see in the next stable release. As Jose suggested, the best way to do this right now is to re-add your audio afterwards with a video editor.

What’s interesting about this is that at one point I was working on an animated music video in Pencil 2D and I noticed that the audio was hugely delayed. I recommend anyone who uses Pencil2D to use your head rather than let the PC do the syncing for you, for example if I was making a character lip sync, I would animate him lip syncing, and then out loud to yourself whisper the line to time it correctly, so when you bring your animation to the video editor, you can use a separate audio file of you recording the line.

@Jordan_River_Studios Heya. Actually this audio delay problema problem occurs in every software out there, unfortunately. That’s why animate CC has their Test Movie Preview, and Toonboom Harmony has a Camera Render Preview both which pre-render the animation at a lower quality to make it easy to preview in real-time playback.

It’s only logical that regular Playback with a lot of processing power effects, big drawings or camera moves will never be friendly towards proper previewing, so with Pencil2D currently one has to get creative to get this kind of result.

For now Pencil2D will be slated to get its own preview-type window / feature, but for now it’s only in early planning stages.

That said, if you need to do proper lip-sync the sound scrubbing does provide per-frame accurate sound synchronization (and it’s proven).

We discovered this a few months ago and we’ve tried ever since to advise people that playback won’t sync sound (the more layers you have the more offset it will become), but scrubbing the timeline and exporting the video will accurately portray the sounds you use.

Of course sound in Pencil2D is only meant for planning and animating. Real sound mastering should be done in a video editing app.

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