Not sure why you are adding more features when the ones you have do not work

I love this software and I really appreciate what you guys have done here, it opened the doorway t animation for me. But its just so damn boggy its actually impossible to use for anything serious. Its a shame because its so so close to being able to make anything, from a simple gif to a feature film. Just a few little changes and you have something very capable, at the moment its more an experiment and doorway for beginners. I took notes while trying to create the animations I wanted and even though I have not got all the bugs written I hope this encompasses or highlights the very biggest problems stopping a smooth work flow and easy execution of our vision using your GUI and engine.

Worst things:

One of the most awkward things is trying to use my pc in tablet mode and then wanting to zoom in and out, why there is no simple bar to move up and down to zoom in and out? I have to go into the menu with my stylus and click on zoom then click on in or out very fiddly with a stylus… its laborious and not simple enough, we should have visual representation of how zoomed into the frame we are and also the difference between the camera layer being zoomed into the picture or the canvas layer (bitmap or vector) and how zoomed in it is and the relation between them both… I still for the life of me cannot figure out why I cannot see the whole frame in camera layer… then when I export, it’s all there… It is such a simple thing but its all hidden and not accessible.

When pasting a copied frame into a new empty frame space it imprints the previous frame next to new past location into the pasted frame making a strange combination of them both, not sure if this is deliberate but one has to create a new empty frame then paste into that for the pasted frame to be untouched.

audio is badly implemented again such a crucial thing, more crucial than camera moves. It is very hard to get it to even play in sync within pencil2d, even if its all in sync. When you press play the first time playing through the sounds are all out, but it loops around then its all in sync… So its very hard to actually play it and check if its looking and sounding ok, unless you just export it and play the video file back. Sound is by far the most important thing in filmmaking. But you have no functionality, we can only import or move it… Why cant I edit it a little? Slice it down? Shorten it? If I try to delete the audio from the layer chances are the entire thing crashes and I lose all my unsaved work (happened to me yesterday and I lost hours of work). If I was you having a decent audio engine would be much higher priority than camera. if I try to delete the audio track I added it just shuts down the software (a crash I guess), using audio is annoying we need some basic editing functions and also a wave viewer for the audio, you should be able to expand the audio layer to show the wave and thus be able to edit the lip sync very easily even without audio.

again when using my laptop in tablet mode another annoying bug happens sometimes where I am somehow activating the line drawing tool and when I reach over to the tool box it draws a line across my entire image… I then have to try to erase this line. Undo does not work. Actually I think this is related to the fill activating when I use the button on my stylus to move the canvas… I have to use it as there are no bars on the screen to easily zoom and move around… When I use the button to move the screen it make a “press” command to the canvas making a line across my screen or filling an area with selected colour…

in the layer/timeline area why can we not adjust the vertical height of the layers? we have the function to zoom into the timeline, adjusting the horizontal width of the layers but why can we not do this to the vertical height of the layers? It would make it much easier to use and not accidentally select and move clips on other layer channels on the time line. Several times I am trying to move clips around or select clips and I accidentally select the audio on the audio layer and move it all out of sync…

Another bug is when I am using my stylus to grab and move the view in canvas mode (not camera layer) if I have the fill tool activated then it always does a press on the screen filling an entire area with the selected colour… so you have to move canvas then undo the fill. It does not seem to do a press onto canvas when grabbing in any other mode only in fill mode. I am using the button on the side of my pen stylus to go into grab mode I have tested and its not because I am letting go of the button last minute during the move.

Higher resolution projects seem to just be impossible, I made a 1080x1920, in portrait shaped project/canvas… And it just crashes, I cannot even draw one line. Considering this should be the minimum size we can make as commonly videos are now over 1080p format and they are in portrait mode not in landscape. Again this brings up the problems with the camera layer and being able to zoom in and out easily, when I am in camera layer its just super zoomed into the image, I cannot zoom out, not to view it or to perform an actual camera angle change… If I do its counted as a camera move not a change to the view. These two variables need to be presented clearly and have access on the screen, not forcing us to go into the menu or use the drag feature of the track pad. I am baffled by it still… its such a simple element, I mean we are making a film and cannot control the view of the frame, either to edit or for the viewer… just a big over sight.

when I have finally finished lip-syncing all the cartoon I export and its all like 300 milliseconds out of sync with the audio sometimes its in sync sometimes not… Cannot work out why.

when I try to select and move a frame along to a new position on the a track it shifts all other frames adjacent to its new location to the left one frame. This is incredibly annoying as I have to then move it all back over… Seems very useless feature and just works against the UI.

Sorely lacking features that would make it much much easier:

copy paste needs to be worked out on every layer and more intuitively, we need to be able to select multiple clips on the layer and copy paste them ALL into a new location, or cut and paste. Seems a very fundamental element that this is lacking again making simple things very complicated.

I am going to have to use different software opentoonz most likely which is a shame as I prefer the pencil2d interface and a lot of the work flow… I love like I can just draw out of the “canvas”, we have infinite space to draw anywhere and we can move the camera position around in infinite space… This makes the focus on creativity and not planning…

Anyway I am going to try opentoonz but probably will keep coming back to pencil2d haha love yor paint dynamics too…

i hop you focus on stability and ease of use instead of adding more features as what you have is already great just very buggy, if it all worked how it should and added just a few more things then baam it will be literally unstopppable… I can make an entire series or feature film in 1920 x 1080.


even the forum is very annoying and hard to use I am editing in this tiny text editing window in the corner of my screen!! when I maximized this window then I have no way to minimize it but to go back to the forum as its not fitted correctly to the screen hiding all the buttons at the top of the page. Just wonder if anyone tests this stuff before they roll it out its so frustrating trying to even post a long post…


Yes, Pencil2D is buggy, but not worse than many others. I have made about 5 minutes of animation in 1920x1080, and I have never lost a single drawing or frame.

Audio is there for testing, but you shouldn’t rely on what you see. It depends on number and size of frames, number of layers, RAM and other stuff.

Many of the things you mention is taken care of, but you’ll find it in the nightly builds, in the download section.

You can wish for as many changes and improvements as you like, but reality is, that we are 3-5 developers, with full-time jobs in real life, who use some of our spare time to maintain Pencil2D. It will improve over time. Until then, please feel free to use the software you like.

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yeah sure but I am talking about serious bugs that make is almost unusable…

comparison to other bad software is not an excuse…

yes you have limited resources so surely the logical thing to do is prioritise your resources to fix the most important things… Like basic usability…

I am talking about putting into portrait shape, 1920 x 1080… It just crashes it cannot handle it. I made a large scene and it cannot handle it its useless…

Its all about consistency not more functionality as your functionality is actually all there its just hampered by the lack of stability and UX over functionality…

Its frustrating that these things are not being addressed and instead you add more features, seems like trying to fly before you can walk?

I actually installed the nightly and still when I try to grab the screen with my stylus button it makes a line or fills it counts as a press on the canvas… actually its far more buggy and completely unusable, it seems to think I can select multiple tools at once, its on grab mode AND pencil mode and neither work…

The reality is that tablet support is not trivial, there are many many tablet brands and numerous of drivers and they do not work the same, what works for some tablets does not work for others. I’ve personally never had problems with my own Artisul D13 tablet on Mac OS but i know several who has had problems with Wacom, Huion, XP-pen, VEIKK, GAOMON etc… on Windows, rarely do any of them work the same.

It’s also not easy to find solutions to these specific tablet problems because they can often only be replicated with those specific models or on that specific computer, it all varies.

Its frustrating that these things are not being addressed and instead you add more features, seems like trying to fly before you can walk?

It’s not about flying before you can walk, it’s about spending time on things that we think are interesting and wants to see implemented and feeling up to the task at that very moment, not trying to fix the next tablet bug which we can’t even reproduce unless we have the specific model and sufficient data to replicate. We work on what we want to work on, not what the users wish for/hope/expect or demand. We’ll probably have them fixed at some point but until then, I have things I think are more important, like making the brushes perform sufficiently on a larger canvas and a move tool that can transform a selection properly.

If you want to help fix those bugs, that’s great but it’s difficult for us to prioritize such bugs when we can’t reproduce them ourselves.

Thank you very interesting… I was trying to help and frustrated as I’m using your software a lot. I appreciate it a lot.

you know I still think you are missing the point I listed many problems and you focus on one. Its mad because the camera mode seems to work fine… yet I listed huge issues with many other important features. I had no issue at all designing camera movements but many very simple functions are completely broken…

I’ve used P2D for a long time and I know about it’s limits. Using it on a tablet is something I would never insist on in it’s current state simply because when P2D was born as an idea it was not very common to draw solely on a tablet screen, at least not as common as today and also as you already know the developers of P2D are too few in numbers so they couldn’t have done all the improvements they already did over the years plus develop tablet support fully. This is something we just need to accept, we can have our ideas but all we can do is present them here and hopefully one day someone have time to pick up our ideas and implement them.

I find that the best way to use P2D is to hook up your laptop/tablet to a separate Pen-display screen (Huion, Wacom, XP-Pen) so that you can have the laptop keyboard available to control P2D via shortcut keys. I made my own shortcut keys, because you can re-assign them and I have used them such a long time so now when I draw with my right hand my left had lies on the keyboard to the left and in 90% of the time I don’t even have to look at what key I press to switch tool I have become so accustomed to my keyboard shortcuts.

It’s as simple as that, and you could also connect a bluetooth keyboard to your tablet if you really don’t like two screens (to me it’s a benefit with two screens) or have them money to invest in a pen display screen.

PS: The extra screen means you won’t be able to lie on the sofa and work, it requires a proper working environment and desk and such but it works :slight_smile:

Thank you for that… I’m managing ok with my tablet laptop as it has stylus and also keybaord :) I’m using the grab tool instead of using the button. Shame as it made the work flow so easy.

another thing which makes this very hard to use is the timeline is so hard to navigate, have to use tiny toolbar handle right at the edge or in the corner, keep bringing up taskbar. When you zoom in or out it repositions you so you get lost on timelline and havee to use tiny handle to move and try find wwhere your frame selection is… it should automatically home into your locator when using zoom. I had to move all my frames over to make the animation longer, and it was a nightmare incredibly fiddly hard to grab onto the handles for navigating timeline, constantly losing my place when zooming

Hi dom. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to write a proper response to your main points right now, but as the forum admin I just want to add that the issue with the site header obscuring the fullscreen editor should now be fixed. I’m very sorry you had to deal with that – if you’re still having trouble with it, please let me know. It’s an issue that occurred only when the page was scrolled all the way to the top, and that’s probably the reason why it wasn’t noticed before – so thank you for reporting it. I can’t do much about the editor being attached to the corner of the screen, though – this is just how our forum software works, and it doesn’t look like there is an easy way to change it.

That’s great thank you. Yes I’m moaning but it’s to try and help ha still using pencil2d

hi just wanted to update this I have been using the beta version and you have indeed resolved a lot of the issues I have had! I was able to select a whole row of frames in a layer and drag or copy paste them!!! Actually with these changes and using beta I will stick with pencil 2d a little longer and see what I can do with it!

would be great to be able to have multiple timelines we can switch between, like sequences in adobe premiere, essentially letting us make a few different scenes on their own timelines… Just great to be more organised as the more and more complexity one adds to a project in pencil2d you just end up with tonnes of layers…

been having some fun with shorts but wanna make a longer episode of something! i am straw extended - YouTube

@jmand Hey. First off it’s good to know some of your issues are being alleviated by the new changes.

It’s important to acknowledge that this software is not yet in a “production ready” state. Never has been.

This mythical state is usually achieved when the application reaches a 1.0 version, anything before that is considered “beta” and is under heavy development in most development circles.

So when the project releases a “stable” version (0.6.6, 0.6.7, 0.7.0 etc), it means the app is not supposed to crash into a dumpster fire. But it can still happen. So my personal advice when testing open source software, or even commercial apps is to be careful always when using it and save all manner of files to have hard data you can recover later.

I honestly wanted to reply to your original thread point by point before to give you some sense of tranquility that work is being done. But I felt it was ultimately unnecessary since half of the issues you brought up were either fixed, or soon to be fixed, in the nightly builds or they exist in a limited manner that needs to be improved and it’s hard to tell when it will become available fro testing.

The other half however are actually difficult bugs that we’ve been dealing with for a long time or that have just surfaced and baffled us, being difficult to track down.

Basically If we can’t reproduce them it’s nearly impossible for the devs to fix them. Sounds like an excuse, I know, but it’s the proverbial finding a needle in a haystack, just this haystack is the size of 20 football fields (it’s just an exaggerated comment to bring things into perspective, not exactly that size, but feels like that every time).

On the topic of adding features, I want everyone to know that most of what you’re seeing appear recently now, are things that have been worked on for a very long time. There’s a public list of features that the community and the current team has asked for over the years (though it needs updating to add more requests we have…).

These features or changes can sometime be as simple as changing the name of a swatch color because you find it offensive, to even dismissively ask for the entire app to be redesigned, because they think it sucks, but whatever it is each task has to take time to occur and people don’t realize we don’t have infinite time.

Because of that I just want you and others to understand that everyone working here is a volunteer.

Pencil2D is not a company, not even a non-profit foundation, we do this completely for free, we don’t have nor actively look for sponsors or donors, we took a vow to leave money out of this effort until we reach V1.0 at least and Pencil2D can hold it’s own weight.

Everything that requires actual money to run, we donate it ourselves with work or actual needed things. For example this very forum was donated by our current webmaster that already introduced themselves. Doing this can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to implement commercially by a competent developer, and I’m not exaggerating here.

However we do this due to our passion for animation and to give a choice to people that can’t use the Adobe’s or Toonboom’s of our era. Yet we also have to do something for a living, and that is why features planned months or even years ago are entering the Pencil2D field of view only now

Things like MyPaint branch, to showcase the possibility of a new drawing engine or The Camera branch which shows a new way of manipulating the camera and improving its shortcoming, are just a handful of features that have been cooking way before you could imagine.

Let me assure you everything in this software will change, and when it does we will surely get people telling us we did bad, or those who thought it was good. That is the nature of open source communities. We try to reach compromises to satisfy the majority, but sometimes we will have to make extreme choices to make the software simply be functional.

That means your current user experience, the aesthetics of the software and it’s visual design, as well as the features or bugs themselves you experience are all temporary and subject to change and improve. Always.

We don’t know where this road will lead us, but I can assure you that we will work on Pencil2D as for long as we can. When we can. And I really hope it’s possible for us to meet the minimum of expectations people in the near future while reminding all of our users that we are not a commercial entity and that development is slow, so patience and understanding is asked when dealing with open-source projects without funding.

Thank you again for being interested in Pencil2D and we hope it will be better than it is now so it will be useful to you and others that need it. Cheers.

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Hi thanks yes I do understand all that already I simply posted in the bugs section with bugs I found…

I didnt meant it to sound emotionall, but creativity is emotional as you know… its just passion! because I do love pencil 2d I love how simple it is I can just pick up and use it… Now you have added the ability to copy paste a group of frames it has greatly increased its functionality…

For me still the camera seems to work just fine how it is but ease in or ease out will be great…

Still gonna work with this software a bit more and see how much I can squeeze out of it!

Thanks for all your hard work and I will keep coming back and following the progress an share what I have been doing :-)

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I am afraid trying to make anythign larger is impossible as its so buggy I cannot select multipl frames to copy paste them or drag them across… Sometimes it seems to work and sometimes it does not… it makes anything larger kinda impossible… I guess this is what I meant about you adding the new camera and stuff, even if its complicated isnt it more important basic functions are reliable? Like being able to select multiple clips… its such a simple thing but your software really struggles with it. Such an integral thing I cannot use pencil 2d :( I am going to use open toonz its a steeper learning curve but just to have very basic functionality its worth it… it was a wild ride and I thought the beta would solve everything but still same issues are there. You added a bunch new buttons and stuff but didnt solve these underlying huge problems that make it impossible to do anything requiring some complexity.

All the best…


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