Pencil 2D FAQ (now open)



That’s great! Maybe you could insert icons instead of abbreviate names of OS in the table, but it’s really not important ^^

For the organization, I’ll maybe propose an order for questions/sub-chapters to sort questions by type next week if it could help you :smiley:

Thank you for this job, I find it a lot more clear now!

Thanks Jose,
sorry it’s taken so long to respond. I actually discovered a short cut solution to the bucket issue, (only filling red), if you select red in the colour panel on the right and then, when the palette pops up from that, select the colour you actually want from there, it will fill correctly.

Hi I’m new to this Pencil 2D program and having a little trouble with a certain aspect. I am using the Windows edition of the program and I am attempting to import some audio into my creation. However none of the music installed on my computer is able to import. Why is this? Do I need a certain format of audio?

Thank you.

@ahaskill53 Hi Andrew. Please note that v0.5.4b is really old (almost 3 years), despite being the “stable” version. Audio and export features won’t get fixed until the next stable release, but For possible audio solutions please visit our FAQ which has an quick guide to fix it under WIN 7 (will possibly work under WIN 10, but it’s not been tested)

I am new to pencil 2d and I am having trouble downloading this software to start animating.

I’m not exactly new to pencil, I’ve used in the past and it failed me when I needed it the most. However it’s doing well so far, kind of crashes when it can’t seem to handle something. However it’s not that much of a problem. However I did it once and now it doesn’t work. What I mean is I’m trying to resize a image on my layer that I drew but it’s just too big. Same goes for my backgrounds. I know I did it once but now it doesn’t seem to do the thing. And this is pencil 2. Can anyone help me? Please? I have a big animation that i’ve been working on for some months and I don’t wanna abandon it after I’ve came so far. :c

@j-gomez491 right now is slowly becoming our community (i.e forum) site, Please try to download the program from our new static site here:

Also remember the files are not to be installed, they are portable versions of Pencil2D. There is no installer involved.

@coffee-vee I’m afraid Pencil2D is not well versed with huge resolutions (2k and above) just yet since we do have a memory management issue.

I’m going to recommend several things:

  1. Please, please, please, make a backup of both your .pcl save file and your data folder into a different location (better a different disk or usb), if you run into the memory leak all of your animation will become corrupt and impossible to recover. This is just a precaution.

  2. Regarding the resizing, for the moment I can only suggest exporting the frame you’re trying to resize, and resize it in a different program like GIMP, Krita or Photoshop.

Sadly I can’t help much more unless I see the problem up close. So if this answer doesn’t satisfy your needs please share a screenshot (or even better a video) of your problem to see if we can think of a different way to solve it and help you out. I’ll be pending your answer to continue with the support.

hi i’m kind of a new “pencil2d” user and i know u guys have been working hard on the program but i have been trying to make a cool where a guy shoots another guy with a deagle and the other guy fulfills his dream and hangs out with snoop daawg in paradise but there have been a lot of program crashes first of all i know i should save like every 4 frames even if it’s hard to continue an animation on pencil when the program has already been closed… Pencil 2d crashes for me a lot my pc is good and im not overworking neither “pencil” or my pc but pencil still crahses when i try to do some things that may just make the program think a little more then it usually does but i still dont overwork it.

                        Sorry for the long post.

                                                 Sincerely 'AnimooSenpai

and the sad thing is noones propably not gonna refund me the time i wasted and the stress that is gonna ruin my health a small, small bit because of the crashes where i lost propably a little more then a hundred frames

@animoosenpai First of all, I’m truly sorry to hear about your repeated issues with the program. It is indeed sad that some people get more crashes than others since it ruins their day beyond any measurable conception of pain. However let me tell you, you’re not the only one that has suffered repeated fatigue and rage-inducing episodes by this software. We all have had our fair share of computerized stupidity poured into our own eyes thanks to it.

Please try to use a Nightly Build before giving up on P2D, you can get them here:

Now here’s the deal, Pencil2D is an open-source program, that isn’t defined as a “free” program, but rather a piece of software that is worked by many hands and built together, however the people who work to help this program improve aren’t their owners, actually at this moment I don’t think anyone really owns Pencil2D, as opposed to software like Krita, or Blender which have their own “foundations” to support the program.

All of us here are volunteers and very much users like you, and as such we can’t work 8 hour shifts to help ease everyone’s pain, which to me should be the ideal way.

So let me say this once and again. I don’t use Pencil2D. I don’t. Then why do I try to help everyone else who does? It’s not that I don’t “believe” in the program, but the software is simply too broken at the moment for professional use, it’s that simple.

To avoid having your health deteriorating from Pencil2D usage, then I’d suggest to stop using it for some time, export an image sequence with whatever progress you have for your current animation and use a different software.

If you really want to animate for the rest of your life, invest early in professional software like TVPaint, ToonBoom or AnimeStudio. The latter is the cheapest from those three and can also do cut-out.

Now if you really have no budget, then there are still some open-source tools that can be of use.

Blender is a 3D animation Suite, with several different tools under it’s belt, and recently it’s getting improvements so people can create hand-drawn 2D animation in 3D space, and you can see examples of it in this vimeo channel by Daniel M. Lara who is a professional animation artist and instructor whose recently won the Goya (spanniard Oscar) for his masterful work:

You can also use the newly invigorated Krita, which has been bundled with animation capabilities.

Look at Temmie Chang or Achille Bibard (who has worked for Space Dandy) work to see what they did with Krita recently:

Temmie: Achille:

Last but not least is the new rave software called OpenToonz, which is the closest to a professional suite geared specifically for 2D animation, however you have to read a ton to learn how to use it, but if you’re willing to do it iot will reward you.

Now, there’s a catch, all the previous software I’ve mentioned, will still crash at one time or another, any commercial and professional software will crash as well at some point. Of course they are more stable than Pencil2D, but the reality is that no matter how expensive and how much we curse Pencil2D software will still crash.

I can only provide you with these options so you won’t ruin what little health you still have, but I warn you, doing animation is an endless path of suffering aimed at the artist only if you don’t enjoy doing the hard work and have an open mind for all the kind of potential issues that might arrive in the future. Life isn’t as simple.

Hopefully if you use any of the other software I want to invite you to still show us what you’ve done around here.

I hope this helps and (after re-reading my post) I apologize if anything sounds like I’m scolding you, I’m not, I’ve been in your shoes losing work and pulling my hair, so I don’t have any qualms upon recommending other software that I know will make your life a bit less crashy, but not a whole lot simpler, because despite it’s flaws Pencil2D is the simplest program there is to animate, and in the future we will somehow manage to make it work for others, of that you can be sure. Cheers.

Hello, I am also very new to Pencil and animation in general. Sorry that I am asking through a reply, but I can’t seem to post a topic in the forum… Anyways I cannot select a layer. I know that the circle next to the layer’s name either hides or shows the layer, but they are unselected and I cannot seem to select them. The program just asks me if I want to rename my layer. However I can delete my layers and recreate a bitmap layer but it shows up with another vector layer and the same problem repeats itself. I cannot draw on the canvas because the program says that it’s an invisible layer, and creating new frames doesn’t help. Please help, and thanks for your time.

Hallo to everybody !
I apologize for my long silence, but my curiosity about Pencil2D project is still alive.

I’d like to understand better the architecture of the software, just the core. Where could I find an updated state of art document about development (2016) and bug archive and fix ? A compact PDF instead of sparse web pages should be better

@Josemoreno: I see the forum is not very visited, but we’re in summer time.
Last time I login here, there were spam problems

I’d like Pencil2D could include some bitmap morphing & warping fuctionalities in the future. Making just cutout animation is not the best for frame to frame animation pros and amateurs too.

And I noticed there are not yet open source morphing-warping editors available. This plugin could give added value to Pencil2D and let people reconsider the role of Pencil2D as inbetweener in complex 2D animation projects, joined with other more famous and used open source packages (Krita, Blender, Synfig Studio … even Gimp has plugins for making animation, now)
Other packages free (Vectorian Giotto, Monkey Jam, Winmorph and so on) are not open source and they’re even limited to one operating system.


@tiber Hey man, to be frank that document doesn’t exist, we literally have no developers working on this right now aside from Matt Chang and two guys who came by 1 months ago then vanished.

I’ve tried to recruit people for the project without luck, and since i’m just a mod I have no clue how the code works exactly.

The most important place to see which bugs exist, what has been fixed and whatnot is the Github repository.

Here’s the issue that Matt opened alerting us to which features should be in the next release:

Regarding the forum problem yes, Gordie alerted us that there was an “infestation” of spammers so he had to close any new login for almost 3 months…so the site is kind of dead. Many people register but noone talks.

The morphing and warping functionalities would be nice, but I think we would need a plugin or add-on system implemented first. That way we could other people to develop their own plugins to patch pencil functions instead of messing witht he code, which not many seem to want to.

Thanks for letting us know you’re alive and well :slight_smile: Take care!

Hi. I’m quite new to Pencil and I’ve run into a problem. It didn’t use to happen but it’s getting worse and worse.
When I’m using the paintbrush tool, it only works for about 2 - 3 strokes until it starts to make a big blank square/rectangle in it’s place, also erasing the drawings within the circle.
This problem is getting worse and worse by the minute. Now I can barely do 1 stroke without it putting a blank square in it’s place. My only solution is to quit the program and open it up again, and keep doing this over and over again. Is it something wrong with my computer? Or is it the program? Please help!
I’ve also realized that pencil also says “not responding” really easily whenever I use the bucket tool over large surface areas, and when I look at the command box (I don’t know the actual name, but it’s the black box that opens up with pencil) it keeps showing a bunch of random coordinates, and next to them saying something like “out of range”.

@brandon44863 Hey Brandon. Indeed this is definitely not normal, however I’d like to ask of you first: Which version of Pencil2D are you using. 2) Which operating system are you using.

IF: You are using version 0.5.4b of Pencil2D, please try out this new version, which has several fixes but it is not final:

IF: You are using MAC OSX (with any of it’s flavours such as lynx, leopard or whatever) as operative system, then You can try the same Nightly build but, it might not work. This is because MAC has several issues that have been tough to fix compared to Windows.

By any means, if you see you’re not getting anywhere with the software I can recommend you to review this list of animation software alternatives just so you can try out other options meanwhile we fix and release a proper version in the future:

Sorry if this is a dumb question but I just can’t find it in FAQ I am new to this software and I run into a problem where the timeline bar isn’t there. I tried to delete the software and re-download it again, but still the timeline bar isn’t there. I tried looking for a button that will bring the timeline bar back, but still. I hope you could answer this question.

P.S. Sorry again if this message has a lot of grammatical error English isn’t my number one language.

i have the same problem except that its with the frames i tried downloading 4.4 and 5.4 (the beta version) and uninstalled them and did this about 3 times for both of them and whatever i do is that the frames show up and also when i try to change my writing color it doesnt change at all (Windows 7)

@pandascientist Hi, don’t worry that’s why I created this thread. I think I’ve seen this question sparsely, but it does come up. Anyway I’ll copy paste the response I gave to another person regarding this issue, hope you don’t mind:

Troubleshooting Solution #1: First go to the Windows menu and check if all the panels are ticked with a checkmark. If not, then activate them.

Troubleshooting Solution #2: IF this doesn’t work then to reset the panels and windows position go to the View menu and press “reset windows” This should put everything in their default state.

Troubleshooting Solution #3: Also if you have more than one screen, make sure the panels are not floating on any other screen.

Let me know what happens.

@thenarrator Hey Sorry to hear you’re having issues. Truth be told version 0.4.4 and 0.5.4 are insufferably old versions. If you’re on a moderately modern PC please download the latest development build a.k.a Nightly Build. It has several improvements and fixes that have been gathered from a lot of input from the community. It is not a perfect version. But so far it’s been more stable than any of it’s predecessors, and a a personal experience it’s the first version of Pencil 2D that i’ve been able to use without critical issues (User experience is another matter but we’ll try to fix that in due time)

You can download an appropriate version here:

Note: It’s hosted on the google drive of the lead developer who maintains these builds. They are totally safe and work like portable versions. You don’t need to re-install or anything.

Hope this helps both of you.

p.s. Just to be extra clear, stop using version 0.5.4 and use the development versions, or you’ll get a lot of headaches.

is there any way to keep onion skin but it won’t show all the images but only the one before it?