[SOLVED] I opened my file, and my drawings were lost!

@erzulie Hi, I’m creating this thread on the forum to give attention to your issue, you said on your message:

Hello, I use pencil 2d since 2 months and I have a file that I work on since then. Now I don’t know why put when I open it, i don’t see any drawing !!! I try to zoom out but My drawing just dissapeared.

Hmm, this is a common issue when using any version of Pencil2D from before 2017. And even now it happens under a very specific set of variables.

Right now all I can say is that you can try to do the following to recover part of your work, if there’s anything left:

This problem is outlined in the FAQ as well as some “crash-wipe” prevention methods and other healthy habits used in real animation productions.


The thing is, if you were using PCL files, there’s little we can do to recover, although you can try the following:

NOTE: There is no guarantee this will work, but a few people have managed to get their files back using this method!

  1. Temp File Recovery

a) In the Start Menu, go to System, or open a folder
b) In the Folder Address Bar enter: %temp% to go to the temporary files folder
c) Look for a Pencil2D folder. Enter the Folder. Organize the files by “last modified”
d) Look for a folder with the name of your saved file and Y2XD extension. e.g MyFile.Y2xD
d-2) If you hadn’t saved, look for a folder called “Default.Y2XD”
e) enter the data folder and verify if there is any image inside.
f) make a copy of this folder on your desktop or a preferred folder to at least save some of your images.


a) In the Finder Menu, under GO choose “Go to Folder” you can also use the shortcut: Shift + CMD + G.
b) In the Go To Folder dialog box enter: ~/Library/Caches.
c) Look for a Pencil2D folder. Enter the Folder. Organize the files by “last modified”
d) Look for a folder with the name of your saved file.
d2) If you hadn’t saved, look for a folder called “Default”
e) make a copy of this folder on your desktop or a preferred folder.

Note: Most of the time images from the last session you worked on will be lost, but this method might allow you to get some of them back, though bear in mind that they will not be aligned, since Pencil2D grabs the “RAW” image and then positions it with coordinates found in the PCLX file. It’s like an address book to find it’s way to put the stuff in a correct order. So if the file becomes damaged then it won’t be able to accurately find it’s place so you’d have to reposition it again.

  1. If you had already saved your file but it’s not opening for whatever reason I did this video to learn how to open PCLX files only. This works in any platform but I have windows, so you’d have to use a software called pea zip for mac

Wow thanks a lot for the quick reply !
Actually the images didnt disapear ! Everything is there. It’s just that when I open it on the software it doesnt appear. I tried to zoom out cause sometimes theres issues with the zoom and when I open my work it is super zoomed but nothing appear !
On the software I see that my work is open and there except the images. And the images are in the file on my desktop…
so weeeeird :frowning:

Print screen

@erzulie Hi. You are using a really old and unsupported version of Pencil2D. That version is prone to crashing and erasing work from your files. I urge you to make a backup copy before attempting to manipulate the file.

I see you are using a MAC, so If you are using MAC OSX 10.10 or above, We kindly suggest to use the latest version which is also a release candidate for the software. There’s a lot of fixes and new features that have been and will be implemented, and you can always have two versions of Pencil2D, just in case.

Here’s a direct link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxwRs73A_v_acUJ1eHRXMEdUMzQ

First please make a backup of your files (PCL and data folder). Then try to open it with the newest Pencil2D.

If that doesn’t help, then I’d have to ask you to upload the PCL file and the DATA folder which holds the drawings so we can investigate this issue, however as I noted before we no longer support version 0.5.4 simply because it’s a 6 year old version and there’s an abyss of things that have been changed for the better; this would be a last resort kind of thing.

Ok I opened it on the new pencil2D But still same probelm, the images are not visible but the rest of the work is there. And I found the images on the file…
Heres two screen shot…


file with images

@erzulie What I think is happening is that you are moving the camera when you are trying to move the canvas view. So the camera has been displaced so much that you can’t see the images.

Select the camera layer on the first frame and press CTRL + H to reset the CAMERA motion, then select the bitmap layer and press it again to reset the VIEW.

Also it is possible that your image is too big for the canvas, so this also adds to the perception that there is nothing.

However if this doesn’t solve your issue, please upload your file into a private server and share me a link via private message using the profile private msg system.

I’ll take a look to see what the problem is if that doesn’t work.

Hi Jose,
Nothing worked and I lost patience and concentrated on other project but I really need to finish this project so Yeah I’m going to send you the files.
But I never did the private sever thing.
how does it work ?
Thank you !

@erzulie hi, I’m sorry to hear nothing has worked. You can upload the files to any platform you want such as Google Drive, MEGA, Dropbox, or anything that can allow you to upload files.

Before uploading we recommend to ZIP all the files into a compressed file. If you don’t know how to do that, I suggest looking for a youtube tutorial on 7-Zip.

If you have a gmail account, you already have access to the google drive system, so you just need to upload the files there.


Does it work ?



OOPS sorry its this one

@erzulie When using PCL Folder you also need the .pcl file along the folder. It’s the actual file with the name you used to save.

The folder will only contain the artwork, while the PCL file will tell Pencil2D how to use the drawings and stuff inside.

Right now I can see your individual drawings inside the folder. So I’m sure the problem is not that your drawings have been erased (which is a relief) but it must be something inside the .PCL file.

I’ll wait for it to see what it is, and I’ll ask the developers for help if I can’t fix it soon.

@erzulie Sorry! I didn’t see the file was inside. I’ll test this as soon as possible!

@erzulie I can see your drawings just fine! I think it’s as I suspected.

If the camera layer selected and you ZOOM IN / ZOOM OUT, the camera will MOVE, so the background will appear to change position.

If you select any other layer, you will zoom the VIEW, not the camera.

So if you need to move around the document while drawing, select any other layer instead of the camera, otherwise when you select the camera it will show you the full size of the camera resolution, and it will always maintain that size no matter how much you zoom. Which in turn will make your drawings dissappear out of the camera frame.

My advice is, only move your camera after you have finished your animation, or if you need to PAN or ZOOM, try to create a reference drawing, move the camera and then continue to draw the rest.

Here’s a screenshot I took after opening your file. I used the latest version of Pencil2D as well. I could see all your drawings just fine. Which means it’s not the software.

Also JUST IN CASE, the TEST M.PCL file needs to be OUTSIDE the folder, not inside or it won’t read your drawings properly.

Hey @erzulie

I used Pencil2D v0.6 to open your animation, and export it to a video. Is it correct?

And this is the .pclx file that I used for video exporting

Hey Matt, hey Jose, Thank you very much ! Now I can see my drawings again ! Since it’s my first animation ever I still don’t perfectly understand the sizing, the framing and the use of camera. As you can see it is very messy. Do you have any advice for this kind of problem ? : Framing problem

Thanks for your help, I really appreciate !!

@erzulie I don’t know how to explain this. Unless you absolutely need to move the camera, just draw inside the camera frame.

If you want to move the camera, then you have to plan for that. The easiest way to do that is to create “markings” on a different layer that will act as your reference to move the camera to.

Again if you want to move the camera you have to select the camera layer and use the HAND tool. Click and drag, until you hit the marking.

If you want to plan the marks you have to select the layer you want to draw over.

If you want to change the size of the camera you have to double click on the camera layer and the options dialog will appear allowing you to change size and match the frame you want. However, if you want to used a fixed sized for your camera, then it’s better to Zoom out until you match the image size you want to the camera border.

Planning where to move the camera is the key.