Some suggestions for sound and timeline

I am an animatic artist and a big part of my work involves trying to fit all the scripted action and dialog within the length of the show.

Meaning I will be moving and copying and deleting frames and audio in the timeline all the time.

P2D will be very useable for this purpose if it could have a fully functional timeline. I am sure most of these are on your to do list but still here it goes…

For sound, my suggestion would be to mimic flash.

  • Instead of sound strips, use a keyframe as the begining of a sound file and let it play until it is cut off by another keyframe.
  • Also adding a duplicate keyframe should slice the existing audio at current position and adding a new keyframe should insert a blank frame that cuts the existing audio into silence.
  • Also a feature to offset the sound without moving the frame would be nice.
  • Since that will need some reworking, as a more “urgent feature” please allow adding multiple sound files all at once, adding them to the timeline sorted alphabetically across time.
  • Since P2D can’t slice audio files in the timeline right now, I could chop large audio files in audacity and bring them to P2D so that parts can be moved around freely. But the number of files will go into the hundreds. So this is much needed.

For the timeline, my suggestion is to basically mimic Krita.
What I am looking for:

  1. Ability to lock layers from editing.
  2. Select and move frames and sound strips in multiple layers across time.
  3. Drag-drop slected frames into any layer of same type(cam/sound/bitmap/vector). If possible also for multiple layer selections only when all source and destination layers are of same type. When multiple types are selected only allow movement across time.
  4. Ctrl drag-drop duplicates.
  5. Drag drop replaces instead of swapping keyframes around like it does now.
  6. Remove frame in all layers at current-position (or length of selection) and pull.
  7. Insert hold frames in all layers at current-position.

Thankyou.

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@Dileep Thank you for taking the time to write your suggestions!

We’re actually hyper aware of all of these requirements you mentioned and we have a feature roadmap on our developer forum which you can see here https://github.com/pencil2d/pencil/issues/540 however it is still lacking some other features that have already been asked by professional animators; it just takes time to update all of them and even more to implement them.since developers are currently fixing critical bugs, and finishing features that were begun several months ago, once those tasks are finished a new set of tasks will be started and hopefully the timeline overhaul is among those.

It is also important to note that all of these features you mentioned will surely be delayed until the new timeline is rewritten from scratch since the current one is severely limited.

We have a mockup target for how we want it to look, but that is of course subject to change and improvement.

Note that these mockups were updated at several times so there are icons that won’t be matching places or graphics but these can give you an overall sense of how it will look in the future.

image

The rest has already been requested, our devs just can only work so many tasks at a time.

I’ll mark this post and share it with the devs later as well as It helps a lot that the suggestions are organized and concise. Thanks again for taking the time to express your ideas :blush:

@Dileep As a personal comment regarding your requirements for sound, I’ve worked professionally in animation, compositing and editing departments and after experiencing the full script to screen workflow in a few productions, to be honest Pencil2D is NOT an appropriate tool for video editing and by extension animatic /leica reel authoring.

Of course I’m not saying most of your requests related to sound won’t happen. That is not the case and actually a few of them should hopefully still occur down the line once they are reviewed in the context of the application.

While we want Pencil2D to have suitable capabilities to handle sound files so you can work with dialogue and sparse sound effects PER scene / file, if you are doing animatics for a living please consider using a video editor instead, particularly if you’re handling more than 20 sound tracks at all times or if your’re handling broadcast files with an average length of 8 to 24 minutes and above.

Note that i’m only suggesting this because it is highly probable that Pencil2D will never go the route of becoming a full-fledged video editor in terms of capacity to handle super long files with multiple tracks, as it is primarily thought and developed as an animation tool.

Aside from that I’m a firm proponent of using specialized tools for specialized workflows. I personally edit all my animatics using video editing software like Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere and more recently KDenlive.

Having a few sounds should in not way be a problem for Pencil2D in the future, but managing tv show / feature film levels of intricate sound layering in Pencil2d, or even in Flash, Toonboom Harmony or any other animation program is quite frankly bad practice from a production management perspective.

With that said here’s a list of several free / open source video editors that are robust enough to handle the work you’re describing and which should be perfect companions for your work with Pencil2D or Flash :v:

–Open-Source–

–Free–

Hello Jose Moreno

Thankyou for your detailed replies.
It seems everything I asked for is in your to do list.

I have tried the drawing in Krita and timing in Editor route but I gave up on that because it was really difficult to do quick revisions. The animation workflow is a bit different here for kid’s series in India. The animatics have to be animated in greater detail so that the animators don’t have to do much thinking. So its animation drawing and large scale timing all at once. Have a look.

The studios around here all use flash. I use Blender grease pencil. It works for me and I am just as productive as my Flash using counterparts but Grease Pencil strokes don’t look as good as P2D raster strokes and I can’t flip the view to check my drawing in Blender. Heavy sound editing features are not that important. I only use one row of audio in Blender, no layering. Also P2D is attractive because all the timeline elements are together in one panel instead of two or three panels (dopesheets for frames and VSE for sound) that I need to use in Blender. I could do my work in P2D as it is but I might take twice the time or more.

Happy to share my thoughts. I will be following P2D development closely. Thank you again and cya round.
-Dileep

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@Dileep I completely understand. Those seem like standard animatics for a mid-large sized production so now I understand your requirements better. We’ll surely keep moving forward so Pencil2D can get proficient and ready for such kind of productions in the near future, so thank you for the good wishes :slight_smile:

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