Use one frame throughout an animation

Hello. I just started using Pencil2D. I have been using Krita for a few months. But, I decided to try Pencil2D.

I use Inkscape to create my individual animation frames and elements. I then export them as png files. I then import the png files into Krita as frames. I am doing the same process with Pencil2D. However, I ran into a problem. I am hoping that this can be a feature added to Pencil2D. It seems to be very helpful in Krita.

NOTE: If this feature exists, please let me know how to do it! I have just started using Pencil2D, and maybe I just haven’t found out how to do it.

With Krita, you can have a layer that you can use as a background. You import an image file onto that layer in one frame at the beginning, and then add layers with elements on top of the background layer. This can help keep the project file size down.

With Pencil2D it appears that I have to repeat that background image file/frame throughout the length of my animation.

In the screenshot you can see the Krita workspace. The background frame is there once. It is repeated throughout the animation. You can see the background image with the gradient and ground is repeated in the middle of the animation sequence. The bird and the green frame elements are on separate layers.

This feature is also helpful if you want to do something like pause the walking bird in a standing position and have some other element move through the scene. I wouldn’t have to repeat that standing bird image on its layer. I would just leave a few frames after it blank and it would automatically be repeated.

Pencil2D already does this. Just import your drawing on a keyframe on it’s own layer, and it will be repeated (exposed) until the next keyframe. Exactly like in Krita. If this does not work for you, please explain what exactly you’ve tried and provide some screenshots showing the issue.

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@k-drive Hi. I’m tagging you so you’ll get notified faster. Please read Scribblemaniac’s reply and verify the behavior.

Repeating the exact same layer and frame structure as the krita file timeline you’re showing should provide you with identical results inside Pencil2D out-of-the-box i.e having the background repeated over time indefinitely (or until you add a new blank frame)

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Thanks for the reply.

Here is a screenshot of my project. The notes and arrows in pink are added by me.

As a new member here, I can only add one image to a post/answer. So, I will make another post with another screenshot.

Here is the bird layer and the green frame layer later on in the middle of the frame sequence. As you can see, the gradient background isn’t showing. The pink rectangle was added by me.

Please know that I am in no way being critical of Pencil2D. It seems to be easier to use than Krita. So, if it is an option for me to use to create animations, I want to learn it.

From what I understand, Krita just added the animation features a couple of years ago. Their main goal is to produce a Photoshop-like application. Krita has known issues when a project gets to be too big. The developers are working on it. You can’t reopen the file if it gets too big - which is devastating. You lose all of your work. That’s why I started looking for an alternative.

And, I used to work in software development. So, I do know what it’s like to be on that end of things. (It was a lot of fun to do that.)

Oh, happy dance! I started a new project, was very careful about importing everything and, it works!

You can see from this screenshot showing the middle of the animation sequence that the background gradient image is there.


@k-drive Hey I’m glad it’s working for you now, just wanted to say that if you look carefully at the first screenshot you shared today, you’ll notice that you have two frames on the background layer.

Since Pencil2D will hold / expose automatically the image up until a new frame is added to the layer, that’s why in that instance you couldn’t see the background anymore.

In the most recent screenshot there’s only one frame which has your background, so that’s why it’s working now :smiley:

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Ah…OK. Since I’m a Pencil2D newbie, it is difficult to see things like that. I am just not familiar with things yet.

I am very happy. Pencil2D seems very simple to use to get the results I need.


@k-drive Don’t worry! every software has a certain amount of effort to get used to it. Pencil2D is simple but it’s not perfect, so if you have more questions let us know and we’ll try to answer as soon as we’re able. Best of luck with your work!

p.s. Just as a friendly advice please make sure to save extra backup copies of your work i.e don’t save all your work always in the same single file. This way in case files get corrupted you can react and recover your work with minimal effort. It’s rare for this to happen for people with healthy and updated computers, but it can happen with any third party animation software including Pencil2D.

So my advice is to never trust blindly any given software (including this one) and always prevent yourself from losing work by having extra copies created by incremental milestones that you’ve achieved over the course of your project (e.g adding a background, adding several drawings, etc)

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Yes - I back up everything. I use library computers. So, I work off one flash drive. Every time I make a significant change or some progress, I back up (drag the file) to a second flash drive. Every month I back up to a third flash drive. And, when I am completely finished with a project that I like, I backup what files I may want to reference in the future to a CD. CDs are cheap and, if you store them carefully, they can be good backup media.

I also work with version control “safety nets”. That is, when I reach a significant spot in a project, I will create a new copy, save the old one and work off the new one. So, with that bird walking project, if I create a sequence of the bird walking I will save it as file name “bird_walking_01”. I will copy the file with the file name “bird_walking_02” and work off of the 02 file. That way, if I really mess up something, I can just go back to version 01 and not have to start over. It is something I learned from being in software development. (I actually name my files with the date like this: “20210615_bird_walking_01”. That way the files sort in File Manager. )

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