Animate file MISTAKENLY identified as PLE format; will not open any more!!

I’ve posted before (;action=display;threadid=1036 ) about my shock that files created in Animate PLE cannot be opened in the full version of Animate. As I said, this means that my first user experience after paying for your product was losing all my work. I didn’t receive an official reply to that complaint, which I hoped you would rush to address, so I have to mention it again.

Now, a file that was created in the full version of Animate, which I’ve been working in for weeks, suddenly will not open. When I try to open it, Animate gives me the same error message it displayed when I tried to open PLE files in Animate. It says the file is “incompatible with this version of the software.” In other words, Animate is mistakenly identifying it as a PLE file, and not allowing me to open it any more!

I’m not sure why this is happening, but in case someone else will be able to make sense of it, I’ll recount the immediately preceding events.

If there is no way to open this file in Animate, and I’m not able to restore it from a recent backup, then I have lost weeks of work, which would be not only a massive headache, but very professionally damaging to me!

I hope you (the makers of Toon Boom) will understand my tone of exasperation. I’ve enjoyed using your software and it has many clever features. But this PLE format thing is horrendous. Please take this as urgently honest feedback, and a cry for help to remedy this problem with your software, which is causing severe distress to an otherwise appreciative customer.

Please answer: Why is not opening any more? How can I get it to open?

And: How will you address this severe user experience problem associated with the PLE-exclusive format?

Hi,Concerning the fact that you can’t open PLE files inside of the commercial version, this is to avoid having full productions being done in the PLE while only one single seat would be purchased to do the final renders. Since the PLE is a free version with no expiration we had to add this limitation to avoid violation of the terms and agreement.As for your new project, unless it was opened and saved in the PLE I am not quite sure what could have made the files disappeared. Make sure you uninstall the PLE from your machine after the purchase of the software to avoid file association issue which would cause the projects to be opened in the wrong version.Since it is only the drawing files that are not compatible from PLE to full version what you could do is to export each layers of your animation from the PLE to SWF format and import the SWF inside of the full version of the software. Then move the artwork on the proper layer. We understand this may be a troublesome but using the method you should be able to recover the content of your animation. Simply delete the Toon Boom logo and the whole drawing should be recovered.Best regards,Ugo

Thank you for your reply and suggested solution.I understand that PLE’s “non-commercial format” is there to encourage purchase of the software. Toon Boom has every right to be compensated for its software, and to pursue tactics to that end. Of course, there are various ways to do that. I’ll just state again that I had a very bad user experience. The first thing that happened after I paid hundreds of dollars for the software was that I lost all my work. (Notwithstanding your swf solution, which is still a totally avoidable irritation and waste of time.) I feel a bit like a broken record already, but no one has yet acknowledged the insanity of that user experience. All the graphics professionals I’ve told about this have been shocked by the story.Now, let’s assume the PLE-exclusive non-commercial format is going to stay as it is. At absolute minimum, the meaning of “non-commercial format” should be much, much clearer. I read that line when I first downloaded PLE and did not understand its implications. Every time PLE boots, it should show a warning explicitly stating: “work created in PLE will not be compatible with the full version of the software. PLE is for learning and trials only. To begin work you wish to export and use professionally, buy the full software today.” Something!I hope this sincere feedback will be received and considered by the development team.

Hi,I understand the frustration this situation is causing you and I will try to see if we could add something in the software to make it clearer that the file will not be compatible with the full version. Currently this information is available in the PLE download page (right side block of text): I can see this being overlooked easily which would result in this situation you are currently in. The recommendation to add this at startup will be given to our development team for analysis and hopefully will be implemented in future versions of the PLE.Best regards,Ugo

Thank you again for taking the time to consider this.

The same thing happened to me… work lost and a deadline in two days.Looks like the warning was not added to the PLE version two years later after all?I understand why you’re doing this, but this detail of non compatibility should be WAY MORE CLEAR! Very disappointed.

does nobody read? It is just 1 paragraph. You would think if you were going to put a little of time into something you would investigate it. says it on the page to download it…It certainly isn’t a secret and nobody is trying to trick you.I for one think the PLE is way better than a trial because you can use for as long as want.

I don’t know if you do it, but a popup everytime you load the ple would be a good idea(once you can choose to disable in the future).

It would draw attention to it. Personally, I usually just scan stuff like that when I’m grabbing trial-ware. Based on how often I see comments on the PLE not being forward compatible, I think that most everyone else does likewise.I like the Raider’s suggestion, but can understand that would take a lot of effort.

Indeed, when you click on the “Try” button you are greeted with this message:

The Toon Boom Animate Pro Personal Learning Edition (PLE) is a special version that provides free access to Toon Boom Animate Pro for evaluation and learning purposes. Those using Toon Boom Animate Pro Personal Learning Edition have access to the same toolsets of Toon Boom Animate Pro. The PLE restricts users to non-commercial applications through the display of a watermark on images, as well as the use of a special non-commercial file format (please note that projects done in this version can only be opened in the PLE version).

Perhaps I could make the suggestion to the web team to make the last line bold or red? Would this help users to understand perhaps?


I can definitely bring the feedback to the team, in any case. :slight_smile: