Can only see thumbnails after saving and closing Storyboard Pro

After saving and closing my project in Storyboard Pro 4.2 I can only see thumbnail images. When the project first loads all of the thumbnail images are present but after it finishes loading only a few thumbnail images remain - the thumbnail count stays the same. I thought maybe I had layers toggled off but the layer eye doesn’t activate when selected in the suspect thumbnails. I tried exporting a PDF, the panel count was right but all the artwork/images were gone.

For context, I’m running Windows 10 and started this project with the trial version of SBP 4.2 but have since purchased/activated my software - could this be the issue? If so it’d be great to know so I could move on with the project instead of trying to “recover” my work : )

This is not a good sign. The thumbnail images update themselves with
a delay when there is a period of inactivity so as not to claim valuable
system resources while you are actively using the software.

What this means is that the problem likely happened during the last
session’s save operation. You should contact support to have a look
on your system to see if anything can be recovered.

Ideally you should always maintain a running backup of the project in
addition to the version you are editing and the command
Menu-File-Backup Storyboard… is ideal for this as it creates a
zipped (compressed) self-contained backup file which is the
most robust type of backup you can make.

Be aware that Storyboard projects should only be edited from the
internal hard drive of the system. USB drives, network drives, external
drives and folders linked to cloud storage are generally not responsive
enough to keep-up with the data being manipulated.

In addition, avoid naming folders in the folder structure you are saving
to - using spaces, accented letters or special symbols. Only a-z, 0-9,
“_” and “-” should be used for naming folders or anything else in
Storyboard Pro.

This issue happens a lot with my coworkers because one of these two things happened:

The project file or folder was moved while the user still had it open. Or,
The project file or folder is renamed while the project is still open.

The user should never move or rename any of the files or folders inside a Storyboard Pro project folder; Those folders are an undecipherable maze to end-users like me and you, and I’ve never seen anyone rescue images from those folders after they’re gone.

How to Fix this disaster if it happens:

On RARE occasions, I have been able to fix this problem after it occurs by trying to reverse the steps that caused it; For example, if you move the project back to its original place, or if you rename it back to its original name, it may make everything go back to normal. What’s really happening is that the program is looking for the art data based on the file path that the user has been using. When the file path changes unexpectedly (while the program is open) the program can no longer “find” the artwork.

The dependable way to avoid this problem is to never move or rename a Storyboard Pro file while that file is open. The presence of a .lock file in the project folder means that the file is still open. If you find a .lock file in the folder, you need to close the project, and then look in the folder to confirm that the .lock file is gone.

A safer way to move a project into the archive is to do a “Save-as” instead of a drag-and-drop. When you do a save-as, it’s impossible to mess it up, because the project will not even open if someone else has it open.

PS:
On rare occasions, the .lock file can still be in the folder even after the project is closed. This can happen if the program has crashed, or if it has been closed improperly (the .lock file is programmed to disappear automatically upon closing the project). In that case, you can eliminate the lock file manually in the Finder.

Hope that helps! —Sherm