Disappearing drawings!

Toonboom crashed on me but when I rebooted the software and opened the project every single frame - weeks of work - was blank. Stupid of me not to back up but never had this before - does anyone know a way out?

forgot to add I’m on mac if that makes a difference


You may not be able to recover the animation though you should be able to recover the drawings you have made by creating a new project and then recreate every single drawings you had made (basically create an element with the same name, number the drawing properly and draw a single line in it). Once this is done right click on the original tbpd file and do show package content. There you should have a folder named Scene-1 (or the name of the scene you recreated) in which should be a Drawing folder. In this folder you will find all of the original drawing.

Now the task will be to copy the original and paste it in the same location in the new project you have created. This needs to be done while Toon Boom Studio is closed. Once you are done you should be able to open and recover the the drawings from the corrupted project in the new project.

Best regards,


This is really tragic! After reading this post I have begun to regularly make backups of my TBP file. I would hate to see months of work lost from a single crash. Does TBS have an automatic backup feature? If not, it should have.

It also makes me wonder if there are some suggested limitations on projects. My current animation project is a bit over 3 minutes long with 10 scenes and the final version will be 7 minutes. Every time I open it TBS takes awhile scanning several drawings before completing the process. What is it scanning? Aren’t all the drawings already there and created and intact?

In any case, if there are some limitations, it would be good to know. I’m contemplating splitting my project to avoid it becoming so large that the chances of crashing and losing my work increase. I notice that Animate only allows for a single scene per file. I believe the reason for this limitation is that an Animate file contains a lot of data and have multiple scenes per file would overload it. I wonder if other TBS users have had problems losing their work through crashes and multiple scene files?


There is not real limit since it depends on the complexity of the animation and the performances of your computer. If you have are starting to encounter slowdowns it probably is the time to consider doing a scene or project switch.

The scanning is simply making sure the project is complete before opening, for sure the bigger the project it the longer it would take.

Best regards,


Ugo - Thanks for your reply, and also to your colleague Juho who was in touch via email. I have now recovered all the drawings, so all is not lost!

However I am having to start from scratch with the pegs and camera moves etc, so it’s still a big bit of work lost. Thankfully I’m not on my new computer with back-up but having made a 15 minute film in ToonBoom before with no problems I’m still shocked!

Thanks again though, it would have been much worse without your help.

Sam, there is a small freeware program that will automatically save your file at regular intervals. It is called Saver and you can download it at http://www.poromenos.org/downloads. Scroll down the page to Saver 2.1.0. It doesn’t install, it just runs in the background and saves. Perhaps that will help for future projects. I haven’t tried it in TBS but it should work with any program that uses Ctrl+S to save.

I would like to find something similar that not only saves automatically but creates incremental backup copies. This would be nice so that if one copy is corrupted you have a second or third to work with.

Thanks, I will have a look. I’m on a mac with Time Machine - do I need to do both do you think?

I’m not familiar with Macs, but if Time Machine automatically saves for you then that’s what you want.

I also use a backup program called KLS Backup 2008 Pro which I use for daily and weekly backups. I added a backup job to daily backup TBP files in my animation project folder. Hopefully, it will be my hedge against losing work.

I know it’s been a long time since you’ve posted, but how does this program work in the background to save data?

Is it creating a backup copy of the file? Force saving the document?