File Numbering for Exporting a PNG sequence

I’m exporting my frames as PNG files to get an alpha channel, and then importing them as an image sequence into After Effects. All the images come out prefect, HOWEVER…

I’m having a file naming issue with Animate. Specifically, the sequential numbering of the files. Here’s an example:

Image name for frame no.1 - "cartoon_1.png"
Image name for frame no.198 - "cartoon_198.png"

Whereas, the first ten files have only one digit, then from 10 - 99 have two digits, and so on. So, when After Effects tries to import the image sequence, files are considered ‘missing’ and not imported.

Adding 000 to the file name doesn’t solve the problem:

‘cartoon0001.png’ ← is still one digit short

I’m running Lion, with CS6. The current fix is to rename the files manually (or run an apple script).

How do I get the files to accurately export sequentially straight from Animate?



Got it!

Thanks for the reply. I’ve been using a short Automation script on the Mac that works effectively.

My fault for thinking Animate and Animate Pro weren’t all that different! I’ll have to do a bit more research on that.


Animate has only the simple Export Images, so there’s no way to adjust the naming here. Animate Pro has the ability in the Write module to define leading zeros.


Working on a Mac for the first time and also, unfortunately, on Animate, what kind of automation script are you using and how could I go about getting one??

:slight_smile: Thanks

(I can definitely recommend Animate Pro and Harmony, going from those to Animate is a bit of a kick in the rigging teeth!)

Hi, Vonbenzon,
You can find the script guide and some script samples under this page.

Hello Lilly,

At the studio where I work we have files with hundreds of frames, each frame having a unique name. When rendering using the “Write” node in the Network, all the frames are named accordingly to the “Write” node name, e.g. if the node is named “arm” the file names would then be “arm001.png”, “arm002.png”, “arm003.png”, and so on. Is it possible to configure it so the final rendered images use the frame name instead? We don’t want to use consecutive numbers, but rather the unique name of each frames. Is there some sort of code I could use in the Network “Write” Module, like specifying “%4F” at the beginning of the name or something like in Storyboard Pro?

We are using Toon Boom Harmony, I don’t know how different the options would be from Animate Pro. Also, we render PNGs, I don’t know if that makes a difference for the naming Options one may get when rendering.

Thanks! Any help will be greatly appreciated, we have hundreds of frames to render and renaming each one manually would be extremely inefficient!


  1. Harmony Advanced has this same crippled feature. So if you export an image sequence from Harmony Advanced and then Import it later (to convert keyframes to drawings) Harmony Advanced will scramble the first 99 drawings into your other drawings.