• jan@cosmigo.com

Animation - individual frame control per layer


I would like to create more animation using Pro motion NG however one thing that is very frustrating is the layers are all linked together for animation. At the moment if you move a frame on a certain layer all layers are effected and not just the current layer.

-Is it possible to effect only the current layer when moving a frame
-have a hotkey to offset the current layer animation, pushing them one frame forward and looping back around

or both if possible.



Not sure how difficult it is to implement but here is a rough concept of what would be very useful and powerful for animators. The idea being to give animators the ability to reorder frames on the current layer only and see/reference master key frames across multiple layers. Love to hear other peoples ideas and suggestions.

Anything to improve this feature would be very much appreciated as I don’t doubt it involves a lot of work.


I plan to add an additional, more extended timeline that takes care of this.
At the moment I could simplify it using your suggestion: adding a modifier key that only drags the current layer.

-have a hotkey to offset the current layer animation, pushing them one frame forward and looping back around
Not hard to include.

I added both request to my list.

But… you can achieve this with AnimBrushes right now. Hit “A” to select the number of frames to be cut/picked up as AnimBrush. Hold Alt when picking up the brush (LMB: pick up, RMB: cut).
Go to the frame where you want to place it. Hold + LMB.
You can also navigate through the AnimBrush frames (see Menu Brush/AnimBrush). This gives a lot of flexibility but I understand that for certain simple operations like shifting frame it makes sense to add shortcuts.


That sounds great. I’m really looking forward to this feature.

The AnimBrush is the current method I’m using. However the main issue is that it is very manually intensive and it is very easy to misalign frames as you have to manual place them back down.


I was looking forward to this innovation in 7.2.0 !!! When do you plan to add such navigation for animation? I have to use another software for animation, but I really want to use Pro Motion! I hope this will happen soon.


A new timeline will take its time. It’s one of the bigger things that I plan to do. I first need to add the standard floating selection features first because this is what people miss most and I wanted to do that in 2018 :disappointed:

I totally forgot about the hotkey to push the animation forward / backward.
Will try to add this soon because it’s really not hard to add and I typically add such small feature on the fly.


Thanks for the answer!


I just added new functions as “hidden” shortcuts Alt Gr + O, Alt Gr + P. Available with 7.2.1 (maintenance update) that should be coming these days.
It rotates the frames of the current layer, either the ones that are selected as playback limit or those that are selected on the time line. Hope this helps a bit to overcome the time line limitations until this is improved overall.

Character Animation Workflow

I really need the timeline function which just looks like in this picture. I saw promotionNG fixed a lot of useful features now. I can imagine this is a lot of hard works. But for some pixel painter, because of most time we are making games, the timeline-Individual frame control per layer, will really be helpful for us. Hopes that the timeline update can come as soon as possible.


I guess I will have to make some new poll about most wanted features. Top issues on my list are:

  • standard selection tool as mentioned before (currently in the works)
  • docking windows
  • DPI scaling of the UI so that element sizes (buttons etc.) take the screen resolution into account (a very hard thing I think)
  • color profiles
  • better timeline
  • translation engine
  • new plugin interfaces

I can’t say at the moment, where to concentrate on after the selection stuff :thinking:


you’ve got my vote for smart scaling


I’d vote for color profiles and DPI awareness as my favorite wish list items. Both of these seem to require a lot of work and refactoring though.

I got curious and went to peek at MS Docs to get some info on how to upgrade existing applications to DPI awareness, and it seems like it requires a radical change in the GUI approach — not only replacing API calls with their new DPI aware equivalents, but also to ensure that every GUI element is refreshed on DPI changes notifications … which I guess would include switching to another monitor, as well as the user changing the Desktop scaling factor manually.

But yes, it would be indeed nice to have DPI awareness, especially for a graphic application, considering that many users will have multiple monitors, high DPI monitors, color calibration, etc., especially if working in the video games industry. These two are fundamental features that affect PMNG at the overall level, since they concern how it fits as an application in the overall context of the host machine, whereas the other features are more on a functionality level, affecting specific operations within the application.


One more thought about DPI awareness. I’ve read that DPI awareness might have a negative impact on applications running in virtualized mode, so this might affect Wine users or other non Win users running PMNG via some kind of virtual machine or Win emulator.


Often you have the problem that solving something raises problems in another context where the “environment” just works another way or interprets differently. As far as I know the UI system I use to develop the software supports DPI scaling, but this software is also often quite buggy, so I doubt that it will work the way I want it to. I even think of implementing my own scaling system which basically just scales the size and position of any UI element on initial creation. DPI changes (different monitors) is a use case that I hopefully can ignore as “not that important”.


Jan,cosmigo, I really appreciate the keystrokes for advancing frames per layer. However on bigger projects it really becomes confusing fast to figure out which frame you are on. I realize that March will be a time for a lot of updates and I’m not saying I would like you to fix it by then because I know you are very busy. But some time in the future if you could add a downward carat “^” that might be Red that represents frame layer that is over the timeline as you advance the layer in frames or go back with the layer in frames as long as you are pressing the keystroke the layer would move and the carat representing it would move as well… it would be very helpful until you would have a chance to make the full blown timeline Any help is greatly appreciated.


If planning a timeline upgrade I recommend getting to know how Aesprite handles layers and frames. There’s several good ideas in use. No point in reinventing the wheel.


Different new time line elements are planned for one of the next releases but the upcoming one.
BTW… the release won’t be in March. It takes more time.