Can I recover lost work?

The painting I was working on, well.... I messed up. I erased part of the layer I wasn't supposed to and saved it twice before I realized I was on the wrong layer. I lost 9 hours of work. The bak file also reflects my error. I used the undo feature up to its 32 maximum and I still cant go back far enough to fix my mistake or recover the layer before making the mistake. Is there anything I can do? I work on a Mac but I never set up my time machine so.... I cant even try that. Any help would be great if its possible. :(

5 Replies - Latest Reply

  • In Painter 11, most of your actions will be recorded as a date named script (appearing for the pre-set time in the current Scripts library, named in a date:time format). In the Painter 11 preferences> General the application is set to auto-save scripts for 1 day by default (period can be changed by user but not deactivated), so you may have a chance if you act quickly and replay the original script, stopping it at the desired point. This invariably does not seem to work when trying to recover lost work after a crash however.

    In Painter 12, the same applies except that if I remember correctly, the auto-save script is switched off by default (you can check this in the preferences), so unless you have it enabled, the previous solution would not help you.

    Even if you cannot recover your previous work, it may be worth checking out this feature for future use. You will possibly find that some actions have not been recorded however, as not everything in Painter is scriptable at present. You may discover that changing the name of the respective script (using something other than the date:time format) allows you to permanently save it for later playback at any time.

    It is also good practice to make regular iterative saves, so you can easily go back to an earlier version, whilst also minimising the risk of losing hours of work in the event of the application crashing.


  • In reply to David Gell:

    Thank you David! I have Painter X but it is set the same as 11 and the box was checked to save scripts for one day. I did find the dated script but when I tried to play it, it said file cannot be opened. I will definitely use the iterative save from this point out and I also set up my time machine as well. I am now 4 hours in to redoing my work but lesson learned :) Thanks so much!

  • In reply to David Gell:

    Dear David,

    it was only a test file this time, but in advance for any occurrence when this hint will save my life: thanks!


  • In reply to sousterrains:

    Sometimes the scripts get confused and you need to put the file (with the name it's looking for) in the last place something was 'opened' not saved... I believe if you can read the script text, it will say the file location it needs (takes a bit of looking... isn't obvious).  When I used P11, I used to just go file / open to see what opened, but if you've already opened things in the meantime it might not work.  Scripts after vP11 are pretty useless for this however.


  • In reply to Fes:

    Hi there Fes, I think I searched for .rif files and/or stumbled across a folder 'Recovered' with rif or bak files, already cannot properly remember.

    also I had a rif file, saved it, saved it as jpg (your default warning appears about layers), and to my mind, saved again as rif.

    that's the file I thought I had lost.

    either I ran the according script on the jpg file or else the layers were still present despite having saved in jpg format.

    If I were a tecchie, I'd be intrigued enough to try and reproduce the scenario, but I like things best when they simply work...


    have read some comments that suggest it IS worth holding on to painter 11, I might not bother just yet with an upgrade

    I would like to display brush names and appearance in the custom brush/workspace window though, rather than the same icon for pen, pencil,


    If you keep swapping between brushes and respective erasers it get's rather muddled, don't you find?


    alright then, must get round to having a look at people's work sometime, but too busy just now,

    happy creating!