I've been asked to create a GIF animation involving nearly 42 frames on Illustrator. Working backwards from the last frame, I did a copy + paste in place and edited each frame as per requirements. Now when I assemble all the PNGs, I discovered that some of the frames in between have been slightly misaligned - I clearly remember pasting in place - it's a tedious job to manually align every frame. Is there a workaround?
Create a dummy object (invisible rectangle) first to set the art box
I suppose you changed the center by editing the object/s and/or changed the so called art box which surrounds the object/s.
My suggestion: Make tons of copies from the first object to animate first, so the positioning is always right.
Or: If you need the last object-state put a dummy object (an unvisible rectangle) below the first object, make it the biggest object, surrounding all animation-states and group them (CTRL + G). Make a copy by CTRL + C and CTRL + F of this group and work further in isolation-mode. Never change the position of the unvisible rectagle.
Deleting the dummy-rectangles at the end depends on your export. In the export (Alt + CTRL + E) you can choose between artboards and object. Maybe setting it to the artboard would be enough for your purpose. It's hard to tell without having a picture.