After 4 months of frustration, I give up on Synfig

I’ve been trying to make a short animation about 2 minutes long for 4 months, spending 2-4 hours each day for an average of 2-3 days a week. After 4 months, I have been able to make 10 seconds of video before Synfig crashes. I have started over from step 1, 3-4 times, I have followed the gumroad tutorial closely, I have downloaded the so-called “stable” version 3 times, (in case I had a bad download) and I have downloaded the development version once. No matter what I do, Synfig always crashes within minutes of entering Animation Mode. I’ve been on this board many times, asking for help. People have to told me to download the development version instead, it still crashed. every time. People have told me the “stable” version is best to use. The stable version has crashed more times than I can count. No advice I have received has helped, although I appreciate all of the people that tried to help me. I was excited when I first found Synfig, I thought it was what I was looking for. Now I think Synfig is a collection bugs disguised as an App. I’m done with it. It’s not worth the stress of having everything you do crash.


Hi, welcome to the club, you are not alone, im have using synfig from 2011 and I have a Hate/Love relationship with Synfig, I leave it and always return to use it.
Im a Windows user y Start to get the same crash problem since april of 2017, I notice that it happens when the project that you work is a little complicated or with many elements on he or when He is making some change and I try to make another thing to the same time he get stuck and crash, because im not a programer im only a pencil artist the only solution that I have for the moment was save the work on every change, I learn to work my scenes elements in separated files and get mix it in one new file to the end that permit to you work more elements for scene without the preasure that he crash to soon.


The “Stable” version is know not to be so much stable, this is just a reference in chronology of development for functionalities and file format.
Crashes can occur mostly during zoom In/Out, overflow of undo/redo history (like change of colors from the wheel), use of skeleton…
Like always, I recommend the following:

  • Use Dev version
  • Deactivate auto-save
  • Save regularly as a Sif file (uncompressed) and keep some “versioned” copies of your file

You may even use Git with an uncompressed Sif file

  • Avoid messing with Bone/Skeleton - train in other project
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I’d like to say something in favor of Synfig… but I can’t. You’re right, it crashes a lot and it’s frustrating, I’ve using it for years hoping that some day becomes ‘real’ stable, official or development, it’s the same. There is something inside Synfig that simply doesn’t work and triggers on everywhere… Synfig has a lot and great tools but I only do small projects with it for the exact same reason.


Synfig is as stable as Windows ME. God, I swear, from all the time working in it I developed an intuition about when it’s going to crash, so I could press CTRL+S just before the inevitable.

What is also saddening is that developers constantly adding more functionality to Synfig instead of fixing bugs and making the program stable. I know that fixing bugs is boring but currently Synfig is in such shape where you can make a project in previous version which won’t work in current because something is broken. sigh I still stuck in 1.0.2 by this very reason…

Sometimes I think that I should start learning C++ so I can help with fixing bugs but my free time is very limited during to work.


This and the lack of documentation of internal working (a bit better lately indeed)

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I used to think that I was using the undo and redo buttons too much, and that led to the crashes. So I started over from the beginning several times, once I knew what I wanted to do, to avoid using the undo or redo buttons. But it made no difference, it kept crashing no matter what I did, as soon as I went into animation mode for a few minutes.

@BobSynfig I often read that you recommend the development version but in my experience I never found that any better, I tried again today. You can’t even navigate in that version, Synfig crashes in seconds, and I can reproduce it every time. :sweat:

Me too @Svarov I still use 1.0.2 and 0.64 even! :sweat_smile:

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You use zoom, but did you deactivate the prerendering of previous/next frames (which introduced instability)?

With pre rendering activate or without, with vectors or with a clean canvas it is the same. I did a video…

Hey, I think, that is the reason why I use the Zoom to Fit button, instead of zooming normally, I vaguely remember that when I started using much zoom the program always crashing, I just use only a bit of zoom only to fix close details, but when I need make a full zoom out I use Zoom to Fit Button instead to zooming out.

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well, synfig is a professionnal tool! and well because nobody get "paid’
you really haveto get out of your own way… to make it work for your “needs”
and knowledge of the world of animation!
for me it hasbeen a struggle too… but the rewards are worth it!
try to get linux (debian) as a second OS…
it works better on linux… and for me a my slow computer
after some adjustemts ( mostly of my way of working with…)
i can work fine with some advance features (like skeletons!)
and i am delwing into…experimetations
it is just aquestion of humility, in front of a very complex tool!

You can’t even navigate in that version, Synfig crashes in seconds, and I can reproduce it every time

This is fixed now! Thanks @blackwarthog. :slightly_smiling_face: