Anime Studio user with questions about Synfig

Hi all,
I’d like to do animated videos to go with my songs, managed to finish one project (viewable on my YouTube channel, a free pdf booklet of the story is available at my website on the index page below (there’s also a link to the video there). It was done with Anime Studio, at the time I was really struggling with the software, I think I’m an intermediate user now. Nothing wrong with that software, but I’m curious about alternatives. In some of the tutorials I watched, it looked like it was possible to draw and animate very precisely with the Synfig tools.

My first question: How do I choose the language I want? Because I live in Germany, the program installed automatically in German. I’m a native English speaker, and although my German is fluent, it’s irritating to watch tutorials in English and then try to figure out the translation of things like “encapsulate”. I searched the documentation and found nothing on setting the language.

I notice there are masking functions and cycling, but is there an equivalent of the “switch layers” in Anime Studio, that are used to switch hands, mouth positions for lip sync or for animating things like propellors?

Any help is appreciated.

Hi Toonlyrics, welcome here,

I assume you come from windows world, you can maybe choose a language by setting an environment variable :
(i do not have this OS, i’m not sure it’s work)

Easy way
Create a batch file in your synfig installation directory. Call it synfig.bat.
Add the lines (replace with your LANG setting)

        @set LANG=en_EN
        @start synfig.exe 

    Save and double-click to use it. 

[/code] (from inkscape doc)

Note : about encapsulate : synfig terminology has change with 0.64.0 version

Switch : you already can do switch of poses also this video tuto by headtoon about lip sync . And a switch layers functionality is coming in the futur version (with a mountain of other improvement) : switch group

Thanks, djay, yes, I’m a Windows 7 user. I tried creating the file you describe and put it into the bin folder where synfig.exe and synfigstudio.exe are located and double-clicked, but when I start the program it’s still in German. Actually, it’s worse than that, because English is used for the terms and functions that haven’t been translated yet. So it’s a mish-mash, the worst of all possible worlds linguistically.

The new functions sound exciting, thanks for the info.

i am working on it recently, redesigned prefs dialog.

Hi Djay, I think I’ve found a solution: de-installed the 64-bit version, then downloaded the 32-bit version and deselected languages before installing. So only the “native language” of the program was left, and I have an English interface now. I tried a simple test animation and tried to render - it created png files and gave me no other option although the ffmeg or whatever was installed. Only one of my video editors (AVS) was capable of going to the third digit past 0 to time the images - so I chose 0,042 seconds per picture for 24 fps. It looks ok but I don’t know how much this could change the timing in, say, a three-minute video. I guess with 25 fps I could get it to come out exactly with 0.040. Is this the way other users solve this problem of synchronisation?

Additional newbie question: Is is possible to create a simple shape like a circle or a rectangle and then add vector points to continue forming the shape? For instance, to arc one side of a rectangle?

Answers to any of these questions will be appreciated.

Good trick!

If ffmpeg is installed (it should be if you use our packages) it is a good option to create non final render tests.

You can use virtualdub

If you are referring to how to construct your artwork, just use a Spline to create a rectangle. Then right click the Spline line where you want to insert a point and choose Insert Item Smart at the pop up menu.

If you are referring to animate one straight line into an arc you have to do the same than before and then start animating the geometry with the final points.

It is possible to insert the point in animation mode but it us a bit complex to explain, and harder for a newbie.
The tutorials would help here.


Cool ! i have borrowed your trick to put it in the synfig FAQ :slight_smile:

Hi Genete,
Thanks for responding even though it’s a holiday! My question was not about shapes I draw myself with the spline tool, but about shapes with the circle or rectangle tools. I read the beginner tutorials and also looked in the manual without finding anything on this. Often it is easiest to start with a standard shape and then “deform” it - at least that’s what I’m used to from Anime Studio. Of course I don’t expect 1:1 correspondence of the programs, but I would be surprised if you can only make perfect circles with the circle tool and never change them into something else.

About rendering: I’ll experiment with rendering some more and ask again if I can’t figure it out from your suggestions. Thanks again.

Take a look at the Tools Options in the tool options panel … (that will be nicer soon … )

"The Tool Options Panel for the “Circle Tool” has checkboxes for each of the 5 types of layer (circle layer plus 4 spline layers) to select which layer type(s) will be created by the tool. It also has “Spline Points” which sets the number of Spline Points that will be used in the new Splines, and “Point Angle Offset” which determines where on the circumference of the circle the Spline Points will be. " Circle Tool

have a nice drawing holidays …

Thank you, djay, that worked, the drawing tools are powerful. Happy holidays to you also!

UI Language can be defined in Edit -> Preferences -> Misc -> Interface Language now.

UI Language can be defined in Edit -> Preferences -> Misc -> Interface Language now.
Is there a new version? I only have “Edit” when I right-click on the canvas, I can’t find preferences.

Sorry forgot to mention, this is a new feature just implemented today, it will be included in the next dev snapshot once Konstantin accepts.

Thanks, that will help.