Clean copy!

There is still no way to do a clean copy of other scenes in Synfig which is a real huge issue. This frustrates me often.

You can’t reuse elements from other scenes without making a file copy of this first and then referencing this in Synfig so you won’t mess up the original scene.
You can’t animate this references without having the original (the file duplicate) open.
Undos work very wonky, you need to go into the original to do your undos.
You must remeber to turn on animation mode for both the current scene and the original to be able to animate the objects.
You must remember to save all scenes
Bone layers doen’t even work (which of course is a bug report all of it’s own) as files with reperenced bone layers can’t be opened.
Keyframes doesn’t affect referenced artwork…
Etc., etc.

We NEED clean copies without any reference to any other scene in Synfig. Only having references is a huge mess to work with.
I’ve complained about this before* but I want to bring the issue up again as it is a huge pain.


I totally agree with this frustration.
This is a mandatory feature to add in the future.

recorded in issue tracker so that we can “Remember” it :mrgreen: … issues/600

Genete and Zelgadis, should I copy past all the related discussions from forum to issue tracker?

Just a link to the forums is enough.

Thank you jcome.

I should have done that, sorry.

We have been working on a tool to allow for the creation of scene files using synfig

They way I would like to use Synfig files to create charaxter rig

i then create scenes with multiple character files in

this is a problem if there a rereferences in the files

we have written a tool called synfig stage that alloows for the creation of new scenes:

Here is the launchpad for it

heres a video demoing the problem:

We would love to hear any bugs/ improvements etc


That’s pretty cool. It would make happy to many users! Can we put a link of the utility in our Tools & Scripts section of the website?

That was an interesting solution you got there.
With proper copy/link you wouldn’t need this workaround, right?

Dear friends. Let me mention that the problem is already worked on as part of implementation of “packed format” for Synfig. This work have been done by Ivan in August-September 2013 and it’s already basically works (although, still have some bugs and issues with exported valuenodes and needs further work).

In short, the solution for the problem outlined b Rylleman - just save your file in .sfg format. That will bundle all linked .sif files and images into a single file. (Remark: you need development snapshot of Synfig).

If you are not comfortable to work with .sfg file (because this is risky at the current status), then you can rename it to zip and unpack. that will give you a .sif file (with all external .sif files bundled) and images directory.

P.S. I agree with Rylleman that copy-paste operations should be fixed with consideration of exported valuenodes.

Thanks for that workaround.
But it’s still problematic when you don’t want to collect your assets in one scene folder. If you got artwork that is used across multiple scenes and applications for instance.

Yes, the proper asset management is still waits for its implementation. Within current model it’s not that hard to do already, just need to make a few steps:

  • Saving to .sfg shouldn’t pack everything into container.
  • Add “Pack all images” menu action (infrastructure of packing images is already written for that).
  • Add “Pack all linked sif files” menu action (infrastructure is already written as well)
  • Add “Extract image” menu action (DONE)
  • Add “Embed image” menu action (DONE)
  • Add “Embed sif file” menu action (for imported images)
  • Add “Extract sif file” menu action

This work wasn’t finished because we have switched to other priorities.

But it still boils down to Synfig has no copy or import, only reference. It is the only software I know of that can’t do file import or copy and it is hard to work with because of that. All workarounds is just that, workarounds and it sure does not help the usability.

[edit] Do you mean any of the above options makes a copy of sif files? Why make everything so complicated? Why not import/reference? Why should users have to read manuals to understand how to do basic things? What do you mean by extract?

IMO, the default action should be to copy the contents of the imported canvas (referencing the external canvas should be an special option).

Name clashes can be avoided by putting the imported contents inside an exported canvas, this separates the namespace of the exported valuenodes of the imported canvas from the base canvas (the exported canvas has it’s own section).

Exported valuenodes from an exported canvas do not show in the Library panel, they probably should. Just put them in the Canvases subtree, under it’s respective canvas entry. Seems a logical place for them to be. Linking between nodes in exported canvas and root canvas seem to work as expected.

Keyframes of the exported canvas are still independent from the ones in Root canvas, though.

Undoing works as expected.

It’s not required to have the exported canvas open to edit it’s content.

All the exported canvases are saved when the root canvas is saved (they are store in the same file).

Seems like exported canvases is the way to go.

This is all done by workarounds just because the feature isn’t complete yet. The basic things are not clear is because the work on this is not finalized yet.

Imagine the following, planned for the future:

  • The sfg format becomes default format for Synfig
  • The sfg format can contain the images/sif files inside or link to external images/sif files.
  • At the import stage user can choose if he wants to embed imported image/sif into current sfg document, or leave it external (and use as reference).
  • Any image/sif file, which is already imported as EXTERNAL, can be converted to internal, by using “Embed” action.
  • Any image/sif file, which is already imported as INTERNAL, can be converted to external, by using “Extract” action.

I don’t see any workarounds here.
I agree with Yoyobuae, that exported canvases is a way to go. And this is how it’s already implemented within sfg command.

This depends how you edit exported canvases. If you edit them from within root canvas, hen keyframes of root canvas DO affect the exported canvas. If you open exported canvas in it’s own window, then the keyframes of root canvas have no influence on it.

Seems that this was fixed since stable version. Moving a keyframe on root canvas didn’t affect exported canvas on stable version, but it does on development snapshot.

Also on devel snapshot the imported canvas can be exported. This makes the imported canvas no longer reference the original file (making it a clean copy).

One annoying thing is that imported canvases can’t be deleted. Neither Library panel nor Canvas Browser panel has any context menu which allows it.

Of course! genete. Like I say, We made this tool becasue we want to work with synfig in a certain way. I wanted to have multiple scene files with characters in without having to re rig the character for every shot. or have all the chatracters in one file. Its not really Xreferencing(which would be super cool but i imagine very difficult to do) But it means we can have a library of characters and add them to scene files. We haven’t tried it yet , but it might even be possible to swap out characters while keeping their animation. as long as their rig components are named the same then it might be possible.

If other users find it helpful then so much the better. We will be putting together some demo videos detailing how you can use Synfig stage in your production. Once we have recorded them We will put links here