I know this is probably a major newbie question, but do you have any advice on how to properly convert a bitmap image into a vector image that can be used for animation more easily? I tried to use the “directly onto” setting to lay an image onto a carefully crafted spline region outline, but oddly enough, even though the overlayed PNG image had a transparent background, I ended up seeing the checkerboard of doom instead of the rectangular background behind the spline region. Plus I’m pretty sure that moving the spline region won’t shift the bitmap image…
My dancing science giraffe needs your help! I would be very grateful for any advice.
Synfig can’t do automatic conversion of bitmap to vector. You could use Inkscape to do the conversion and then export to Synfig format. Your bitmap image needs to be simple (few solid colors, shapes with clear sharp edges), otherwise a very large amount of vector objects would be generated (which would be impossible to work with).
Besides that, there are several possibilities:
Manually recreate the bitmap image using vectors, then animate the vectors directly. Most labor intensive but provides the most flexibility.
If you are going to use Inkscape’s trace bitmap feauture, make sure “optimize path” is set to maximum and make sure to press Ctrl+L to reduce the node/vertex count to as few as posssible, otherwise it would be impossible to animate.