Documentation should explain how to CREATE a time loop layer

I don’t have editing privileges for the Synfig Documentation Wiki, but … someone should put in how to CREATE the time loop layer. There is a wiki page on how to use the time loop layer (once it exists), but it is very confusing what needs to be done in order to create it. I had to go to the YouTube video “Synfig - Bouncing Ball Using Time Loop”, and then 80% of the way through the video, I finally found out that I had to:

  • right-click on an existing layer (why? The time loop layer has nothing to do with which layer I right-click on)
  • select New Layer
  • select Time (well, for my v1.2.1; but in the video version, the narrator selects Other)
  • and then finally we see an option to select time loop layer

ONLY THEN can I use all the stuff about Time Loop layers that I found with a web search.

(I must say that, even now, it is confusing. Apparently the time loop layer affects all the layers beneath it; but what if you have two different characters you want to animate with two different time loops? (e.g. two characters looping a walk cycle at different loop durations) Surely one of the timeloop layers must come before the other, in which case … the upper loop animates the lower loop? Anyway, I’m sure the answer to my question is somewhere out there in the web…)

Well, version 1.2.x is not maintained anymore: only 1.4.x release branch.

Anyway, on both version branches, you can add a new layer via Layers menu. On Synfig, layers are resources for visual items, but also filters and other special stuff (like sound, loops, cloning etc). You can access this menu by the main window menu, workarea context menu and Layer panel context menu.

On version 1.4.0 , you can right-click on empty space of Layer panel or by clicking on the Add (plus signal) button on Layer panel toolbar.

Synfig is based on hierarchy of layers and groups of layers, evaluated from the top to the bottom.
If you want only one character to be animated with the Timeloop, create a Group Layer with the Timeloop on the top and the Character on the bottom…
The second character, outside of the group, will not be affected by the Timeloop

  • Group (Timelooped Character1)
    +Timeloop (above)
    +Character1 (under)
  • Character2

omg this sounds miles better than whatever the wiki says. My god, open software is a difficult task indeed. Such a great piece of software but documenting is truly hard work. Hopefully I can contribute soon.

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