Future of Synfig; users, developers, promotion.

We all know Synfig needs developers, contributors and more users.

For this to happen I think we need to start pushing for it more, make it more visible. Make people conscious about it’s existence.

I did a quick survey on it’s exposure, checked forums, google and such;
Googles top hit on “synfig” is Synfigs old site, synfig.com. The new site is hit #3.
Besides these sites there are a wikipedia article on Synfig on googles first page.
Then there’s quite a few details about Debian and Ubuntu packages, a few spread forum posts etc. Not the kind of things people find interesting when googling.
We would like blog posts, articles etc. about Synfig topping the google searches. For this we need to get Synfig to bloggers and article writers.

Also we need to get Synfigs old page away from those searches and getting current page as #1. I don’t know how you manipulate google for this though.

At forums it’s quite dark in the Synfig-area…
At animationforum.net Synfig is mentioned in 7 threads (out of a total of about 6000 threads). Of those there are two that has a little more substance than just bare mentionings. Both of these are more than two years old.
At AWN.com (Animation World Network, probably largest animation forum on the net) it’s even worse. Mentionings in 4 threads, of those one with substance and that’s about 3 years old. This is on a forum with 9000 posts.

Making people conscious of Synfig is a slow process, but it is one that all users here on the forum can help with in different ways. It doesn’t have to be much work involved for you if you feel you don’t have a lot of time to share. A forum-post somewhere recommending Synfig is a great help that might lead to a few more users and it won’t take you more than 5 minutes.

From users with a bit more time on their hands and from a community “official” side there are some things that can be done to further raise conciousness about Synfig;

Blogs - we don’t have to start blogging about how good Synfig is but move fitting content to the blog format. Things like the newsletter and an occasional post about a new contest.
People can add the stream to their feedreaders and once i a while get reminded about Synfig. I get reminded about software I find interesting, but don’t visit websites for, all the time by having them in my feedreader.

Promotion films - I know there are a gallery with films made with Synfig but we need more, and perhaps pure commercials for Synfig to spread everywhere. Show what’s possible.

Banners - create with synfig small banners that can be used as advertisement or that people can use as footers in their forum posts around the net.

Advertisement - with banners. I think we can get advertisement space for free at animation sites and such. Places that might like to help open source animation forward. We can’t get more than a no for asking.

Summer of Code 2010. - For this we need someone that knows the code and project well that could act as a mentor. And we would of course need to find dedicated students that can work on the SOC-projects.

Libre Graphic meeting 2010. - Here we have a user willing to go and represent Synfig (Genete). As well as networking with other graphics projects we can raise consciousness about Synfig through the filmed and published conferences at River Valley TV, presupposed they attend LGM2010 as they did LGM2009.

Make a bang release! - For the next release, add a few col features, create press and promo material. A press release with some cool images and a bullet list of cool features to send to relevant recipients, like animation magazines, sites and such. (Yes’ I know this is a bit hard when we hardly have any development at the moment…).

Getting Synfig out there. - This is important and here the Jaunty release was a disaster.
People can’t use the repository packages and we won’t get any new users other than the most dedicated that themselves seek out a working deb on Synfigs site.
It’s not just a loss of users but I think it’s harmful for the application. People try to install from the repos and finding it doesn’t work they think “what a piece of crap!” and moves on, never giving Synfig a second though.
We need to have Synfig easily accessed by anyone to try out.

My last though on this is a repetition of a previous thought;
Spread the word about Synfig!
This is perhaps the most important thing. If someone is asking on a forum for a way to do a task; mention Synfig (if it can do it of course).
If there’s any opportunity to mention Synfig, please do!

This is my view as a relative new user of Synfig. I would love to hear other peoples thoughts on this.

-David Rylander
animator, Sweden.

A specific thing to do would be to use Synfig to compete in the 11 Second Club. I keep meaning to, but all of my spare time gets used up on my personal projects. :smiling_imp:


You made me cry after reading your post.

I’m trying to do all those things! :’-)

My thoughts:

  • A new release is important. It is difficult to stay tunned with ubuntu people because they development cycle is very short compared with our. Anyway we cannot follow their rate. We will be always a release late compared with them. We have lost recently a member that has direct relationship with debian. I think that debian should be our target. Most of the packages of unbuntu comes from debian. A good debian package will lead in a good new ubuntu release.

  • Add new and cool features… easy to say difficult to do. I’m trying to do a face lifting of synfig to make it more attractive to the end user. It is now on git. I want to add it to the master branch soon.

-My second commitment is the wiki. It is very out of date and needs a global revision. I don’t like the current skin and maybe it is migrated to sourceforge. The wiki is the official page of Synfig so it is its window to the world.

-Our forum. My commitment is that all the people that post something here has a good support from us. I think that at the moment nobody has feel a lack of support.

-About Synfig.com. Synfig.com is the old wiki from sourceforge. I don’t want to delete it because maybe we need it in the future.

-Blogs, forums, articles, etc. I agree. I don’t have enough time to do also that. :wink:

-LGM 2010. I still wanting to go there.

  • I’m looking for some local help to do a workshop about Synfig as animation tool. Not luck yet.

-Featured films…I think that it is harder to me that understand the code of synfig. :wink:

  • Summer SOC. I can act as a mentor and I think that there are a couple more than can do that too. In fact I was mentoring uiomae when he started to develop the opengl branch. But he found a job…

  • Synfig as the answer… well you know me form the AS forum. I don’t use to do excessive advertisement of Synfig on that forum, where not applicable. I don’t like to be annoying. Anyway in general animation forums it will be good to do advertisement.

Things we did:

A featured film done with synfig: icaro.org.ar/proyectos/ctc/doku.php
A project with synfig as main animation tool: morevnaproject.org/
We have a demo reel: archive.org/details/SynfigDemoReel
I inserted my splash screen entry to the code:free art magazine.
I wrote an article on debaday blog
I signed Synfig to participate on Trophees du libre contest

But it is not enough!!! We need more!!!.


Genete, you’re a cliff for Synfig. What you do for it is amazing!
My post was by no means meant to pick on whats being done and on the people doing it. That is without arguing very great of you all!
The intentions was to start a discussion about moving Synfig forward and point to the fact that without people getting involved Synfig will stall. And I tried to come up with some ideas on things to do.

As for myself, I’m feeling bad for not having a lot of time on my hands to do more for Synfig. Hopefully this will change soon.


Sounds like a great idea! We need more things like this.


I don’t think it’s as important to follow Ubuntus release pace as it is to have stable, working releases. Perhaps targeting Debian would be a good thing.

It’s very great that you’re tackling the GUI! Do you want any input? Do you have any screenshots to show? (I haven’t put my head around this git-thing yet as I’m no programmer)

As for the wiki I don’t think it feels that old. I think it’s quite good looking and informative. Perhaps just needs a bit of updating, like adding blogging to it?
How can one do that? I found some media-wiki extensions for blogging.

I’m not suggesting deleting the synfig.com site. It still fills a purpose. But I think it needs to sink in googles searches and the new site which is the main one needs to be #1.

Some things that I would be willing to help out with:

  • Manual/Docs - Docs should be updated periodically. We could think about using current wiki as a starting point for a completed download or physical book copy. I have worked with http://flossmanuals.net on Inkscape and their website is getting more and more exposure every day. The manual can be posted on both the synfig website, flossmanuals.net, and on lulu.com.

-LGM 2010 - I’m planning on attending so I probably could help out in some capacity. In the spirit of LGM, we should also think about how well does synfig integrate with the rest of free graphics software. For example, getting the native svg importer fully functional would be great (sorry, I can’t code) for the Inkscape users not accustomed to drawing in synfig.

-Promotional Animation - I know that collaborative projects on the 'net is hard to do, but a 10-30 second promotional anim may be perfect for synfig.


ghosthand, please keep posting here any news you have from LGM related to project registration, schedules etc. It would be great we can meet there.

Hello! Great ideas for raising attention for Synfig.

I’m away for the summer, so I can’t help out much until late August. Afterward, I’ll do what I can – touching up the wiki, working on a manual, etc. I’ll also try to work on some code, if I can.

Keep up your work! I can’t wait to help out some more.

All those ideas are very good :slight_smile: but we should think why Synfig isn’t popular, or why he will have problems in being more popular, I found two obstacles:

  1. Bugs, Bugs and Bugs, I found very hard to get into Synfig because of bugs, it’s hard to tell that because I know that we don’t have too many devs and our dev are doing what they can, but amount of bugs in Synfig is a way too high.
  2. Graphics application should look nice, I’m not talking about floating windows which are scarring a lot of new users beacousse they aren’t too comfortable, but for example icons for key frames, are not very good looking. Here I can help as a volunteer, in creating new icons for Synfig :slight_smile:

First we need artists, when artist will make cool artworks with Synfig, there will be biger attention for Synfig, and that could mean new programers and new artists :smiley:

But here is a problem, Synfig haves many, many, many very cool features :smiley: and can be used for creating really stuning things, but the work-flow is not the best, artist are very capricious they like too work in nice looking environment and want too use modern applications, but modern applications usually are looking very good.

When we pas those two obstacles we could make something with interface, some apps are moving too python based interfaces, examples:

  1. PiTiVi
  2. Blender (with new 2.5 version)
    Doing something to make creating interface quickly and easy could rise attention of programers.

Now I have a question do we have a mentor of project? Someone who will organise everything, about what I saw Genete is looking like a mentor and if he isn’t he should be.

Genete for president! Seconded!

I’ve added a robots.txt to the synfig.com website so that it blocks all webcrawlers. Eventually synfig.com should drop out of the google cache. (unfortunately the robots.txt was checked for 2 hours before I did this, so it may be another day or so before any changes are noticeable).

Now everyone go write blogs/twitter referencing synfig.org!

hey I arrive just in time!
I m doing a workshop of History of Digital Animation, and I insert Synfig in my lecture, I m not enough famous to make you rich but I thought you may will know what I write about Synfig, and in witch date and place I will perform the lectures…
let me know when interested.

then workshop about synfig software itself, its for me a bit more complicate becouse I have just start, and I have no time as usual…
so I thought to ask to the community if somebody is interested to join to the Bogotrax festival ! to make a workshop about the new release!
I posted the topic in the general discussion, on this link :
do you have idea where to post it more?
Alice Aka HeadSquatter

Aww crap, I was about to make a topic on “Future of Synfig” just now, I hadn’t noticed that it was already there. @_@ Let me copy and paste.

Synfig (0.62) is still at a baby stage, with a little complex working environment, needing some time to get used to. But once that happens, even though lacking some needful export and sound features, its toolsets and effects capabilities are really powerful, even rivaling some of the well known proprietary softwares around.

And as I said, it’s proved itself even at such an early stage. :laughing: What could one expect when it officially reaches Version 1.0.0? Or even later?

No, I’m not trying to flatter anyone or anything. I just saw this video and I think you guys should see it too.

Animo is one of the greatest animation tools of all time, and by far the most expensive of all. As said, even today its vector capabilities are unmatched. Recently it has been acquired by ToonBoom and thus not sold anymore. You can check out the best films made by it, such as Road to Eldorado or Prince of Egypt.

I was thinking, although Synfig doesn’t NEED to be like Animo, some of its features could inspire to develop Synfig’s capabilities beyond what most have. And come to think of it, when that happens, 2D animation wouldn’t be so expensive and time consuming for even home users, hobbyists and amateurs. o_o Making high quality stuff would be piece of cake, and free.

I mean, ya know, it’s tough to be a God!

Whoops! I didn’t know I wasn’t logged. BTW, that Guest post above me is my post actually. Sorry for the double post.