Graphical Interface improvements - Mock ups etc.

Several times, I got the feeling that the SynfigStudio interface could be improved. Right now I have the feeling there’s a bit too much space that is wasted.
It seems I’m not the only one to get that feeling :wink: … il%2848%29

So, I would like to make this thread a place to discuss ideas, features suggestions and mock-ups for an improved interface.
Just don’t hesitate to post your mock-ups! :smiley:
(screenshots of Synfig with anotations or even hand-drawn mockups, no need to be a master of code or 2D design for this :wink:)

It seems the main Synfig tool window has a different widget container than the dock widget container.
Gimp uses the same widget container for both dock type applications and the main tool window, so you can
dock the widgets in the tool window or together, this would be very helpful in reducing the confusion which
windows go with Synfig.

Also , unlike Gimp but like the Iceape browser, it would be nice not only to have the same widget container wrapped around all the windows, have them able to collapse as well. So you could have all the windows docked and collapse when not needed.

Looking over the app in general, that is the only problem I have with it.
It just needs more generators for effects, which I hope to add a few of these
in. in the coming months.

Hi all,

Synfig is one of the greastest vector drawing package i’ve ever seen. The layer system, radius dock, and other things are great.

But the interface is so slow and so badly organized, that it’s impossible to work on an animation project.

Would it be possible to get rid off the actual Synfig Studio, based on gtkmm, and re-use the Blender interface to handle synfig’s data?

-Blender already have efficients windows and tools to manage 2D curves, bitmaps, timelines, ipo curves
-The non-orverlaping windows in blender lets you organize the interface (an maximize the working/drawing surface).
-curves could be drawn by using openGL, it would be faster
-perhaps it would be easyer to maintain on different OS.

For now, i see the actual dev team loosing a lot of time and energy to solve interface problems that will grow - The base interface is bad (organisation, devel libs).

Is this proposition realistic?


At the rate of the current code developers we have (one only and not available for the moment) I think it is not a realistic idea for a medium / short term.

On the other hand, you’re invited (and anyone) to start developing that synfigstudio fork if you know how. We all agree that the interface is not perfect but impossible to work,… IMHO I don’t believe it.
Blender interface is more difficult to me than current synfigstudio one, so it is just a point of view matter.

You’re welcome to join to this project. Every help is useful for small it could be for you.



If i had a lot of money, i would probably pay for a fork, a synfig2Blender integration - i’m shure it would be the best animation package, but i’m not Google :wink:

If you look at synfig features, and when you visit the gallery for the first time (this one is my favorite, your first reaction is “awsome!!!”, “amazing !! great !!!”, and you call your friends in the CG industry to show them this pearl.

On the paper, Synfig provide all what you need, and more, to make cartoons and short animated moovies. So why is there so few moovies in the gallery?

So you give it a try. And, well, it’s easy to use, as you said. But…
After a while, and once your are tring to make realy nice pictures and animating then, you realise that things are not so great. The interface is really too slow, managing keys and animated params becomes impossible if you’re animating more than a baloon.

I took some time to read the wish-list. Most of thoses whished tools are not necessary if you want to make cartoons :coding this will be a fine mess of time…

After ten years of using Blender, making articles, web sites adn DVD about it, i know that most peoples find it hard to use or begin with - and it’s true, first steps are quite hard. But once you got it, this tool is your friend, it do not consume your energy, and the’s no limit.

With Synfig, it’s the contrary.

You talk about short/medium term - and i understand - coding is hard and take time. But, in my opinion, the lacks of the actual interface (including the use of gtk) combined to the “wish list” and the growing popularity of synfig is a spiral that will, in long term, lead this project to be abandoned.

Once again, that only my opinion.

(sorry for my poor english)

Good point.

I spend all my free time to make animations, to improve the wiki and to reply the forum. Please visit my youtube page to see what I’m doing with synfig.

You’re invited to post your work to the gallery. Maybe we are a little shy and don’t want to post our own stuff. You can have a look to the monthly challenge. There are some cool animations there.

We need you! :slight_smile:


If I will work with some piece of software a ten years (even the crappy software), then I surely will be sticked to it’s interface in any case. :wink:
Yes, blender have awesome non-overlapping UI. But in many cases the buttons scattered around panels without any logic. It’s often not possible to figure out how new function works (and where it could be found). That’s my experience of using blender for 4 years. In synfig, opposite, people have managed to figure how to achieve great effects almost without any manual (there was just a single pdf-document at the beginning, remember?)

BTW, blender still greatest 3D modeling software for me.

About synfig interface… How much time you spent working with it to judge is it usable or not? 2D animation is time consuming process and to get good clean animation you need to work hard. :slight_smile:

Yes, synfig is slow. But it’s not UI slow, but rendering engine. Most speedup work could be done in engine (even maybe adding OpenGL). Of course, UI needs much of work too. But we luck of developers. Someday we will have a lot of developers and maybe a lots of various synfig UI’s will grow (synfigstudio, blenfig, :smiley:). But now we just not having such resources.

That’s my opinion.

Ah, the real heat about ui is here. I will try to make windows dockable in not a long time. I don’t promise anything, but I promise to do my best. :wink:

Because all I want is a free (as in freedom) 2d animation software with professional capabilities. Then maybe 2d animation could conquer the world! :mrgreen:

Genete, is it insane to think porting Synfig to Qt completely? Do you think it’s achievable without producing lots of bugs?

I couldn’t wait to get home and looked at the code a bit. As I can see, only synfigstudio package is about the ui, am I right? It is not an easy task, but if you accept I will write the ui from scratch in Qt. Actually, I prefer working with Qt, because it is much more user-friendly, easy-to-code and well-documented (and I know it better :slight_smile: ).

I’m not developer (I trying to be :slight_smile:) and I don’t know how much complicated would be to port synfigstudio to QT. The code for the UI is hold by synfigstudio, yes, but you’ll need lots of includes from synfig-core and etl to compile it. Remember that synfigstudio relies finally on libsynfig what is provided by synfig-core.

You can make a synfigstudio-qt version from scratch (like you said) and maybe if it works you can solve some of the problems of the current one.

It is a PITA you don’t like GTK environment. It would speed up the project development because there are a lot of lines already written.

Please join us to the IRC and let other admins to know about you and your intentions. You’ll be well received. :smiley:


No, that doesn’t mean I don’t like Gtk. I just know Qt better.

I will try to improve the Gtk interface then. I already think porting to Qt would be a pain in the ***.

COOL!!! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:
Please feel free to drop by #synfig IRC channel. Just enter a nick name here and chat with us!


Can I help? I got around 150$ in my bank.(I’m fifteenth btw)

Same here.