i just had this idea

so im new, thought id mention that first just incase this has been said before lol also this is going to be lengthy. lets begin.

so watching tutorials, i see the difference between vector graphics and pixel graphics (.bmp, .jpg, .png and all that jaz) that is that you lose quality of image on scaling, zoom, ect, this is mainly noticeable on the edges i think. im sure that’s common knowledge. so then it occurred to me, more eye pleasing animation comes from vector graphics.

vector graphics provide more control and more options with effects and animation.

unfortunatly that means creating your images in synfig, which means either starting from scratch, or as a tutorial showed, using bitmap image as a template, either way you end up with alot of layers to control in animation mode. a lot of work, how could it be made easier, well something came to mind actually as i was watching the tutorial.

i tried to see whether it would work, but unfortunately it didn’t.

before i lay it out, there are some things that influenced this idea. such as, creating blines/splines with a fill colour, creates a separate fill layer, and through watching tutorials you can wrap a texture to that seperate fill layer allowing for individual management of the fill and the Bline/Spline, great stuff i think.

so now i will lay out my idea, why not allow for importing of image software’s Path files, for example, with gimp, you can export your paths for use in another project, i think it would be a good idea to allow for these exported path files to be imported/converted into Blines/Splines.

some advantages of this would be, using gimp which im familiar with as an example, the ability to make paths from selections, with gimp as those who use it know, you can use filters and tools to help with creating selections, (select by colour as an example) from that selection you could then use to create a path and were you wanting to, export that path to a file. gimp has many selection style tools.

filters can help create selections, using posterize can help reduce an image into blocks of colour, which could then be used for selection and then converted into paths.

i think this would benefit synfig, with the ability to import your Path files, new and existing users could feel a home comfort that they could create their objects in image creating software they are familiar and comfortable with, both the path files and maybe also the fill textures, allowing them to import their path files into Blines/Splines, add wrap the fill layers with textures, removing alot of labour in synfig, which can then concentrate more on animating (rather than creating) and adding layer effects, lights/shadows, blurs ect.

image creating software such as gimp can, i think, create better images for textures as you can compile all the layers into one image, with synfig i think you would have to manage a group of layers for the same (or similar) result. unless them layers were what you wanted to manage in keyframe i think it would be better to have less.

when your finished reading all of this i’d appreciate your feedback and support to whether or not you think this a good idea.


The Holy Grial of work less to do an animation is a fruitless labor. Animation takes a lot of work (a lot!) and there is not a way to work around it and obtain the same good result. If it were possible to do what you want, you would get just a flat vector shape from a path. It might be good for static props or backgrounds, or or even for cutout style animation but never would be the basis of a morph animation or a vector drawing that uses all the abilities of the program.

If you want to use Gimp for cutout animation sources, use the images directly imported in Synfig. Raster textures looks great in cutout animation.

If you want to do real vector animation, that is morphing using Keyframes and onion skin, it is much better to draw the stuff directly in Synfig Studio or maybe export it from Inkscape to Synfig. But in any case choose a good chair and get comfortable, because you’ll be a lot of hours in front of the computer.


it seems like a good idea, not necessarily the using of gimp for texture wrapping - i can imagine the difficulties with morphing with that - but having gimp paths imported i think is a good idea. they have points and handles like with spline/Blines. how i imagined it was, when importing a path, takes the position values of the points, and the values of tha handles, and duplicates them values into a Bline/Spline, opens up maybe a dialogue box that provides options on import; like all lines to be 5px thickness, colour ect. then the user could manually tweek the lines and thickness as they please.

You should be able to export Gimp-paths as SVG. Import that into Inkscape and export Synfig .sif file from there. Import into Synfig and animate.
I haven’t tried this myself but perhaps you could give us a report/quick tutorial on how to do it?