Interest for a generic template (layer generation) engine?


I recently updated a script to generate layers from external (~spreadsheet) data and templates (sif edited to contain some placeholder-variables).

It is currently “tuned” to generate (animated) text from subtitles files… but could as well generate any other type of layer (or complex group) provided you/I develop a template for it. I am thinking, a.o. of particles layers (with templates for snow, star, flow/rain, fireworks,…), nature (templates of hill, cloud, tree…)… and maybe even complex animations (dynamic systems,… in this case you’d provide the name of a few canvas to link in the template and animation “tweak” values in the data).

My question is: would you prefer one generic template engine, or a few separated/specialized ones, such as currently existing:

The interest I see in 1 generic is that a single “framework” would provide support (GUI & CLI interfaces, template engine…) in a flexible way to all. Synfig (advanced) users could then focus on creating the right template for their use (be it text animation or particles or trees or dynamic systems…) without having to redo the “engine” part each time.

The “disadvantage” lies in the complexity and rigidity (design needs to fit “most” cases) of the whole approach… but if a few more are interested in contributing that could become quite fun & easy !

Some graphical idea for a possible futur attached below :wink: … you’d access such a dialog from a menu item, or a right-click on 1 layer and selecting “generate more layers here”, for instance.

related discussions that I know of (feel free to complete the list!)

“I want it all!” (© Queen)


Totally support the idea. But I am not sure about the template engine, seems too complicated. Template + Python script (plug-in) to add one to the current animation is enough I think. Of course it’s only possible if you can draw a GUI from a python script, don’t know if this is possible.

So I prefer a few specialized templates that you can import into your animation via script. The workflow for a user would look like this:
Create new/Load existent Synfig animation -> Menu -> Plug-Ins -> Add labels/particles/etc.
Then a simple GUI appears where you can adjust some parameters for your needs.

Although one generic template sounds to good to be true, I would already give my left arm for a stable and working particles template, esp now that a more speedy version of Synfig is in the works.