Is Synfig suitable as an After Effect Replacement

Hello everyone,
So I’ve searching for a simple vector animation software that can run on Linux,
And I found some like Blender, Synfig, Pencil2D, Krita, OpenToonz/Tahoma2D among others.

I saw so of the works that the forum members did and it intrigued me quite a lot because I had quite the negative view of Synfig (as being quite unstable).

I want to use to create some computer science related animation similar to ByteByteGo videos, but not as fancy as his (mainly doing some transformations on SVGs imported from Inkscape). I don’t really care about the drawing capability of Synfig because I don’t plan on using them at all.

Is Synfig worth learning in the long run or is there a better option out there? (I know asking this in the Synfig forum is quite bold, but I trust that you’ll be objective about it)

Thank you for your time.

Well, Synfig is quite stable, and you can definitely use it to create any kind of animation.


In case though, if you’re looking for an alternative to after effects with similar user experience, then you might wanna consider Cavalry. All the basic functionality is free and it is hardware accelerated.

Though I’ll still recommend using Synfig. It’s easy to learn and quite fun to use once you get the hang of it.
P.S: Cavalry is only available for Windows and Mac.

1 Like

Glad to hear that, I guess I’ll stick with FOSS software for the time being just because I don’t want to go back to Windows ever again. I also stumbled upon Enve, although it seems to have slower development than Synfig.

I guess Synfig is the perfect choice for what I’m trying to do and it has more learning material than OpenToonz/Tahoma2D

Synfig is superior among the FOSS vector animation software for sure.

1 Like

Synfig is the most suitable for doing vector animation, and you can almost animate mostly everything which is a vector graphics.
You can animate the modification of shape, color, outline, width, transformations such as rotation, scaling, skewing, transparency etc. If your primary focus is on just performing animation on vector shapes, Synfig has all the capabilities to do so.

As already mentioned Enve is also a good choice :+1: and seems to have similar capabilities to Synfig, (maybe a little better in some cases). Since I haven’t used Enve I don’t have much to say. But Synfig has existed longer than Enve and there is active development, Synfig is pretty stable to use.

I would also like to point some drawbacks of Synfig to consider:
If most of your animations include Typography animations, Synfig might not be a good choice, since there is very little support to animate text. You can include text in your animations but, creating effects for per character/word in a text is not directly possible.

Of course you want to use it for vector animation, but also needed to mention that After Effects has capabilities for video manipulation which Synfig doesn’t.

Overall through my experience, Synfig is actually a good tool for animating vector graphics overall, compared to After Effects sometimes you might need to do a little extra work, but you can do it :slightly_smiling_face:.


Another great software is Natron. It’s open source, hardware accelerated and has all the animation capabilities you’re looking for including motion tracking. It’s quite a good alternative to after effects.
You must check out in case you want advanced features.

1 Like

Enve is still quite young to be considered as something useful in the long run, it might be a contender if it can survive for the next 5 years

I don’t really care about motion tracking. All I want to do is quite simple videos that explains some concepts with simple animations, I think Synfig can take me a long way

Not exactly a contender, as both Synfig and Enve are open source and non-profit :slight_smile:
The philosophy of the 2 software are different (enve is Qt/Skia based, easier to play with SVG, Synfig is Gtk+ based).

We have a bigger community and contributors number, enve is mostly done by one developer who doesn’t have time to work on it (it’s sad, it is a very good software).
You can find ways to do some export/import of assets.

I would say…
Why not to use both? It will not cost you more :stuck_out_tongue:

P.S.: for software available only in some OS, you can always use virtual machines or layers like Wine/Bottles under Linux.

1 Like