keyframing certain groups rather than whole canvas?

I am currently trying to animate a logo consisting of two main actions:
1: a tree grows upwards, from nothing into a full adult tree
2: an arrow encircles it, you know, circle of life and all that.

These actions will overlap, but if I am unsure exactly what timing will work best for the animation, how can I best give myself options to be able to adjust the timings of the two actions? Sliding waypoints around will not work as there will be too many.

See attached project for an idea - the current scale effect on the tree is just to show that it will be animated asynchronously to the arrow - obviously I will properly ‘grow’ the tree by animating the paths, but I wanted to ask for advice first.

My ideal situation would be to animate the tree, and set a keyframe at the start and finish of the action which only affects the tree, not the arrow, and also set start and end keyframes which only affect the arrow, not the tree. That way I could play around with the rhythm and timing until it feels right.

My understanding of waypoints and keyframes within Synfig is that waypoints are too fine an adjustment for my current needs and keyframes are too broad, as they affect the entire canvas. Is there another way?

So far the best method I have found to achieve something like this is to have three Synfig projects open: Tree, Arrow, and Combined. All the same length (5 seconds)
Then I animate each component and set keframes, then copy both and paste into the combined project. If the timing is out, I adjust keyframes in individual projects and repeat copy/paste, replacing the old versions. This works, in a way, but it is incredibly awkward and I’m sure there must be a better way.

Even with this awkward method, I would like to have the three canvases at least contained within the same project, but I don’t understand how to use the Canvas Browser (

Can anybody suggest a more sensible workflow for me?
treecycle.sif (634 KB)

So you want to adjust the timing of one group using keyframes without effecting the other group.

Let’s say you want to adjust the timing of the tree group first. Selct the arrow group, then right click and cut it from the project. Make adjustments to the keyframes so you have good timing for the tree group. Paste the arrow group back into the project, this group will remain unchanged.

The problem to this method is that you cannot see the arrow group while make adjustments to the timing of the tree group, since it was just cut from the project. Seeing the movement of the arrow while making adjustments the the timing of the tree group might be important to you.

A solution is to first select the arrow group, then right click and hit copy. With the arrow group selected, right click it’s canvas parameters and export it (name it something), now the arrow group won’t be effected by moving the keyframes. Now move the keyframes so that you have proper timing for the tree group, while being able to look at the movement of the arrow for reference. Since the canvas parameter of the arrow group was exported it will never be effected by the keyfames, so delete this arrow group and paste back in the arrow group that was copied from earlier, this arrow group will be effected by the movement of the keyframes, since it’s canvas is not exported.

Have you read this?

I added a little setup in which I have a circle and a star. I exported them each to their own canvas. (to do so: select the group you want to export and right click on canvas in the parameters panel and name the export value) If I want to animate the star seperately from the circle then I double click the star in the canvas browser panel and animate it in the newly opened window. If I want to animate the circle then I double click the circle in the canvas browser panel. If I want to see the result of both then I select the root scene.

testcanvas.sifz (2.72 KB)

Latest stable version allow to enable/disable Keyframes. I think it is the best way. Enable some when working with one part of the composition and disable them and enable the rest when working with the other.
Reuse animation tutorial is good for some things, but export a group delivers some inconveniences.

Thanks for all your help! I used the export function which seemed to work quite well, though I made a few mistakes and had to manually fix them. Next time I will try disabling keyframes and see how that works. it’s good to know there are various approaches that can be taken.

how can it be done? is it available in the latest development version?

lol I have NEVER noticed these checkboxes before :slight_smile: