Layer Types - help needed!


Dear Synfig studio friends,

the developer team is very busy all the time and they do add more and more functions to our beloved tool.

The documentation of many of these functions is way behind…

I just did a little research in the last day or so…
… and created a status overview of just the documentation of layers.

We are having exactly 49 different layer types in Synfig.

I classified them along the following ideas:

  • C1 - basic and/or needed immediatedly by Synfig newbies
  • C2 - needed for just a little bit over the basics
  • C3 - more that is needed and/or very helpful for most users / animation situations
  • C4-C5 might be needed for specific situations.
  • C6 and higher I don’t understand or do not expect to be needed.

I found 29 classified as C1-C3

  • 14 not even have a basic description
  • 24 are missing important pieces of information (description and/or samples)

All together there are 57 pieces of information missing in the layer descriptions just for the ones classified C1-C3.
Have a look at this Summary in my Google Drive

We need your help to complete the documentation in this area as soon as possible!

Can you help, please?

  • Descriptions first
  • then usage samples
  • then technical samples (like ones showing effects of parameter settings)

Do you agree with the classification?

Who was doing the sample files and youtube clips that are linked to the layers overview?
Those cannot be accessed (message: those are private) and the files cannot be found either.
Who can help with this?

(Edit: numbers corrected for 2 layer types, 49 types over all, file updated as well)
(Edit2: subject changed for clarity of message)

Layer usage - considerations

I’ll start with some easy ones myself in the next couple of days…


Don’t forget Synfig isn’t just for character animation - if you are doing animated graphic design (logo form-ups etc.) then some of the filters you regard as never being useful become very useful and vice versa.


thank you!
As I said: I may not understand the meaning/use of some layer types.
So please help me getting better in that.

Can you please be more specific:

  • which layers should have another classification?
  • which classification should it be instead?
  • where / what for are they needed?

The “where needed” maybe is the missing description…
So: if you don’t mind: just add those answers in the wiki directly, instead of answering my dumb questions

In general:
The classification is just a vehicle for me to try to put first things first,
anyone who disagrees is very welcome to either change the classifications (just tell me)
or, even easier: just ignore it and add information to the layer types you use and love…
tell the world about the fantastic things you can do with them!
I’am eager to learn about capabilities I didn’t see before.


Hi Oho, thanks for taking time raising up this!
From my side, I would try to update some of the more complex or not well understood layers when I can have some time.

Just one initial remark: Shape is not a visible layer and never would be. It is the ancestor of all the shape like layers.
You can see here the inheritance diagram: … Shape.html



thx. So 49 types then … :slight_smile: