My 2 Cents?

Okay, so I’ve downloaded Synfig. Limited import/export options and the labourious installation process aside I have a few basic points/request to make:

  • Generally, the GUI is fine it’s no worse than GIMP, for example. What is bad is how difficult it is, for an artist to draw an outline, ink it and then fill it. It’s actually easier to define an SVG document for an illustration by hand, than it is to create the image with Synfig right now.

  • Pivot/tranformation points… Is it possible to edit the position of an object centre? Even in the example files from this site, I had noticed that the artist had pivot points on their drawings, where you would usually expect to find them. Not only that, but surely editable pivot points are essential to Vector graphics animation?

-Naming objects. What is meant by ‘export’? How about a create/make object option, and have a separate panel in the interface for all user created objects.

-Oh, and a CHTML file will really help us n00bs.

I’m writing this because, I think that Synfig is potentially very good, features wise is probably better suited to the task of Vector Animation than Flash… But the current state of the GUI/UI makes Pencil, a better option for Open Source 2D animation…

Hello! My name is Ivan from Portugal. So its possible to create Flash animations whit this software???

It would be interesting to us if you tell us your OS and synfig version you’re installing.

Current release allows the user create outlines and fills in one single step. Have you seen this video?

The green duck is the Origin (or also called the Offset) of the object. It is only used for relative positions not for rotations. When you use rotate tool the ducks rotate around its own geometrical center. Yes, it would be good that the rotation center can be selected/modified. On the other hand the rotate layer has its own rotation pivot so it is independent on what is it applied.

Export allows reference a parameter of any layer from other any compatible parameter of any other layer. Usually this kind of things are automatically done by using the “Link” option. For example: Create two circle layers, select both layers (CTRL+click) and select both radius ducks (CRTL+click) again. They become highlighted. Now right click one of them and select “Link” from the context menu. Got the idea? :slight_smile: But for one moment imagine that you want to other Real parameter of other layer with a radius of a circle. In that case it is not obvious obtain the “Link” context menu. Even probably the first parameter hasn’t visual duck to manipulate. In that case ju have to “export” the Real parameter and give it a name. It would appear in the Child Panel under ValueNode list. Select it and go to the circle radius parameter, right click and “link”… Same result.

CHTML? in what would help newbies?

I think you should spend some time reading the tutorials and the wiki. This is a good starting point:

Also feel free to drop by irc:// we gladly help on particular problems.


Strictly speaking, no. You cannot create swf files with Synfig. You can create flv movies with it though.


Thanks for posting back so promptly. In answer to some of your questions:

  • I’m running Synfig on Windows (Vista). I’m not entirely sure about which version I’m running unfortunately.

-I can accept, that it’s currently not possible to edit object centers, but it is essential, whether you need to rotate the object or not.

-Still very confused about the ‘Export’ system :frowning:

I’m not a programmer, but I must ask what’s wrong with having a OOP system like every other graphics app, where the user defines and names an object, adds properties to the object, and can reuse the object by creating new instances?
Perhaps then, the layering system can be simplified, so users only need to use layers for composition.
As an animator, I’d much rather spend the time working on keyframes.

-And the CHTM thing? Sorry :blush: I meant one of these:

Gripes aside, I have the utmost respect for what you, and the Synfig team are doing, and hope that it will soon find the popularity the software deserves.


This software is developed by volunteers with a few resources (mainly nothing) and the developer team (very narrow) is conscience that some features are not the best way to do some things. But the source was released in an advanced status of development with its goods and its bads and implement some new features is very hard in some cases.

We need more users test the program, use it and do good animations. It would attract more people, other coders, and maybe some of the very well known lacks would be featured.

Export concept is a little strange when first used but very useful once you understand how does it work. Anyway you can do lots of animation without using export feature.


There isn’t any documentation other than what random people have written on the website. What is written on the website has no license, so there is no documentation that we could currently distribute in CHM form (or any other form than the site).

My $0.02.

I’m learning Synfig and Cinelerra in order to make a demo clip of a full-length film I want to produce. (My first “babystep” is to produce a short demo clip so that I have a means of calibrating my estimating skills as to how much effort this will require.)

To that end, as mentioned in other threads the improved Import Image Layer is a revelation because I can now film actors with a videocam, break it into separate frames with Cinelerra, and then import those frames into Synfigstudio as guides for animating the characters, rather like rotoscoping. (Or, much like fantasy artists such as Boris, etc., use photographs of actors to base their paintings.)

The worst part is frankly constructing the sif file, because it is soooo labor-intensive. However, in studying the sources for Prologue and Werewolf, I’m discovering “shortcuts” such as constructing the actor in a separate file which is then referenced in a given scene’s sif file. If the character is first constructed from all reasonable angles (like a traditional character model sheet), it is possible to simply “import” the appropriate angle when needed.

As to the original poster’s criticism of the difficulty in building the sif, Synfig, like all complex software packages, takes time and dedication to learn its intricacies. As you master it, you discover easier ways of doing things that hopefully cuts down the amount of time; or, at least, you get fluent enough with its GUI in creating a character that you can breeze through it.

That’s my rambling thought for the day. :slight_smile:

what is Cinelerra? i’ve never heard of it!!! :frowning:

Read first entry in google search for “cinelerra”. Please dig it your self before straight ask. Internet has a lot of answers.

right!!! sorry!!! i did that, and got the answer i was looking for!!


P.S. too bad i have Windows, and not Linux!! lo!

Try Virtualdub. Be sure to search before you ask. :slight_smile:

WOW!!! that is freaking AWESOME!!! i was planning to try TRIPLE booting with Windows Vista, XP, and a version of Linux, but now with Wubi, i won’t have to!!! (of course i’m still going to DUAL boot with Vista and XP!) i can just download the installer for Ubuntu, run it, and have Linux on the spot!!! that’s VERY nice!!!

Thanks, and much appreciation!!! :smiley: