newbie - ex IT ex chef

ah gidday, new to the site - absolute new to animation software. looking for a mentor to get me through the basics. in return you get the benefit of my chef experience.

Hi foodmonkey,
your best mentor are the tutorials in the wiki.
Start with the Manual>Diving in section.
I hope you become a good animator because if you’re spammer you’ll see how do we treat spammers here :wink:


wow - where did that come from? - not a spammer by any means - in fact, in the kitchen we have a way dealing with people like that - let’s just say it’s not pretty and usually involves a trip the emergency dept…

genuinely keen to develop some animation skills - specifically around my website - i think it’s cool how synfig does the tweening for you.

oh and yes - is coming. hope i can say that i got support from the synfig community.

Hey sorry for the hard reply! :unamused: Lately we are having spammers around and sometimes I get confused with the first post. I apologize if you have been felt annoyed.
Please ask us what ever you need to help you on become a Synfig master. :mrgreen:

hey no worries - we kiwis are a pretty relaxed bunch (unless of course you touch my knife - but let’s not go there)

quick question - well not really - i’ve installed gimp & python and all the ptyhon necessities so the synfigexport plugin work just great (yay for me).

i’ve got four handdrawn and then scanned images - each with small variations. whats’s the best way to animate (and we’re really taling about a morph) those as each one comes out as separate file from gimp - should i import them as seaprate layers and then make them keyframes on the time line - or am missing the point - maybe a better way to do it - just in the tutorial with four images, elements and layers - it was hypnotic (the walking guy).

foodmonkey says - thanks

oh - and can i just aspire to become a noob for the moment ::slight_smile:

You can use the listimporter feature that is shown in the walk tutorial you mention or, if there are not so many frames, just animate the filename of the imported image.

  1. Place all the four images in the same folder than the final sifz file.
  2. In Synfig Studio, import the first image
  3. Enable animation mode. Add a keyframe where you are in the timeline.
  4. Move the time cursor to the desired frame and click the filename parameter of the Import image layer. Click the find button (you might need to expand the Value column width) and look for the second image.
  5. Repeat 4) for each new image to import. The filename parameter will become animatable and the image would change with the time.

it was the way the dog of my avatar was done. You can check the source file in this thread. viewtopic.php?p=6816#p6816


ok - opening myself up to laughter and derision here but my first animation was in school and consisted of a stack of cards thet you flicked through to make something move about. i then took an elective subject and we made a cartoon with hand drwn frames and a 16mm stop frame film camera - jeez i feel old - we even had to develop the film ourselves.

what i’m not getting (sort of philosofically) is what purpose the layers serve - because what i’m getting is that synfig is basically a stop frame animator that fills in all the tweens from keyframe to keyframe.

what’s the rasion detre of the layers and their relationship to keyframes?

from the reading it seems you can keyframe a series of images and synfig tweens for you - i get that - but the layers thing - does it mean you can submerge multiple layers and expose them in the same way you would with stopframe animation?

i suppose i’m asking what is the hierarchy of the objects and who has sway over who - yeh i know - an oo programmer from way back.

jeez - it was easier with a stack of cards and a pen.

The principle of Synfig is the creation of artwork using vectorized 2D primitives and do automatic tweening between one keyframe and other to aid artist to not draw all the in between frames.
Please read and do the basic tutorials from the manual and you’ll understand what’s the power of Synfig.
The recipe I gave you above is just to allow import raster images made in other source into Synfig, to trace them as keyframes and let Synfig do the tweening.

Imagine a Disney animator…

There’s a painted background and each frame of animation is painted on clear acetate. Each frame is placed on top of the background to that the background painting shows through. This is then a “layer” of aninamtion over a background “layer”. Rather than paint the entire frame, only the animation layer changes.

So…in Synfig you could draw a background and square or circle object is a layer that can be moved around. If you encapsulate all the objects, then they become a layer with all the component layers inside.

Then you draw your character who is made up of different shapes. All the shapes (layers) in his arm can be encapsulated and renamed “Left Arm”. This can be done with arms, legs, body, head…anything. Then you can encapsulate all his bodyparts into a layer. By organizing this way, you can move layers in front of each other easily and animate component parts individually.

I’m sure it will click once you start going through a few tutorials.

Have fun,


you don’t know how thankful i am for your help - i’m having to learn a whole new jargon and toolset - i decided to ditch windows (other than the OS) so everything on the pc is gpl

ah - thanks - i’m just going out to have a cry - you open projects people inspire me and want to me make a better globale citizen.

i will even send you my first original animation so you can all laugh at it

foodmonkey says - if i had to choose from a rabbit just caught and a perfect tomatoe - give me the tom every time

OK - Morn gotcha - stupid stupid stupid - just the the layers of accetate that we used to create the artwork for our rather short and humble cartoon all those years ago - foodmonkey going to bang his head in the wall (again)

ok followed the advice in the tute - got several images (5) have constructed a lst file and opened a new canvas. import images layer…other - no dialog comes up. where’s synfig looking? - because i certainly don’t get to “browse” for my lst file - do i need to add the complete path into the “file param” - ie absolute rather than relative?

i just end up with a square boundry with no chance to import an image

the params, children … menu is open.

Two suggestions - On the canvas window, you can click the little button with the arrow in the top left hand corner, choose File, then Import - that will bring up the file browser dialog.

  • or -
    It sounds like you just added a new import Image layer with the add layer menu choice. If you look in the params dialog, there should be a filename entry near the bottom. It’s probably marked . If you horizontally expand the Value column (grab the right hand edge of the column header) and make it wide enough, you should get a button marked ‘find’. Click on that and you’ll get a file browser dialog box. It’s probably looking in the same directory as the Synfig executable to begin with.