Refreshing Synfig?

I’m considering creating my own language file for Synfig. Perhaps as an unofficial, alternative offer for beginners or changing customers.

Many users (newcomers) of whom I read in forums describe Synfig as follows: “Synfig is so different from everything I know…, after 2 hours I gave it up.”

I’m not interested in discrediting Synfig, but in making it better for everyone and maybe a new generation, interest and developers. The idea is to create an easier to understand description of options, taking into account general rules of comparable products. More contemporary.

Example 1: What are items? It can only be Nodes, can’t it? Or can I add gold coins, crystals, kettles or other things with it? (Path right click - Insert Items) Inkscape, Gimp, Blender, Illustrator etc.: No Items, only Nodes. Maybe Vertices, but no items.

Example 2: New Layer (Layer right click - New Layer). For my taste, a new layer means a new layer, for new separate objects. Aren’t the layers in Synfig more like Modifiers? Like in Blender- Add Modifier. This would automatically give rise to the sense and concept of grouping.

In my opinion, the result of such names are horrendous translations and adventurous language files that lead to all kinds of misunderstandings.
For example, this results in a German program interface as a small disaster. The source for this is of course the somewhat strange English surface.

Do I see it alone? Any other thoughts besides me? Is there a general interest?

As you said “Synfig is so different from everything”
Just to talk about Layers, some can be considered as Nodes, some others as Modifiers…
And in the “Old Good Time” Handles were called Ducks :mrgreen:
As Synfig in an Open Source software, you can even modify it and build you own flavour

Good luck :laughing:

This one is likely due to the fact that path in synfig is not much more than a list of vertices and lists can (at least in theory) be of different type and contains different kind of “items”.

There are other kind of nodes in synfig: value nodes. So it may cause confusion as well.

As developer who gave up on synfig, i can say it’s the least issue synfig has in term of development.

Blender’s modifiers are connected to object, synfig’s “modifying” layers are not. The direct analogy would be filter layers in e.g. krita. And yeah, they are called layers there too.

Maybe some of the things that are implemented through layers shouldn’t be implemented that way, but that’s not question of terminology.

As far as i’m concerned, i wouldn’t recommend using translated interface for any kind of complex software for anyone who has at least basic english knowledge (and maybe even those who don’t). Even if you’re not planning any international collaboration, using localized versions means cutting yourself off the bigger community and knowledge base. I know many would disagree though.

All in all, i’m not saying that the problems you mention do not exist. But in my opinion they are really minor.

But if you’re willing to propose fixes for them, you’re welcome to make PRs at

Hi folks

Thank you for the many enlightening answers and effort.

I fully share that opinion. I always advise all those seeking help to use Blender in the English language. Translations, whether by non-professionals or experts (see for example Adobe products) can sometimes only be curious and no longer look professional. The loss of exchange in the community is added to this.

I’ve read about you and your efforts here on several occasions. I’m a scripter, unfortunately no coder, but I can imagine what you mean.

I am convinced of that. I also knew that I could not inspire developers with a small idea. It was more of a wishful dream that Synfig could do something similar, because basically I find it a good thing and like to use it (up to a certain degree). Blender has comparatively a lot of money and so the milestone Release 2.5 could be reached at that time. Blender literally exploded with new enthusiasm. Later Cycles was added.

A one-man gang can’t afford it, of course.

I am a media designer and 3D artist. I like to use and support open source software. Against the superiority of certain corporations and their (buying up & stomping and generally) practices. I use commercial software only involuntary, under duress, at my place of work, only against payment :smiley:
I categorically execute all my own projects in OpenSource.

I will meditate again on the subject. :slight_smile:
Thank you very much and see you soon.

Edit: Thanks BobSynfig for the Terminology-Link