I’ve had this pretty cool idea which might make Synfig pretty dang useful as an independent animation and video tool. Its magnificence would be its “simple-but-brilliant” interface that would allow animators to do simple yet VERY significant production/post-production work. We could start out with a basic functionality and develop slowly towards its greatest potential, especially with the power Synfig offers currently.
[size=150]Presenting, the Synfig Rendering System! [/size]expects some kind of an applause
Everyone knows that video editing is the bane of Linux, but that doesn’t mean we need to depend on the current unstable ones. Although Blender provides a good video system there’s NO tool in this world (even the proprietary) that can utilize the power that Synfig already possesses.
The rendering system I’m talking about is actually just an optional video editing software, similar to Windows Movie Maker or Adobe Premier (except it’s SIMPLE), but with a twist. Ordinary (both linear and non-linear) video editors work with raster frames and sound from file containers such as AVI, MP4, etc. but Synfig’s Rendering System would work directly with Synfig vectors. The advantage of this is…
- When working directly with imported .sifz Synfig vectors, since it’s not exactly Bitmap, it can be scaled as much as possible without quality loss.
- It saves the hassle of the traditional works, such as exporting video, arranging, composting and re-exporting. It can be directly imported within the system and one can start working on it (great for post-production).
- It’s heavily integrated with Synfig. The .sifz file appears as a video file, but can be edited on-the-fly by double clicking on it. This opens the file directly in Synfig, and any changes made in the file will influence the one imported within the timeline.
The editor would be as simple as the basic functionality as Adobe Premier. Non-linear workspace, Razor/Cut tool, Speed tool, transitions/opacity keyframing, video/raster/sound import and all those sorts, and that’s it. But what would make it “unique” is, well as you know it, import compatibility of vectors as frames, ability to have “blending modes” on layers and most of Synfig’s functionality. Half of the underlying code is the same as Synfig, thus the compatibility, but mostly renewed. The sifz “clips” will be edited as whole rather than individually.
But if the project feels ambitious they could also include Synfig’s blines and effects tools within the Rendering System to make it an After Effects for 2D animation.
Another (not necessary, but helpful) feature would be importing .blend 3D environs directly from Blender to Rendering System. Although working in a 2D workspace, the 3D environment could be useful for backgrounds that aren’t possible with mere panoramas. The lighting would be adjusted to 2D needs, of course. But THIS feature might require a lot of work and studying, so perhaps not yet.
And now for the rendering, what the software is actually all about!
Rendering and exporting of the frames from vector/effects/raster to video file might simply use file containers such as OGG, MP4 and MKV (I guess these are open formats). And since Synfig doesn’t support sound yet, the Rendering System might have options to import OGG Vorbis within.
The Rendering System is NOT in-built though, it’s merely an external tool but deeply integrated with Synfig and/or Blender. Hell I had more ideas for it, but right now I just wanna know what you guys think of it. It’s possible to do something like this basically because half of the potential, compatibility and coding is already there within Synfig but is not being utilized as the Rendering System could. I think it’s a cool idea because it wouldn’t need to depend on other softwares (especially proprietary), especially since the free ones lack a lot of functionality or aren’t stable enough.
Of course, to get the sound working perfectly I guess you’ll need help with programmers of Blender. I wish I was a programmer so I could make this system myself and help improve Synfig but my mind can’t go beyond art and writing.