Synfig:10 years Aniversary Animation!

Hi folks!

This years( 2016 ), Synfig celebrates( 2006-07-30 ), 10 years of existence from the First community release: 0.61.05
So… let’s make an collaborative animation about these 10 years?

We have 6 months of work, and I think that with this time we can do an amazing short film.
Well, let’s do it( with open source tools )?

We can simplify things to make it work, so we can work by Dropbox, Drive, copy, etc… and use a trello service for the tasks.
And we have these simple steps to create:

1-the main idea
2-the screenplay( celtx )
3-concepts( gimp, krita, mypaint)
4-storyboard(gimp, krita, mypaint)
6-animations( synfig)

This weekend I can organize these folders in one of these storage servicers( copy, mega, dropbox, drive ). So, you can choose one of these and we go on…

Edit 0.63.03 to 0.61.05.

Very good idea !

I am already thinking about a concept idea.

First thing that would be interesting, is not to do what all videos and animations about softwares do: they talk most time about features, the evolution, etc… I think we could just create an animation that shows those stuff without talking about them( it’s just there ! ).

Some themes( suggestions):

  • letter from the future( 10 years in the future a guy send a letter to himself in the past to help him create a revolutionary software )
  • the delivery (a small community(neighbors) helping the delivery of a cake to a 10 year old boy aniversary)
  • the “ten” works ( Heracles, a future robot( syntetic figure ), that must finish 10 tasks before the energy ends to save humans in cryogenic capsules)

That’s what a fast brainstorming give to me. You all can suggest…

Offtheme: Regardless of the “due date” and the fact that the very first release as open source software was earlier in time (and it has just passed) I still believe that the proposed date/year is great to celebrate the maturity of the software.

That’s great for a a game theme!


Hi Ricardo, I think that is a great idea make an animation to celebrate Synfig anniversary. Let me say that the story is very important in the majority of projects but in this in particular I was thinking, I don’t want a story, give me a visual explosion of what Synfig can do, give me a 30 seconds, or a minute, or whatever… Give me an intro of dreams, give me movement, give me an opening to the “anime” Synfig world! Give me female characters, robots, monsters: Character design! Give me an insane amount of layers action! Do not give me dialogue, give me a bad ass music with an epic ending!

Even if we can do just 10 seconds, I want to see the best 10 seconds of Synfig animation in the last ten years, Yeah :exclamation: . This also needs a script. But, a different one. I don’t know. Find me en G+. Write me what you think. Dropbox, Trello , perfect for me, I already used them.

Sounds like a great idea. I read a comic once in which each page or scene of the same story was drawn by a different author in a different style. Maybe something like that could work with the ten works concept and it would solve consistency problems. :smiley:

Hey Guys! Happy to read the posts!!
Many many good ideas.

I agree ebarranko, some kind of showing all that is possible. Something “fast and furious” maybe.
Darkspace65, I like this concept idea. Yeah, there’s a batman short animation made by lots of artists, and each one of them created one part of it.
So, we need one more step now. To define a base story and a screenplay.

The trello project link:

There’s a trello card named “brainstorming”, and we can suggest a lot of things there!!
For the Dropbox sharing folder, send me the email you want to use and I send the invitation

My google account is:
So we can schedule a hangout about that for the next week. What do you think about that?

I like the second (delivery) idea !

I also like that idea :slight_smile:

and also also that one …

In fact, i love the idea of the 10years animation… :slight_smile:

What do you think about contacting the originals creator on that occasion ?

Can we try to use free / open source software for every steps ? … maybe git for this one ?

Umm, taking a clue from Blender Production, the first thing to do is settle on a story and determine what amount of resources can be put into the project to make sure it can be finished.

Going by the previous suggestions of a birthday cake and a visual explosion, how about this: The Synfig Cake?

Start out with a stick figure putting lines into a pot and stirring. Progressively add in details with every shot, like a chef’s hat, circles that are marked with text saying they’re eggs becoming actual eggs, eyes popping on the face, switching hairs around. Maybe even do a shot with the human base that’s already implemented.

Eventually, as the cake is finished, the character making it turns out to be the little ten-year-old child. The cake is shaped like or just reminiscent of the Synfig logo, and as it’s taken out of the oven, other, larger characters step around and the child looks up with a weak smile. Sort of symbolising the new Synfig among the other, established animation programs.

Visually, any sort of silliness could be tossed into the cake. The backgrounds can have different levels of complications, too.

Technically, I guess a lot of it would just be animating visibility on layers. On the whole, it would show off some of the work that goes into making an animation, even allowing for use of storyboards in the final piece.

Hey!! Good things are blowing here!!

About the open source in all steps… I agree, but isn’t Git a little complicated ? We can use owncloud, no?

And I do not know an opensource to trello, but if we find one… It’ s better and I agree.

RaichuWizDom… nice ideas about the story. I like that. Yes, we need to organize. Blender projects production process is a good start for us.

So… for now we have only the Trello and dropbox. If you guys find others tools, it’ s fine for me. We will need to migrate later if it happens.

About the story, this cake idea is a good choice. If everybody agrees, we can go on with that.


I like so much this idea. I think it could be (of course with all our limitations) like open projects in Blender. It can be great for three main ways:

1º) It could be a great way of calling people for use the tool (Synfig).
2º) It helps to Synfig programmers for make things to Synfig that became useful in the process of the open animations.
3º) It could be useful for Synfig as it could bring financing: merchandising, promotion, video-tutorials (how to did things…), etc.

So, I’ll like to get in this.

I can main with concepts, storyboarding, backgrounds, …, all related with bitmap 2d. I have used GIMP, Krita.
I can main with vectorizing and animations. Synfig, of course. But I have used Inkscape, too.
I can help with video edition, too. I use KdenLive as NLE in my projects.

I’m going to get an account in Trello (I didn’t know about that). Using Dropbox is a good idea. It maintain a history of uploads.

I like the ideas for the story. I’ll prefer an animation with story. It have not to be a complex story (there are open project Blender very simplex) but a story help to maintain the project connected. In that way, I think that is a good idea that the project be led for only one person (Ricardo) taking final decisions and ways to work. It’s easiest to maintain and to finish well a project, thereby.

I agree with that.

In general the first thing to do is to agree the plot of the animation. Write it down on a plain text file and format it in scenes and shots.
This forum can be the source for that and once the host support is agreed, migrate to it.


can’t agree more.

Well… thanks for your trust in me.

As RaichuWizDom suggested, I think we now have a sketch for the story. I just think we need to work a litte bit more to create a distraction to the viewer, a promess and a overturn (maybe things should be not so easy), or a way to change the rhythm.

I can see the 3 main acts(moments) of the movie:

1- Act: preparation of the cake( decoration on it )

2- Act: cake goes to the oven ( just the hands hold it )

3- Act: cake removed from the oven by a boy (cake removed from the oven by the hands, the boy appear on the turn around to show his cake to some older people). Happy birthday song?

This is a good idea, but we need to have in mind that the rhythm is not fast, and the visual, takes, angles should create our impact.
If you all agree, we can go on with this idea. But we need to work a little bit more with the story. Anyway, congratulations RaichuWizXom, it’s a nice idea.

About the tools… I am still using dropbox and trello for now, but please, if any suggestions(open source) come, we can migrate.
Just a comment: I have tried in the past some trello alternatives(kanban structure), as dropbox alternatives; but some people have problems with one or other… so, to avoid problems I always suggest these ones. If you find good tools that works with all kind of systems( win, mac, linux ), would be great. I only use Linux here, but I know that others use other systems, and that’s fine for me. No problem with that. We all need to work with pleasure and confort.

About the project, as fenix mentioned… yes, It is an open source project. We can follow the Blender Institute recipe, with a DVD at the end. So We all can help Synfig to grow up a bit more.

So, we need a Blog( it can be an subdomain from ), making of stuff, a dvd / blu-ray with all content inside of it. All resolution movies, and source files under any open liscence. When finished, people can download for free the files, or donate to to get a physical DVD/Blu-ray. What do you think about that?

Totally agree with the blog, the open source license, making of stuff. I am still learning a lot related to Synfig just by watching and analyzing what others created. Not sure about the story yet. Kid baking cake… As a base it looks ok, and in sync with the anniversary, but kind of boring. Like Ricardo said, we need a distraction, change of rhythm. Some kind of surprise you don’t expect from someone baking something. Maybe the boy/girl can change into something else while making, decorating, baking the cake. For example transform into a mini super hero to show that when making animation you can become anything and anyone you want in your imagination. The change can occur more then once and into different things.

I’ve had another think on it, and the following came to mind.

There’s this exercise that gets cited in animation circles from time to time, regarding acting. If you can make a bag of sand convey emotion and make it act, that means you’re a good animator, or something.

So why not add a bag of flour that comes to life? Sort of a silent mentor character to the little baker. The first attempt is a grand, big birthday cake, and it collapses, or we just open on an absolute mess of a kitchen showing tonnes of failed attempts. Kid sits in corner, moping. The bag of flour comes to life and pats the kid on the back, then pats the workspace/table three times, each in a different spot: where the cookbook is, where the dough is mixed, and the oven, symbolising pre-production, production, post-production. Kitchen is cleaned up (proper ordering of assets). Second attempt has the kid try something smaller, more manageable, seen from the cookbook. Dough mixing and animating the flour bag can show off Synfig’s power in animating curves, while the human character can be animated a bit more rigidly, looking like a Flash character or a cut-out animation.

Once it comes out of the oven, what started out as a big cake and failed is now a pretty-looking small cupcake. The kid smiles, the bag conveys pride… and then the cupcake grows teeth and jumps off the table, growling like a gremlin. Confusion all around, until they lift up the book and show the cover, which has some markings on it to say it’s a spellbook, not a cookbook. Which would explain how the bag of flour is alive in the first place.

This idea would focus more on the theme of ‘small beginnings can lead to big things’ and ‘do things carefully, planned’. The idea of progressively making a character evolve from stick figure to full animation can be used or dropped, still, based on whether the short needs to stand on its own or be defined as just showing off Synfig features. Kind of like the difference between Elephant’s Dream and Big Buck Bunny.

I kind of goofed in my previous post, btw. I meant the book ‘Blender Production: Creating Short Animations from Start to Finish’. I’ve never made any animation myself (yet), but I’ve gone over the book several times, it’s really interesting. The main thing to avoid for a project like this is death by natural causes. So respecting the cycle of pre-production, production, and post-production is critical. Also technical feasibility: could this be done in the timeframe?

I like the idea of RaichuWizDom.

Connecting with it, what about if the story begin with a phone calling asking for a wonderful cake for a birthday (Synfig birthday)?

Our kid (protagonist) works as helper in a cute (and magic) bakery with an old baker. Our kid want to be the best baker but he only gets bad cakes (as said RaichuWizDom). When the phone calling comes, he is alone (the old bakery got out for something) in the bakery and he decides to attend the petition of the cake to show that he can be a good baker: «here enter the story of the flourbag and the magic book of RaichuWizDom».

Finally he gets the great cake helped by flourbag and the magic book, but he look at a clock and it’s very late. He must run for serve the cake where the phone calling said. He runs (in a bicycle could be cool) throw the town dodging people and vehicles.

At the end, he gets the place (a park) with the cake save where Synfig people wait happy… Our protagonist open the box of the cake showing the text: Happy 10 years, Syfnig! Everybody put a surprised and funny face for the mistake but “magically” letter n change with f and everybody is happy again. Our kid breathes calm.

With this, we have variety of characters and a lot of situations for make a short not bored. It could be hard, but I think it could be really funny to animate and draw it.

I was waiting for the ideas in the Brainstorming card, I wrote mine there and I lost a few ones here because I stopped read the forum.

Ricardo, to lead the project? Yes of course!

Git? Git is great for a different kind of project, software project or manage your own versions of files work, but for an animation or media project not much.

Trello and dropbox: These are just, organization and stored files solutions, they’re fine. We should use them, because these work well with different platforms, and different people with different kind and level of knowledge.

I proposed an idea in the Trello Brainstorming card about the opening animation, using characters from the past, present and “new ones”. Like a tribute for the previous Synfig projects, and a look forward or a provocation for hypothetical future ones. Then was told that a good idea, was growing here and I came to read.

A physical media DVD/Blu-ray: We need a good product first. What resolution, is for now the only important decision, then we can decide if it will be a web video, or laser disc, or a VHS, or a zip folder with hexadecimal password in a forgotten external drive.

Cake/boy/flour sac, theme: I don’t feel it. Maybe, is my lack of imagination. But, I can’t see it interesting, maybe I need a little drawings to help me to follow and engage the vision. Doesn’t matter I’ll help anyway.

woah…well…this is really interesting!..

id be so honored to contribute !..^^ great idea …

i wanna join!.