Synfig at HeroesCon 2010!

This past weekend I was at HeroesCon 2010 in Charlotte, NC, USA, to promote my Creepspace project. One of my promotional elements was a book trailer that I looped on a laptop for passersby to see. The trailer not only allowed me to talk about my own project, but I got to talk a good bit about how it was made as well. That allowed me to talk up open source software in general and Synfig in particular (along with Pencil, Inkscape, Gimp, Blender, and more). Anyway, I have to do some more refining before I put the trailer online, but you can see a bit of it in this podcast:

My part starts at about the 5:00 mark and cut me some slack: it was the first day and I was really exhausted! :open_mouth:

I’m also supposed to do a podcast sometime in July about animating with open source software, so I’ll get to talk about Synfig then as well. I’ll post about that if and when it happens.


Hey muhkayoh! the book trailer looks awesome! is there any chance to watch it carefully?

Thanks, Genete! I plan to post it on the web soon, but first I need to fix a few things that I didn’t finish in time for HeroesCon. :smiley:


I agree with Genete. Congratulations for your work.

Thanks, Rafael! It’s going to be a while before I have time to rework this trailer, so I uploaded the rushed one just for you guys to see. It has so many things I want to fix that I don’t even know where to begin, but here it is so far:

It was made with a combination of Synfig/Pencil/Inkscape/Gimp for the video portions.


Awesome! :open_mouth:

Wow!!! :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth:

You guys are too kind. :slight_smile: You know how it is: there’s the vision you have in your head and then there’s what you can actually do with your limited skills and deadlines. Like I said, I still hope to improve it a bit before a general release later this summer.


you know, it doesn’t mind at all how much you think your skills are limited, you still made a pretty good job and i should say is one of those things that inspire people, at least i feel very inspired for keep working on my projects, congrats!!

We should just use this as the new demo reel! Awesome work.


yeh, that trailer is looking really good already… can’t see where you’d want to make improvements
great job

@pixelgeek and saorsa: Thanks for the votes of confidence, guys! As for what to fix, it’s mostly little things (and one or two medium-sized things) that I think would help the overall mood and flow. Plus, I learned at HeroesCon that my current book cover for the first book isn’t scary enough to interest most 9-12 year-old kids (though it really captivated the 6-8 crowd). So I’m going back to the drawing board on the cover which may, in turn, lead to more changes in the trailer approach. I’ll just have to see.

I’m also noticing a low noise rumble in parts of the audio on YouTube that aren’t evident in the original file. I’ll have to figure out what’s causing that and fix it too.

@Genete (or any other admin): I didn’t originally intend to post the movie on this thread but, since I did, feel free to move this to a more appropriate forum if necessary. Works in Progress would be my choice.



Topic moved as requested!


Awesome work muhkayoh. I really like the general atmosfear (sorry :confused: ), your drawing style and the coherence of the whole trailer.

When you find some time any pointer / link / tutorial on “quick and dirty but working” lipsync is welcome… as I really like the effect you got.

thanks again for this inspiring work.

Thanks, berteh!

My basic approach to lip sync is fairly old-fashioned. I take my dialog into JLipSync and work out the timing. In addition to saving out an x-sheet from JLipSync, I write out an actual paper x-sheet so I can easily refer to it later. (As a side note, you could also use Papagayo for this step. Papagayo is slicker and more polished than JLipSync, but I find JLipSync to be more flexible.)

Then I just use that x-sheet to animate the dialog by hand. I usually don’t use the list importer method because I want to be able to make specific shapes (and sometimes specific breakdown shapes) that fit the dialog and acting. (Not that I’m particularly good at this last part yet, but it’s the goal that counts. :wink: )

One other thing: I’m still new to animation in general and I’m still developing both my drawing/animating skills and, on top of that, a decent work flow with open source software. So far, though, I’m finding that for character animation in particular, I wind up using a mix of Synfig and Pencil - Synfig if the motion is simple or cyclical, Pencil if it’s more eccentric. That in turn means that some of the dialog gets animated in Pencil and, as such, it’s not auto-tweened. So, to make dialog consistent across a project, I usually use constant interpolation for dialog in Synfig and animate any passing positions manually, so as to give it a slightly more traditional animation feel. That may all change as I get better at the process, but that’s how I do it for now.

To check the timing on dialog for a finished sequence, I set up a file in the Blender VSE with my image sequence from Synfig (or Pencil, as the case may be) and the dialog sound clip. The cool thing about this set up is that Blender just references the assets, so if I update the image sequence by outputting a new sequence from Synfig, that update is automatically reflected in Blender.

For what it’s worth, a while back I wrote about my work flow over at the Pencil forum: … php?id=792

That’s still mostly accurate, though I’m slowly increasing what I can do with character animation directly in Synfig. I’ve also finally started learning to use Blender for animation (as opposed to just using it to edit video) and I’m looking forward to discovering how it may fold back into a 2D project.


thanks Matt, for the time you took writing these info down and for the inspiration!