Over the last couple of years, I have experimented with several different examples of free, shareware or affordable animation software programs. I’m considering having a look at Synfig but have always been put off by so many reports of problems either installing it or keep it running. These are some of the programs I’ve used so far, together with a few notes so any Synfig users can compare them with what they know.
CREATOON 3 (Was commercial but is now freeware. No longer supported.). Intended almost exclusively for cut-out style animation and uses effective forms of pinning and layers. It takes a while to learn but works well … although some users report stability problems. (I’ve never had difficulties with it). Does not use any form of ‘bones’.
EXPRESS ANIMATOR (Shareware with free 2 week trial) Still under development and designed for Flash-style animation. Uses a form of pinning and bones but isn’t yet functional enough for using with a long project.
ARTOONIX (Free version but with access to additional functions such as ‘tweening’ when registered). Can be used for both drawn and cut-out style animation. Has neither pinning nor bones and although originally designed for children, is now perfectly usable by experienced animators. Has probably the best sound-functions of any animation software; allowing perfect synchronisation of sound and animation. There are a lot of examples on Youtube, including some of mine (under another username).
ANIME STUDIO PRO (commercial). I won’t detail this software here as it has no free version - but there is plenty of info on the SmithMicro homepage. It is famous for it’s detailed implementation of bones.
So - users of Synfig - any comparative comments? Is Synfig worth trying when viewed alongside these programs?