Timetrack and waypoints


I´m starting to use Synfig as an animation tool for classes. My biggest problem is getting around timetrack concept of keyframes (that black, white or outlined triangle pointing down. They mess with all keyframes!) and the strange behavior of removing/deleting keyframes or waypoints: at times it deletes all keys on a spline and sometimes does nothing or removes only a few ones. From nothing (apparently!) removing keyframes gives a message informing that is a mismatch os bad timing (or something of this effect).

Could someone point me to a tutorial or a CLEAR documentation about the very particular animation workflow in Synfig?

Hi, Using way points can be frustrating at times. They work well if it’s a single object you are animating, but when you have groups and such you’ll end up with what you explained. What I would recommend is, just add keyframes manually. If I’m animating the first thing I do is delete that default keyframe and with animate turned on, I position the object where I want or move, then move it slightly to activate a keyframe, then move on from there. I do not add it from the properties panel. The issue is that each layer doesn’t have it’s own independent waypoint, so if you have two separate layers each having waypoints on the same frames and you alter one, it will affect both layers. You can delete the keyframe itself though, by right clicking in the timeline and removing it. If you do that, the waypoint will remain but you’ll only be affecting the animation of the layer you want. Hope this helps

https://wiki.synfig.org/Keyframe :wink:

To make simple:

  • Keyframes are “absolute markers”
  • Waypoint are markers “relative” to Keyframes

Try to set some waypoints between two keyframes.
Move a keyframe to the left or the right.
You will see waypoints keep the same position relative position between them, accordion-like effect :wink:

Thank for your sugestions! I found synfig overenginered, somewhat unpredicable and, above all, overcomplicated. Its very powerful on specs but very hard to implement solutions for an animation of medium complexity. I was animating a spline (with auto region) to create a rotoscoped mask and the experience was frustrating. With five diferent shapes in the mask, it became a mess to control the vertices. If the timeline controls were simplified and a real per layer control was present, the experience would be more pleasent and produce more enjoyable results.

Sorry to be so negative about the animation tools but i loved the concept of groups use especific blend modes and became frustrate as I was learning to use Synfig. I realized that I was wraping my head around the convoluted way Synfig works instead of concentrating in creating movement. And this is coming from someone who used Alias PowerAnimator, Softimage 3D, Wavefront Composer, some Flint/Flame, Puffing Design Commotion, the old Autodesk Animator (and it was hell to learn but fun and fast to use) in the past and I´m quite familiar with Maya and the Open Source packages Blender, Inkscape, Krita and Opentoonz (and, oops, have my subscription to Adobe CC. Sight…)
I love to use free and open source software to teach here in Brazil. I was using Opentoonz in my classes but it couldnt run in all the student’s equipament in this era of remote classes. Synfig software renderer is amazing for compatibility with older hardware (not so good for canvas interaction but nobody is perfect! :slight_smile: ). What opentoonz is a joy to teach the animation process and is relatively easy to understand, Synfig introduces overcomplication and a very steep curve to learn to do the basics! How to explain the TBC concept to a student? Shold I use Autodesk’s Max documentation for this?

Even Blender, since 2.8 launch, has become easier to use - and becoming more powerful. Please, tell me if there is plans to create a beter timeline and more friendly way to interact with keyframes. It would attract more people to use Synfig and maybe bring more funds to help software development.

Sorry for the ranting and frustration. I want to use Synfig and inkscape (a very nice pair) more often!

PS: Synfig 1.3.16 has been solid on my machine running Win10. It crashes but its not as frequent as other builds - even the old stable release.

I do understand your frustration and I agree with most of your statement. I have started using synfig more and more because it won’t get the attention it needs unless professionals use it so others can see the value of using this powerful software. From what i’ve seen the developers are working hard. The team is small, but they are dedicated. So let the issues be known, but continue to explore the software. I started making tutorials because I realized that there was a lot people didn’t know about synfig and I want to give it some amount of exposure. You can speak to @KonstantinDmitriev about your concerns.

I agree that it’s complicated, but I see the potential Synfig has and I want to be on board when it finally becomes famous xD