Open-source 2D Animation Software
- VECTOR TWEENING: Transform any vector shape into another! Synfig gives you powerful tools for full control on your vector artwork. Just set the key positions and in-between frames will be calculated automatically.
- LAYERS AND FILTERS: Synfig provides 50+ layers to create artwork and animation of any complexity. Choose from various layer types: geometric, gradients, filters, distortions, transformations, fractals and others.
- BONES: Full-featured bone system allows to create cutout animation using bitmap images or control your vector artwork. Use additional Skeleton Distortion layer to apply complex deformations to bitmap artwork.
- ADVANCED CONTROLS: You can link parameters of various layers – directly or through mathematical expressions. This allows you to create advanced character puppets and other dynamic structures.
Synfig Studio (also known as Synfig) is a free and open-source 2D vector graphics and timeline-based computer animation program created by Robert Quattlebaum with additional contributions by Adrian Bentley.
Synfig began as the custom animation platform for Voria Studios (now defunct), and in 2005 was released as free/open source software, under the GNU General Public License.
As a true front-end and back-end application, it is possible to design the animation in the front-end, Synfig Studio, and to render it at a later time with the backend, Synfig Tool, on another (potentially faster) computer without a graphical display connected. Incremental and parallel rendering with Synfig Tool is supported by some open source render farm management software, such as RenderChan.
The goal of the developers is to create a program that is capable of producing “feature-film quality animation with fewer people and resources.” The program offers an alternative to manual tweening so that the animator does not have to draw each and every frame.
The software is capable of simulating soft-shading using curved gradients within an area so that the animator doesn’t have to draw shading into every single frame. There is also a wide variety of other real-time effects that can be applied to layers or groups of layers like radial blurs, color tweaks that all are resolution-independent. Other features include the ability to control and animate the width of lines at their individual control points, and the ability to link any related data from one object to another. Synfig also works with High Dynamic Range Imaging.
Synfig stores its animations in its own XML file format, often compressed with gzip. These files use the filename extension .sif (uncompressed), .sifz (compressed) or .sfg (zip container format). The files store vector graphics data, embed or reference external bitmap images, and also a revision history of the project.
Synfig can render to video formats such as AVI, Theora and MPEG, as well as animated graphics formats such as MNG and GIF. It can also render to a sequence of numbered image files, using formats such as PNG, BMP, PPM and OpenEXR.
From version 0.62.00, Synfig has basic support for SVG import.
From version 0.91 Inkscape can save as .sif file format.
Since May 2008, a group of Russian volunteers have been trying to make an animation movie project called the Morevna Project using Synfig, based on the folk-tale of Marya Morevna re-invented as a science fiction anime. They have been making regular updates since then on the Morevna project site, including a demo video released on November 10, 2012. Free Software Magazine contained an article on the project.
It was originally called SINFG, a recursive acronym for “SINFG Is Not A Fractal Generator”, referring to the software’s capability of generating fractal imagery in addition to animation.