Open Source and Linux provide rewarding surprises. And one of these surprises is the software Synfig.
What is Synfig
Synfig is the creation of Robert Quattlebaum
, the main developer. He spent three years perfecting the software and his intention was to use it in his animation company, Voria Studios.
He left high school and began attending a technical course at DigiPen Institute of Technology
, an educational institution specialized in games, digital arts and engineering, located in Redmond, Washington. He became well respected by both teachers and his colleagues, for programming in an elegant and clean manner.
While at DigiPen Institute, Robert has expanded his horizons, and became interested in digital arts and anime.
While studying animation, he felt the need for a software that could help him with every step of the creation, design, storyboard, etc …
When he asked a colleague of his what software could be used, was surprised with the options that existed, and none of them satisfied him.
That began what would be the development of the software Synfig, and soon after leaving the DigiPen institute, he founded his company, which would sell his idea and his software, Synfig.
The Video that started it all
What Synfig Does
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.
The goal of the developers is to create a program that is capable of producing “feature-film quality animation with fewer people and resources.”
With Synfig, the animator draws the so-called Key Frames and instructs the program how to do the motion to the next Key Frame . Synfig, the program, generates the animations between frames, the so called tweening. Thus, the work becomes much easier, taking the repetitive and tiresome tasks from humans.
In its latest version, 0.62.01, from 31.05.2010, the Synfig started to have a seamless integration with SVG graphics and can be easily used in conjunction with InkScape, where the artist uses InkScape to generate the Key Frames and Synfig does the animation.
Synfig exports the animations in the following formats: AVI, Theora, MPG, MNG and GIF.
Since May 2008, a group of Russian volunteers has been working to make an animation film project called Project Morevna. They have done regular updates on the site Morevnaproject
. The Free Software Magazine recently published an article about the project.
The project Morevna not only uses Synfig, but also Blender to create the models of vehicles and landscapes, and to animate the 2D characters, Synfig
Demo Reel Project Morevna
Now you can make animations in Linux without the need for the Adobe Flash software, which was the only way to create animations easily.