FAQ

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General FAQs

Who is synfigbot at the Synfig IRC channel?

synfigbot is a bot that sits in the Synfig IRC channel, not a human. It has some commands and can respond to some of the usual questions like: "What's the latest Synfig Studio version?" One of its funnier commands is to quote past funny comments from people at the IRC. To make it remember a quote, just type: !q. Please be nice with it, it is still learning. ;)

Why are the CIA in the Synfig IRC channel?

"CIA-28" and friends are bots that sit in the Synfig IRC channel and report whenever they detect a new commit in the subversion repository, giving the committer's name, revision number, and commit log message. The same information for recent commits can be found on cia.vc. ohloh.net has similar pages of statistics.

FAQs relating to the current Synfig release

Many issues are documented in the bug tracker and on the Download page.

What is the status of the MacOS package?

Proud to build a native MacOS package, so nothing else than "official" package is needed.

Is there any Flash/SWF support?

Unfortunately not. Patches are welcome though. Please Contact us to discuss your plans for adding SWF support so we can give any advice needed.

What is Synfig Studio native file format?

Synfig Studio uses its own file formats: ".sif" and ".sifz". Sif is a synfig project file while sifz is a compressed (gzipped) sif file. As Sifs are (just) human readable XML, you can save some disk space choosing the compressed one when you save your animations.

There is also the ".sfg" format, introduced with the Synfig Studio 1.0 release, is the synfig package animation format. Among animation data it can store externals images in a zip kind format.

For deep informations about the Synfig Studio native file format, have a look to this page.

There is no (known) link between other .sif file formats or this one. ...

Why doesn't synfig use SVG format?

Svg file format come from World Wide Web Consortium, they <troll on>try to<troll off> take care of standards around the big net....I'm not convicted that creating animated SVG, they were thinking in terms of film quality animation .... like synfig aims to produce ... in other terms, Sif is more than animated SVG.

Work has been done to implement Cairo render to Synfig that eventually would allow to export without too much effort to SVG as well as to PDF and others back ends. It is very simple to add SVG export just coding a similar exporter like the current PNG one. Anyone want to code that SVG exporter?

Always taking in mind that you'll lose some native Synfig goodies in the process. Export to SVG (animated or not) could be a great feature to have (in terms of workflow / open format support), although you lose some features.

Procedure entry point ... could not be located?

If you are on Windows and it says "the procedure entry point_ZN6synfig5Color7set_hexERSs could not be located in the dynamic link library libsynfig-0.dll" that means you forgot to upgrade synfig when you upgraded synfigstudio. Due to the dependency systems on Linux you will probably not get this there unless your distro has broken packages. Be sure to install the latest version of synfig and synfigstudio.

If you get the same error but with gtk, glib, iconv.dll or libxml2.dll you should look for old versions of these DLLs in your Windows directory and rename them to iconv.dll.bak and libxm2.dll.bak etc.

libsynfig-0.dll was not found

If you get the error message "libsynfig-0.dll was not found" please check that you have synfig (as well as synfig studio) correctly installed.

Can I do anything to improve the stability of synfigstudio?

If you're running on a Hyperthreading or multi-core CPU (e.g Pentium 4 with Hyperthreading or Intel Core2 Duo or Quadcore, etc.) then you may find Synfig is more stable if you restrict it to run on only one processor. Since version 0.62.01 the stability under Windows has increased noticiably. The single thread renderer option has been enabled by default in Synfig Studio.

How do I do this on Windows?

To do this on windows, start Synfig Studio, then press Ctrl-Shift-Esc this will start the 'Windows Task Manager', alternatively you can press Ctrl-Alt-Del and choose 'Task Manager'. Select the processes tab, find synfigstudio.exe in the processes list and right click on it. Choose 'Set Affinity...' and make sure only one CPU is checked. Unfortunately, this setting isn't preserved so you either have to do this manually each time you start Synfig Studio or use a tool such as the Tom's Hardware Guide Task Assignment Manager.

How do I do this on Linux?

On linux, you need to install schedutils.

Then run synfigstudio like this:

taskset -c 0 synfigstudio

Or if you have synfigstudio open already, run this:

taskset -p -c 0 `pgrep synfigstudio`

Why can't I get sound to work?

Synfig GUI implies that sound files can be loaded and played with the animation previews, to aid with e.g. lip synching. Synfig relies on a helper library called MLT, libavcodec and their dependencies. Sound can be imported like other supported medias. Have a look to Sound Layer.

What about Jack audio server ?

Also you can synchronized your animation threw the JAck audio server, have a look to this video tutorial.

How do I render moving pictures from Synfig under Windows

FFMPEG is now distributed as an optional component of the Windows installer (installed by default). If you're looking for a file to include on a web page, rendering to an animated gif file also works (although you may want to use a quality setting of 6 or higher to avoid rendering artifacts). For mpg, there are a couple of options.

  • Use the ffmpeg render target in Synfig to render to an mpg file, or
  • If you want more control over the final video file, the best solution may be to render to a sequence of png files and use a separate program, such as the command line version of ffmpeg, to assemble them to a video file. This could also allow you to incorporate an audio track in the same step.

Be careful where you choose to save your rendered file. If you save it to an area where Microsoft doesn't think you should be writing (like "c:\" or "c:\Program Files\.." etc.) it will pretend to let you, but in fact save it to another location to save yourself. You can find it using a file search, but it won't be where you thought it was. Be safe - save to the desktop or a folder under "c:\Users\yourname\..."

I have a weird problem building from source. What's up?

Did you read the developer doc ?

Your copy of pkg-config probably doesn't look in the right places for .pc files. If you are installing to /usr/local, try running "export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig" before building or installing anything.

Also, you can post a message to the development mailing list.

Why does only the first frame of my animation render?

You probably have Use current frame checked in the render dialog box.

Why no colors available besides white ?

You should have to look around the Gamma Preferences.

Check out this: "<Menu> → <Edit> → Preferences → Gamma" from the Preferences Dialog.

  • Be sure the three color sliders are set to 2.2
  • Black level in the Gamma setup should be 0 and not 100 percent

Why don't I get the colors I'm expecting?

This Wikipedia article talks about how color output is non-linear, that if 0 is black and 100 is white, then 50 is only about 22 percent of the brightness of white, rather than 50% as you might expect.

In synfig there is an option (on by default) to make sure that if you ask for 50, you get 50% of the brightness of white.

See "<Edit> → <Preferences>" which would open the Preferences Dialog. Then go to the Misc tab and to the "Visually Linear Color Selection" checkbox. If you turn that off, everything will go back to its non-linear, yet strangely comfortable and familiar mode.

Why when I create more than one shape, the other one dissapears from the canvas, but its still on the layer bar ?

Take a look to the "blend method" to check if it's set to some other one than composite.

You like to read also New Layer Defaults and Blend Method Parameter pages.

Why doesn't the rotate tool rotate rectangles layers?

The Rotate Tool works on Handle. The Rectangle Layer works by drawing horizontal and vertical lines between the two Handles, so when the rotate tool is used with a rectangle it only rotates the Handles around the rotation point, but the lines of the rectangle are still horizontal and vertical. What you are probably looking for is the Rotate Layer.

Good to know, the Rotate Tool has an Region Layer option which allow the behavior you might expect.

Tablet doesn't track as expected

When using some programs you may find that the mouse may not track as you would expect. Synfig, Inkscape and Gimp are ones that I have used that will give odd tracking. When drawing with the mouse the actual drawing is some distance from the cursor and when you use the pen the drawing is drawn where the cursor is. This can be easily fixed with the software that came with the tablet.

When using the tablet software that came with the graphire 4 tablet you will find that it uses two different tracking methods for the mouse and pen and these two tracking methods are called Mouse Mode and Pen Mode.

The Pen Mode uses absolute positioning, that means the active drawing area of the tablet is in proportion to the whole screen. Wherever you move the pen the cursor will move to the corresponding point on the screen, wether you drag the pen or you pick up the pen and move it to a new location that cursor will move or jump to where the pen is.

The Mouse Mode uses a positioning system similar to a traditional mouse where you can pick up and slide the mouse where you wish and the cursor will follow the mouse as it is moved. It will not jump to new locations on the screen even if you pick up the mouse and place it in a new position on the tablet, the cursor will just continue from it's last position.

In the case of the Wacom Graphire 4 tablet that I'm using in Windows XP I needed to open the program called Pen Tablet and change the settings for the mouse. To do this open Pen Tablet and you will see four tabs, click the tab marked Mouse and you will find a box called Tracking with two options. One is Pen Mode and the other is Mouse Mode. Select the Pen Mode and the mouse will now use absolute positioning.

Why does the Text Tool make Synfig Studio crash?

Occassionally, some users report that Synfig Studio crashes whenever the Text Tool is selected. This is caused by one or more of their currently installed fonts being corrupted or containing non-standard data.

Once the these fonts are uninstalled, the Text Tool will work correctly.

Can i change user interface language to english?

Synfig respect the Operating System language, great point you can say... but sometime users just want english user interface (helpful to follow tutos' for example). You can do that easily using the language selection box from the preference dialog "<File> → <Preference> → <Misc>"..

Nota: this way can force another languages.

Why using skeleton deformation layer parts of the image are disappearing?

If parts of the image are disappearing when you enable the Skeleton Deformation Layer (and have checked that you don't have Cairo rendering enabled), is't surely because the image is cropped by bone influence area. You need to turn off bone distortion layer (from the Layers Panel, select it, enable width handles (Alt5) and set the influence area for each bone.


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