Synfig Studio vs Synfig

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In the Synfig Project there are two main tools:

  • Synfig: The command line renderer
  • Synfig Studio: The graphical user interface (GUI)

Both applications uses the synfig libraries to render the output animation. The first one (Synfig) just coverts an animation composition into a movie file and the second one (Synfig Studio) is a GUI that help to the user to create the animation composition and save it to a source file.

Synfig Animation file format

It is not the interest of this article to show you how's the synfig animation file format. For the moment you should only need to know that the file extension is .sif and that it is XML formatted text file. For space saving it is saved and loaded un gzip format under the extension of .sifz. If you're interested in learn more about synfig file format or want to contribute to its definition visit this page.

Synfig the CLI renederer

Although Synfig CLI (command line intereface) is an independent application from Synfig Studio it is worth to have it installed in your system. The syntax of usage is the typical one with optional parameters that just need a input file and an output filename in most of the cases. One of the things that makes synfig CLI great is the ability to render large files without take your computer with your attention. Also if the render is quite long and there is any possible error (for example power supply) you can always continue rendering later using the CLI in where the animation render ended. It is only possible if you use a image sequence render target. Also, for modern computers with several cores, if you tell to the renderer the proper values, you can run several simultaneous instances to decrease drastically the render time. It has not been developed but it is possible to create render farms to increase render time for huge movies. If you're interested on synfig CLI call syntax, please visit it here.

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