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Le note sulle immagini indicano ancora la versione inglese di Synfig Studio, nel testo è descritta già la versione italiana.

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La versione in italiano di Synfig Studio è, al momento, solo disponibile per linux.

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All'apertura di Synfig Studio, verrà mostrata la seguente finestra:

Default interface layout of Synfig Studio

I componenti principali dell'interfaccia di Synfig Studio sono:

  • Strumenti — è la finestra principale di Synfig Studio. Chiudendola si chiude l'applicazione. Contiene i menù di sistema e i pulsanti, gli strumenti e tutto ciò che serve per generare e modificare le tue opere.
  • Tele — qui verranno visualizzate le tue opere e le animazioni.
  • Pannelli — contiene gli strumenti e alcune informazioni relative al tuo progetto. Alcuni pannelli ti permetteranno di modificare tali elementi.


Se la disposizione della tua interfaccia di Synfig Studio è diversa, è fortunatamente facile reimpostarla come quella visualizzata. Nel menu "File" di Strumenti seleziona "Pannelli → Ripristino finestre con disposizione originale".
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La finestra al centro è quella chiamata Finestra Tela. Ad ogni avvio di Synfig Studioviene aperta una nuova Finestra Tela. Questa finestra rappresenta la Tela Radice, questo di dirà poco al momento, ma va bene così — Stiamo solo facendo una panoramica. Nell'angolo superiore sinistro della Finestra Tela, vedrai un pulsante con il Simbolo di Menù Tela. Se premi questo pulsante, comparirà il Menu della Finestra Tela. (A proposito, se clicchi con il tasto destro del mouse nell'area della tela e non c'è un piano sotto il mouse, questo menù apparirà anche qui.) Così sai dove è il più importante menù tela. Bene.

Le altre due finestre (una in basso, l'altra a destra) sono personalizzabili finestre di dialogo agganciabili. Ognuna di queste finestre contiene un gruppo dipannelli, disposti orizzontalmente o verticalmente. Alcuni pannelli condividono lo stesso spazio all'interno della finestra di dialogo agganciabile e tu puoi passare dall'una all'altra cliccando sulla loro etichetta. Puoi risistemare i contenuti come desideri trasinando l'etichetta della scheda dove vuoi. E' sempre possibile creare una finestra di dialogo agganciabile trascinando un'etichetta fuori della sua finestra di dialogo agganciabile.

Se accidentalmente chiudi un pannelo (trascinandolofuori dalla finestra di dialogo agganciabile, echiudendo la nuova finestra di dialogo agganciabile creata), non preoccuparti. Semplicemente vai su Strumenti, seleziona"File → Panels → Pannelli" nel menù strumenti e clicca sul nome del pannello che ti serve.

I pannelli più importanti sono:

  • Pannello Piani — Questo pannello mostra la gerarchia dei piani della tela su cui lavori. Ti permette anche di gestire i piani.
  • Pannello Parametri — Questo pannello mostra i parametri del piano attualmente selezionato. Quando sono selezionati più di un piano, verranno visualizzati solo i parametri comuni a tutti i piani.
  • Pannello Opzioni Strumento — Questo pannello mostra tutte le opzioni specifiche dello strumento selezionato.
  • Navigatore — Questo pannello mostra una miniatura della tela selezionata. Da qui puoi anche variare l'ingrandimento e spostare l'area di dettaglio visualizzata.
  • Pannello Storia — Questo pannello mostra la storia della sequenza delle azioni eseguite sul lavoro corrente. Puoi anche modificare le azioni nella sequenza storica.

Vi sono molti pannelli in Synfig Studio. Se non conosci le funzionalità di un pannello, semplicemente tieni posizionato il mouse sulla sua icona ed apparirà un etichetta con la sua descrizione.

Under the hood

Synfig Studio, like most every other competent graphics program, breaks down individual elements of a canvas into layers. However, it differs from other programs in two major ways:

Layers Panel
  1. An individual layer in Synfig usually represents a single "Primitive". I.e. a single region, an outline of a region, an imported image, etc... This allows you to have a great deal of flexibility and control. It is not uncommon for a composition to have hundreds of layers (organized into a hierarchy for artist's sanity of course).
  2. A layer can not only composite information on top of the image below it, but also distorts and/or modify it in some other way. In this sense, Synfig's Layers act much like filters do in Adobe Photoshop or the GIMP. For example, we have a Blur Layer, Radial Blur Layer, Spherize Layer, Color Correct Layer, Bevel Layer, etc...

Each layer has a set of parameters which determine how it behaves. When you click on a layer (either in the canvas window, or in the illustrated Layers Panel), you will see its parameters in the Params Panel.

Synfig Studio has an autorecovery feature. If it crashes, even if the current file has not been saved, it will not lose more than 5 minutes of work. At restart it will automatically prompt the user to recover the unsaved changes. Unfortunately history isn't recovered yet.

Development Notes:

You may find that Synfig Studio is SLOW, making it practically unusable on hardware that is over 3 years old even if it behaves acceptably on recent hardware. The biggest reason for this is that all of the color calculations are done in floating point — to enable High-Dynamic-Range Imaging.

HOWEVER, some major re-implementations and optimizations are to be made that should quite dramatically improve the performance of Synfig on all platforms. The goal is not a 200% speed increase, but at least a 2000% speed increase. Currently there is a work in progress in development branch implementing those optimization via OpenGL. It already shows very promising results, but is not ready for usage yet.

First steps

Let's create something fun so that we can play with it!

First, go over to the toolbox and click on the Circle Tool (if you don't know which one it is, just mouse over them until you find the one with the tooltip that says "Circle Tool").

When you click on the circle tool, you should notice that the Tool Options Panel changed. But we'll get to that later.


Some users might experience the following problem: when you click-drag on the canvas using the Circle Tool, either nothing seems to happen or you end up making insanely huge circles. This is a known problem. To fix this go to "File → Input Devices" and disable all the devices you can find there (such as Macintosh mouse button emulation or USB Optical mouse). If you have an extended input device that you want to use, such as a pressure-sensitive pen, then enable it in this screen. After this change Synfig will work as expected.
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With the Circle Tool selected, you can now create circles in the Canvas Window. This works as you might expect — click on the canvas, drag to change length of the radius, and release the mouse button when you are done. Go ahead and create two circles (or more, if you fancy). If you accidentally release the mouse button before dragging, you end up creating a circle with 0 radius and it is effectively invisible! No need to worry, you can easily fix this. In the Params Panel, you can change the parameters of the selected object. If you just made a 0 radius circle, it should be the current selected object. You can change its radius to some value other than 0, say 10, and manipulate it to your liking with the canvas ducks later.

Now go back to the toolbox and click on the Transform Tool (the blue circle with the arrow on it). After you do this, click on one of your circles. You will then see a Bounding box (which is kind of useless at this point in time, but I digress), a green dot at the center, and a cyan dot on the radius. Those dots are called ducks. If you want to modify the circle, grab a duck and drag it around. Easy!

You can select a Layer by clicking on it. If you want to select more than one layer, hold down Ctrl key while you are clicking — this works in both the Canvas Window and the Layers Panel. Try it!

You can also select multiple ducks. You can do this in several ways. First, you can hold down Ctrl and individually click the ducks that you want selected, but this can be tedious. However, there is a much faster method — just create a selection box by clicking the mouse and dragging it over the area of ducks that you want selected.

Go ahead, select two circles and select all of their ducks. With several ducks selected, moving one duck will move all of the ducks. This behavior is dependent on the Transform Tool. Thus, a more descriptive name for this tool might have been the "move" or "translate" tool.

The rotate and scale tools work much like the Transform Tool, except in the case where you have multiple ducks selected. It is much easier to just try it than read about it. Select a few circles, select all of their ducks, and try using the rotate and scale tools.

Note that, duck manipulation tools have options associated with them. If a particular tool isn't doing what you want, take a look in the Tool Options Panel to see if it is set up the way you want.


Now let's try linking. Let's say we always want these two circles to be the same size. Select two circles, and then select both of their radius ducks (the cyan dots).

To select multiple ducks, either drag a rectangle around them, or select the first one, then hold the Ctrl key while selecting the rest. Once you have the two radius ducks selected, right click on either duck and a menu will pop up. Click on "Link". Boom. The parameters are linked together. You can prove it to yourself by selecting just one of the circles and changing its radius — the other one will change as well. Neat stuff, eh?

Linking is a fundamental concept in Synfig. You can create links not only between ducks, but also between parameters as well by selecting multiple layers, right clicking on the parameter in the param tab, and selecting "Link".


This is how outlines are attached to their regions — but I'm getting ahead of myself. At the moment, the fundamental power and flexibility of linking in Synfig Core is beyond what Synfig Studio currently allows for. This will change in the future. Anyway, back on track...
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Color selection

Let's say you want one of the circles to be a different color. If you look in the toolbox below the tools, you'll see the outline/fill color selector, the outline width selector, and some other stuff like the default blend method and gradient. The outline/fill color widget works exactly as you might expect — you can click on the fill color, and a modest color chooser will appear. Now to can change the color pretty easily.

But sometimes you just want to click on a color and go. This is where the palette editor tab comes in. Its functionality isn't quite 100% yet (ie: saving and loading custom palettes hasn't been implemented yet), but the default palette is pretty decent. Click on the Palette Editor panel tab and have a look — it's the one with the palette-ish looking icon. Clicking on colors with the left mouse button will immediately change the default outline color and clicking with the middle mouse button will change fill color.

That's all great, but we still haven't changed the color of the circle. There are three ways to do this. The first is to select the circle layer you want to modify, go to the Params panel and double-click on the "Color" parameter. A color selector dialog will then show up, and you can just tweak away. But let's say you already selected your color as the default fill or outline color. Then you can right-click on the Color parameter in the Params panel and select "Apply Fill Color" or "Apply Outline Color" at you preference. Finally, you can just click on the "Fill Tool" from the toolbox, and then click on the circle in the canvas window. Boom. Circle changes color. This works with more than just circles, but we'll get to that in a sec.

Try playing around with the circles for a bit. Muck around with the parameters, and see what happens. To get you started, try out to set the Feather Parameter to 5.

Digging deeper

Of course, so far you just found out how to use the basic features of Synfig Studio but not how you animate a drawing. This is covered in the next chapter.

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