Layers

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Introduction

Synfig, 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:

  1. An individual layer in Synfig usually represents a single "Primitive". ie. a single region, an outline of a region, an imported JPEG, 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 sanity of course).
  2. A layer can not only composite information on top of the image below it, but also distort and/or modify it in some other way. In this sense, Synfig Layers act much like filters do in Adobe Photoshop or The GIMP. For example, we have a Blur Layer, Radial Blur Layer, Spherical Distortion 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 Layers Panel), you will see its parameters in the Params Panel.

The following layer types are available in synfig:

Blurs

Blur

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Size Size of Blur
Type Type of blur to use

Example: ( youtube corresponding sif file )

Motion Blur

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Aperture Shutter Time

Radial Blur

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Origin Point where you want the origin to be
Size Size of blur
Fade Out

Example: ( youtube corresponding sif file )

Distortions

Inside Out

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Origin Defines the where the center will be

Noise Distort

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Displacement
Size
Random Seed
Interpolation What type of interpolation to use
Detail
Animation Speed
Turbulent

Example: ( youtube corresponding sif file )

Spherize

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Position
Radius
Amount
Clip
Distort Type The direction of the distortion

Example: ( youtube corresponding sif file )

Stretch

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Amount
Center

Example: ( youtube corresponding sif file )

Twirl

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Center
Radius This is the radius of the circle
Rotations
Distort Inside
Distort Outside

Example: ( youtube corresponding sif file )

Warp

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Source TL
Source BR
Dest TL
Dest TR
Dest BR
Dest BL
Clip
Horizon

Example: ( youtube corresponding sif file )

Filters

Clamp

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Invert Negative
Clamp Ceiling
Ceiling
Floor

Color Correct

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Hue Adjust
Brightness
Contrast
Exposure Adjust
Gamma Adjustment

Halftone 2

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Mask Offset
Mask Angle
Mask Size
Light Color
Dark Color
Type

Halftone 3

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Mask Size
Type
Subtractive Flag
<Channel Name>Color
<Channel Name>Mask Offset
<Channel Name>Mask Angle

Luma Key

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Color Color of checkers
Offset
Size Size of checkers

Fractals

Julia Set

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Inside Color Color of the Set
Outside Color Color outside the Set
Color Shift
Iterations
Seed Point
Bailout ValueBase
Distort Inside
Shade Inside
Solid Inside
Invert Inside
Color Inside
Distort Outside
Shade Outside
Solid Outside
Invert Outside
Color Outside
Color Cycle
Smooth Outside Smooth the coloration outside the set
Break Set Modify equation to achieve interesting results

Mandelbrot Set

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Iterations
Bailout ValueBase
Break Set Modify equation to achieve interesting results
Distort Inside
Shade Inside
Solid Inside
Invert Inside
Gradient Inside
Offset Inside
Loop Inside
Distort Outside
Shade Outside
Solid Outside
Invert Outside
Gradient outside
Smooth Outside Smooth the coloration outside the set
Offset Outside
Scale Outside

Geometry

Checkerboard

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Color Color of checkers
Offset
Size Size of checkers

Circle

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Color
Radius
Feather
Center
Invert Invert the circle
Falloff Determines the falloff function for the feather

Outline

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Vertices A list of BLine Points
Point Widths
Outline Width
Expand
Sharp Cusps Determines cusp type
Rounded Begin Round off the tip
Rounded End Round off the tip
Loopyness
Homogeneous

Polygon

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Vector List

Rectangle

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Color
Point 1
Point 2
Expand amount
Invert the rectangle

Region

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Vertices

Solid Color

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Color

Star

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Outer Radius The radius of the outer points in the star
Inner Radius The radius of the inner points in the star
Angle The orientation of the star
Points The number of points in the star

Gradients

Conical Gradient

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Gradient
Center
Angle
Symmetric

Curve Gradient

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Offset
Width
Vertices A list of BLine Points
Gradient
Loop
ZigZag
Perpendicular
Fast

Linear Gradient

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Point 1
Point 2
Gradient
Loop
ZigZag

Noise Gradient

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Gradient
Random Seed
Size
Interpolation What type of interpolation to use
Detail
Animation Speed
Turbulent
Do Alpha
Super Sampling

Radial Gradient

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Gradient
Center
Radius This is the radius of the circle
Loop
Zig-Zag

Spiral Gradient

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Gradient
Center
Radius This is the radius of the circle
Angle
Clockwise

Other

Duplicate

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Index Copy Index

Import Image

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Filename File to import
Time Offset

Paste Canvas

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Origin Point where you want the origin to be
Canvas Canvas to paste
Zoom Size of canvas
Time Offset
Children Lock

Plant

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Vertices A list of BLine Points
Gradient Gradient to be used for coloring the plant
Split Angle Angle by which each split deviates from its parent
Gravity Direction in which the shoots tend to face
Tangential Velocity Amount to which shoots tend to grow along the tangent to the BLine
Perpendicular Velocity Amount to which shoots tend to grow perpendicular to the tangent to the BLine
Stem Size Size of the stem
SizeAsAlpha If enabled, the alpha channel from the gradient is multiplied by the stem size, and an alpha of 1.0 is used when rendering
Step Measure of the distance between points when rendering
Seed Used to seed the pseudo-random number generator
Splits Maximum number of times that each sprout can sprout recursively
Sprouts Number of places that growth occurs on each bline section
Random Factor Used to scale down all random effects. Set to zero to disable randomness
Drag Drag slows the growth

Super Sample

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Width Width of sample area (In pixels)
Height Height of sample area (In pixels)
Use Parametric Use the Parametric Renderer
Be Alpha Safe

Text

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Text Text to Render
Color Color of the text
Font Family
Style
Weight
Horizontal Spacing Describes how close glyphs are horizontally
Vertical Spacing Describes how close lines of text are vertically
Size Size of the text
Orientation Text Orientation
Position Text Position
Kerning Enables/Disables font kerning (If the font supports it)
Sharpen Edges Turn this off if you are going to be animating the text
Invert

Fonts that appear to work under Linux - Courier, Times, Serif, Verdana, Sans Serif.
Fonts that appear to work under Windows - Arial, Times New Roman/Serif, Verdana/Sans Serif. Courier produces an interesting, but non-legible effect.
Sans Serif appears to be the default if Synfig doesn't recognize the font.

Time Loop

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Start Time
End Time

XOR Pattern

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Offset
Size

Stylize

Bevel

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Type Type of blur to use
Hi-Color
Lo-Color
Light Angle
Depth of Bevel
Softness
Use Luma
Solid

Shade

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Color
Offset
Size Size of Shade
Type Type of blur to use
Invert

Transform

Rotate

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Origin Point where you want the origin to be
Amount Amount of rotation

Translate

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Origin Point where you want the origin to be

Zoom

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Amount Amount to zoom in
Center Point to zoom in to

Not Available

These layers are examples to aid developers in creating more layer types, but aren't included in binary releases of Synfig.

Shape

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Color Layer_Shape Color
Offset
Invert
Antialiasing
Feather
Type of Feather Type of feathering to use
Winding Style Winding style to use

Metaballs

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Color
Points
Radii
Weights
Threshold

Simple Circle

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Color
Center
Radius This is the radius of the circle

Filled Rectangle

Parameters:

Parameter Description
Color
Point 1
Point 2
Feather X
Feather Y
Bevel
Keep Bevel Circular


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