Spline Tool

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Tool bline icon.png ALT-B


Splines are the most used object in any normal animation done with Synfig, and the Spline Tool allows you to create them.


The "Spline Tool" button (AltB) puts you in a create Spline mode. To leave that mode just select another tool from the toolbox.

It is easy to use this tool

  • Single click creates new vertices. "Tangent" value is set to (0,0) and the vertex becomes a sharp corner.
  • Click and drag creates new vertices and allows the modification of the tangent value at that vertex. Extending the tangent smooths the corners.
  • Each new vertex is attached to the previous by a "Bézier spline" defined by the vertices's position and it's tangents.
  • The Spline is created sequentially; One vertex follows another.
  • The end point of the previous Spline arc guides the next arc created until you close it. The next created Spline will be independent of the previously created Spline.
  • You can tweak the newly created vertices by clicking on handles and dragging them.
  • You can also right click on a vertex handle or a tangent handle and it will provide a context menu:
  • You can also right click in the middle of a bézier curve. Command:Insert vertex allows insertion of a vertex (and set its tangents intelligently according to the neighboring vertices' values) where you clicked.

To finish the Spline

  1. Select other tool.
  2. Or click on the gear button Gear icon.png of the Tool Options Panel.

To clear out the working Spline, press the Esc button.


Spline Tool Options.png

This tool has the following options:

  • Name: Sets the name of the Spline that you will create, in this case "Spline070". If the ending part of the string contains an integer number, this input text box will parse it and increase that number for the next created Spline. Otherwise, it will add a three digit number while creating the next one.
  • Layer Type: Sets whether to create Region, Outline, Advanced Outline, Plant and/or Curve Gradient Layers.
  • Blend Method: Sets the blending method used to composite on the layers below.
  • Opacity: Sets the Amount for new layers. Defaults to 1.00 (Completely opaque).
  • Brush Size: Sets the size of the line for Outline Layer and/or Advanced Outline Layer.
  • Feather: Sets the feather parameter of the Region or Outline Layer created.
  • Link Origin: If checked, links the Origin for the Plant, Region or Outline if two of them (or all them) are checked.
  • Auto Export: If checked, exports automatically the Vertices parameter (that's a Spline type parameter)

Other sources of information

See this video tutorial to see it in action.

Read Creating Shapes which talks a little about the Spline tool.

Read Dev:Spline_Bline about tangent internals computation.

Read Dev:Bline_Speed which explains about variations in the Amount parameter of Splines.

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