Spline Tool

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Tool bline icon.png


Blines are the most used object in any normal animation done with Synfig. The Bline tool allows create them.


Once you press the Bline tool button you enter in a create Bline mode. To leave that mode just select other tool from the toolbox. Use this tool is easy:

  • Single click creates new vertices. Tangent value is then set to (0,0) and the vertex becomes a sharp corner.
  • Click and drag creates new vertices and allow modify the tangent value at that vertex. Extending the tangent allows make smooth corners.
  • Each new vertex is attached to the previous by a Beizer spline defined by the vertices position and its tangents.
  • The BLine is created sequentially. One vertex follow other.
  • You always are carrying a Beizer arc to show you how would be the next Beizer spline you create. That's true if the Bline is open. If you close the Bline (see below) then you don't carry on that beizer spline.
  • Anyway meanwhile adding vertices you can tweak the just new created vertices just by clicking on ducks and dragging them.
  • You can also make right click on a vertex duck or a tangent duck and it will provide a context menu:
    • For tangent ducks: "Split tangents" or "Merge tangents" it allows you manage both tangents independently. You would have notice that both tangent from a vertex are linked by default. If you split the tangents you can merge them again using the context menu again.
    • For vertex ducks: "Bloop Bline" or "UnLoop Bline" (depending on if it is already looped or not). This allows close or open the bline. "Delete vertex" this allow you delete the vertex if it doesn't satisfy you.
  • You can right click also in the middle of a just created beizer curve. I would show you a context menu with the following entry: "Insert vertex" Allows insert a vertex (and set its tangents intelligently according to the neighbour vertices values) where you made the click.

Once you are happy with the vertices and the tangents positions you can create the Bline based layers depending on the options you have set. See below.

To create the layers you can do one of those things:

  1. Select other tool.
  2. Click on the gear button of the Tool Options panel.

If you want to start it over and forget the current edited Bline you can press the "clean" button (a brush) instead of delete vertex by vertex. See the image below.


This tool has the following options:

Tool Options.png

  • BLine layer name. The name of the Bline that you will create is set by the text input box. In this case it is "Bline141". This input text will parse the end of the string if any integer number is found, increasing that number for the next time you create other Bline. If not number is found it adds a a three digit number for the next Bline created.
  • Outline check box. If checked it creates an Outline Layer.
  • Fill check box. If checked it creates a Region Layer.
  • Plant check box. If checked it creates a Plant Layer.
  • Gradient check box. If checked it creates a Curved Gradient.
  • Link Offsets check box. If enabled it links the Offset Parameter for the Plant, Region or Outline if two of them (or all them) are checked.
  • Auto Export check box. If checked it automatically exports the Vertices parameter (that's a BLine type parameter)
  • Feather numerical input field. There you set the feather paramter of the Region Layer or Outline Layer created.

Other sources of information

See this video tutorial to see it in action.

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

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