Synfig Studio

Synfig Studio 1.2

Free
Create multi-layered 2D animations
4.3  (27 votes)
1.2.1 (See all)
Use bitmap and vector artwork to make your own 2D animations. The tool supports multiple layer types such as distortion, gradient, geometric, filters, fractal, etc.

Synfig Studio is intended to create 2D animations. The tool has multiple features that allow creating high-quality films, and the best part is that it costs you nothing. Let us take a look at just the more outstanding characteristics of this application.

Its interface is quite similar to that of other similar tools, which means that there is a timeline and the possibility to browse through the frames. However, I would not say that the interface is attractive, mostly because you would probably expect a little more “bells and whistles” from an application dealing with design.

One thing that saves a lot of time and effort is frame animation. This means that you do not have to draw every single frame because the application does all the morphing between two key frames instead. There is even skeletal animation, which is similar to working a marionette. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you cannot perform an old-style animation. In that case, the onion-skin feature may come in extremely handy.

Another very convenient feature is the result of the program using vector graphics, so images will not get distorted or lose sharpness when they are resized. In this respect, it is good that the program can import raster GIMP and vector SVG images. Moreover, there are various tools that allow you to draw without the need of an external application, including layers as well as gradient and outline tools.

Allegedly, this product allows using fewer people and resources to create a film. Still, one thing is clear to me: it will take at least some time for inexperienced users to learn the basics and start creating their own animations. Luckily, there is plenty of help documentation available, including some excellent tutorials.

To conclude, Synfig Studio certainly has much more to talk about than what could fit in such a short review. I truly recommend you to explore its documentation, try the tool, and only then decide for yourself.

Pedro Castro
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Produces high-quality animations
  • Support of vector images
  • Frame animation
  • Skeletal animation
  • Onion skin feature
  • Built-in drawing tools

Cons

  • Unattractive interface
  • Inappropriate for beginners
Info updated on: