Synfig Studio

Synfig Studio 1.3

Free
Create 2D animations from bitmap and vector images.

Synfig Studio is intended for the creation of 2D animations. The tool supports using both bitmap and vector images. The program’s interface is similar to those of other similar software. In this respect, there is a sort of canvas, where images are created and modified. There is also a timeline, which helps you add animation. Fortunately, you can use tabs to work on multiple simultaneous animations.

One of the characteristics of this tool is that it makes animating much simpler by avoiding the use of the frame-by-frame technique. Instead, the program can simulate motion and create transitions, thus saving a lot of effort on the part of the user. It is excellent news that there is a great collection of layers, including transformations, fractals, filters, gradients and geometric layers. One of the most noteworthy is Skeleton Distortion layer, which lets you animate mostly human and animal characters.

Synfig Studio can import ready-made pictures, but it also supports drawing your own images. For this purpose, there is an extensive set of tools, which allows inserting and modifying objects as well as drawing shapes.

To conclude, Synfig Studio has the advantage of being opensource, which makes it an alternative for more expensive software, particularly if your project does not have a generous budget. However, it comes with fewer features than other more sophisticated animation products. Finally, I must alert you that this is the kind of tool you can start using right away. It will probably take some time and study before you feel comfortable with it. Luckily, there are multiple online materials to help you.

Pedro Castro
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Supports both vector and bitmap images
  • No need to use the frame-by-frame technique
  • Great collection of layers
  • Extensive set of drawing tools
  • Multiple learning resources available

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Fewer features than other more sophisticated tools
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