Creating animation in Synfig Studio
4.3 (233 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
925 students enrolled

Creating animation in Synfig Studio

Learn how to create 2D animation with free and open-source software
4.3 (233 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
925 students enrolled
Last updated 4/2018
English, Spanish
Current price: $13.99 Original price: $19.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 downloadable resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Create basic tweened animation using bitmap images (sprites)
  • Construct and animate simple cutout characters
  • Use skeleton to construct and animate complex characters
  • You will need Synfig Studio version 1.0 or above installed. It is freely available for download here -

In this course you will learn how to create 2D animation using Synfig Studio animation software package.

Synfig Studio is a free and open-source application available for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. Do you want to create your own animated movie, or just animated postcard, or animation for a game? Synfig can do that for you! You can use Synfig anywhere without limitations - at home, at work or at school.

Create your own animation using Synfig Studio

  • Learn all basic principles of creating animation of Synfig Studio.
  • Build and animate characters for your animation.
  • Learn the basic and everyday animation skills, like face animation and walkcycle.

Cutout (sprite) animation technique

In this course I will show you how to create animation constructed from bitmap images. This approach is called "cutout" or "sprite" technique. Cutout technique is known to be the fastest way to create animation and at the same time it's the easiest way to learn it. Despite it's simplicity, the cutout technique remains very expressive and used by many creators to create exciting animation.

Contents and Overview

This course is created for people who would like to learn how to use Synfig Studio in a short time. It equally fits for those who just starting to learn computer animation, as well as for established artists who would like to master cutout technique with free software.

The course will guide you from the very basics of application interface to the techniques of creating character animation and some advanced features. The sample files are also included, so you will be able to work alongside with instructor during the course. Also, all the lectures in the course are available for downloading and watching offline.

For your convenience the course includes subtitles in English, Spanish, Italian, and French.

Note: This course is not for you if you would like to learn the technique of frame-by-frame (traditional) animation.


  • Written and recorded by: Konstantin Dmitriev
  • Translated by: Anna Orlova
  • Narrated by: Terry Hancock
Who this course is for:
  • Artists who would like to use free software for animation
  • School teachers who would like to adopt free software in the education process
  • Anyone who would like to learn animation
Course content
Expand all 13 lectures 01:25:57
+ Basic concepts
3 lectures 17:27
  • Interface basics
  • Creating simple object (circle)
  • Choosing color
  • Understanding layers
  • Editing layer parameters
  • Managing layers
Preview 04:19
  • Importing images
  • Transformation widget
  • Workarea navigation
  • Animation mode
  • Timeline
  • Waypoints
  • Preview Window
  • Managing Waypoints
  • Animation offset
Preview 08:29
  • Rendering to AVI format
  • Rendering to GIF format
  • Rendering single PNG image
  • Rendering PNG sequence
+ Simple character animation
3 lectures 22:27
  • What is "cutout animation"?
  • Building character from pieces
  • Mirroring
  • Changing transformation center
  • Group hierarchy
Simple character
  • Understanding keyframes
  • Managing keyframes
  • How to remove animation of parameter
  • Using keyframes to stretch the waypoints
  • Layer transparency
  • Using switch group
  • Sound layer
  • Onionskin
Face animation
+ Skeleton animation
3 lectures 21:39
  • A skeleton layer
  • Creating bones
  • Managing bones
  • Bones hierarchy
  • Linking a group to a bone
  • Unlinking a group from a bone
  • Animating bones
  • Creating walking character
Skeleton animation
  • Understanding filter layers
  • Using Timeloop layer
+ Gettting your scene together
3 lectures 13:41

In this lesson we will get back to animation of walking character. I will show how to organize complete scene in the way where animation of different elements will not interfere with each other.

You will learn:

  • how to compose several animation files into single scene;
  • how to work with linked files;
  • how to edit scene composed from multiple files;
  • how to find (and edit) location of source files for image layers.
Linking files

In this lesson I will show how to synchronize moving background with character walkcycle.

Moving background

In this lesson you will learn how to create a moving background with impressive parallax effect.

Parallax Effect
+ Advanced topics
1 lecture 10:43
  • What is converters
  • How to use converters for creating automatic animation
  • Three most useful converters: Random, Composite and Linear
  • How to use transformation layers