Creating cutout animation in Synfig Studio

Learn how to create cutout animation with free and open-source software
8 reviews
  • Konstantin Dmitriev Freelance artist, teacher and developer.

    I am freelance animation artist, working with open-source software since 2008. Currently I am heading a small studio in Siberian part of Russia. My team makes commercial, as well as indie animation works and our production is purely based on open-source software.

    As a head of the studio I put a special emphasis on contributing back to open-source software world. Within our production process we continuously developing and improving various open-source animation tools. I was happy to present the results of our work at several international conferences, such as Libre Graphics Meeting (2012, Austria), FSCONS (2012, Sweden), Libre Graphics Meeting (2013, Spain) and others. Also, since 2013 I am acting as coordinator of development of Synfig Studio animation software.

    In addition to all that, I am also work as a teacher by hosting regular animation classes in our studio.

    What else can I say? I love animation, I love open-source and I love to share my experience. This is what I do. ^__^

  • I am a graphics/animation artist. All my works produced exclusively with free software. Chack out my portfolio (

  • Educated as, among others, telecommunication engineer, and philosopher of Eastern cultures, my interests are to explore the intersection between technology and arts, or technology and creative cultures in the context of today's field of cultural production shaped by Internet, and dominated by visual media. In my PhD I am studying the migration of the idea of open source software/technology from the technical into the cultural domain through exploring the model of production and motivations for creation of a set of open animation projects - animation films of professional studio quality developed explicitly with open source tools, and released as open content. My work is funded by the Swedish Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies (Östersjöstiftelsen), and I am part of the Department of Media & Communication Studies at Södertörn University in Sweden.

    My professional background is rooted in the free software / open-source movement, but also around issues related to Internet Governance, and keeping the Internet open and free. For almost 10 years I have been working with Internet Society - Bulgaria which gave me the great opportunity to work on projects such as introducing free and open source software to governments on the Balkans, researching the Internet in Bulgaria, and working with local and central governments on a broad spectrum of ICT related issues. On the side of that I have been working with translations as a hobby.

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Creating cutout animation in Synfig Studio

Learn how to create cutout animation with free and open-source software
8 reviews


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Synfig Studio is free and opensource animation software, available for Windows, Linux and OSX. It is very powerful, but yet quite complex. In this course you will learn how to use it for creating animation in specific technique, which is called "cutout".

The cutout technique is known as an easiest way to start learning animation. At the same time it remains very expressive and attractive. So, this course equally fit to those who just starting to learn animation, as well as for established artists who would like to master this technique with the free and opensource software.

The course consists of 10 lectures, which will guide you from the very basics of application interface to the advanced techniques of creating cutout character animation. The sample files are also included, so it is possible to repeat all exercises demonstrated during the course. Also, all the lectures in the course are available for downloading and watching offline.

    • You will need Synfig Studio animation software installed. The recommended version is 0.64.3. It is freely available for download here -
    • Over 11 lectures and 1 hour of content!
    • You will learn the basic principles of tweening animation in Synfig Studio
    • You will learn to create simple cutout characters and animate them
    • You will learn how to animate characters using an advanced skeleton structures
    • Artists who would like to use free software for animation
    • School teachers who would like to adopt free software in the education process
    • Students who would like to learn animation


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  • SECTION 1:
    Introduction to Synfig
  • 1
    Getting Started

    Don't forget to get the Example files attached to this lecture (below).

  • 2
  • SECTION 2:
    Animation basics
  • 3
    Importing images

    You can find the Example files attached to the first lecture.

  • 4
    Your first animation
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • SECTION 3:
    Cutout animation
  • 8
    Simple cutout character

    You can find the Example files attached to the first lecture.

  • 9
    Face animation

    You can find the Example files attached to the first lecture.

  • 10
    Skeleton template

    You can find the Example files attached to the first lecture.

  • SECTION 4:
  • 11
    1 page


Hours of video content
Course Enrollments


  • 6
  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0


  • Walt Michalik
    Very Good.

    Glad I found this. It was a pleasure to go trough this course, because it was carefully planned and skillfully presented. The folks who prepared this must be professional educators, with good equipment. Sound was good enough that the accented english was not a problem for my poor hearing. I appreciated the smooth flow of each lesson, without errors or stumbling. This was well planned. I hope there are more like this coming. There is a real need for up to date Synfig tutorials. And I'm willing to pay for instruction of this caliber. Of course, doesn't hurt that I got this one with a 75% discount from Udemy.

  • Jeff Rosales
    Excellent Animation Tutorial

    Synfig is not too difficult to use after DOING every task in this course. The software is open source. You have to install X11 on a mac for Sinfig to work, and it will take a little while for it to start the first time. Just be patient. Even if you prefer a more advanced animation application, this course teaches you many basic concepts for cutout animation. You can use this knowledge and skills to learn to use other apps like Animation Pro (which is a bit more advanced... and more expensive!). I am very glad I took and completed this course. I may have to do the final 3 lessons a couple of times again to cement my knowledge. A good illustration course would be a good companion for using Synfig. That way you could create your own characters and animate them. Mind you, you could outsource this task to an artist if you lack visual arts skills. Thanks guys! P.S. It would be good to add a lesson on how to add a background image(s). I guess it is as easy as adding an image layer and placing that layer right at the back of every other layer. But what if you want the background to move (like in Hanna-Barbera cartoons)? Great course. Jeff

  • Azia Giles Abuara
    Great Tutorial

    Love this course because it's very concise and straight to the point. I use to have problems dealing with the 'simple skeleton template' but all that have been handled. Pray for more of these.

  • Herbert Marshall
    Herbs review

    Creating cutout animation in synfig is comprehensive and concise. Lectures are easy to follow. Covers all the needed knowledge needed for an introduction to animating in Synfig.

  • Joaclint Istgud
    Gran material

    Claro, conciso y directo. Enhorabuena.

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