Creating animation in Synfig Studio

Learn how to create 2D animation with free and open-source software
  • Lectures 9
  • Video 2 Hours
  • Skill level all level
  • Languages English , captions
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion

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Course Description

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. By this moment it's known as the most powerful free tool for 2D animation. Do you want to create your own animated movie, or just animated postcard, or animation for a game? You can use Synfig Studio 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 heroes 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 the free and opensource 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.

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

Credits:

  • Written and recorded by: Konstantin Dmitriev
  • Translated by: Anna Orlova
  • Narrated by: Terry Hancock

What are the requirements?

  • You will need Synfig Studio version 1.0 or above installed. It is freely available for download here - http://synfig.org/1.0/

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Over 9 lectures and 1 hour of content!
  • Create basic tweened animation using bitmap images (sprites)
  • Construct and animate simple cutout characters
  • Use skeleton to construct and animate complex characters

What is the target audience?

  • 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

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee

Forever yours.
Lifetime access

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion

Curriculum

Section 1: Basic concepts
04:19
  • Interface basics
  • Creating simple object (circle)
  • Choosing color
  • Understanding layers
  • Editing layer parameters
  • Managing layers
08:29
  • Importing images
  • Transformation widget
  • Workarea navigation
  • Animation mode
  • Timeline
  • Waypoints
  • Preview Window
  • Managing Waypoints
  • Animation offset
04:39
  • Rendering to AVI format
  • Rendering to GIF format
  • Rendering single PNG image
  • Rendering PNG sequence
Section 2: Simple character animation
08:01
  • What is "cutout animation"?
  • Building character from pieces
  • Mirroring
  • Changing transformation center
  • Group hierarchy
08:22
  • Understanding keyframes
  • Managing keyframes
  • How to remove animation of parameter
  • Using keyframes to stretch the waypoints
06:04
  • Layer transparency
  • Using switch group
  • Sound layer
  • Onionskin
Section 3: Skeleton animation
11:23
  • Skeleton layer
  • Creating bones
  • Managing bones
  • Bones hierarchy
  • Linking group to bone
  • Unlinking group from bone
05:33
  • Animating bones
  • Creating walking character
04:43
  • Understanding filter layers
  • Using Timeloop layer

Instructor Biography

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. ^__^

Instructor Biography

Nikolai Mamashev , Artist

I am a graphics/animation artist. All my works produced exclusively with free software. Chack out my portfolio (http://freelance.ru/users/solkap/).

Instructor Biography

Julia Velkova Öberg , PhD student

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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Reviews

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4.7
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    • Matt Jordan

    Great update!

    Nicely executed update to keep this course current with Synfig 1.0. You get the basics of character animation in concise, easy to follow, bite-sized installments. Well done!

    • Tomáš Kotlant

    First Synfig steps

    The course shows probably the most important parts of Synfig, tutorial looks complex, but I find little disrupting, that it doesn't correspond in some ways to the newest version of Synfig. And some example files were impossible to find for me, maybe it is because the version. I have read somewhere, that because of 1.0 version there will be some updates for this course, it would be nice and useful. Now I'm preparing screenplay for my first Synfig animation, so in the real process of creating movie I will closer find out how much this tutorial was useful. There should be mentioned version of program in all tutorials, it would be helpful.

    • 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 Rosenhausen

    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.

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