Dev:Wish list

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Got a great idea for a new feature, just add it here, or on the feature requests tracker. Before you do, please check the etl, synfig and synfigstudio TODO files for similar ideas. Please add a rating of how essential this feature is to your workflow according to the following scale:

  1. "Well, it might be nifty. To someone."
  2. "I probably would make use this"
  3. "It's not essential, but I'd really like to have this at my disposal."
  4. "Synfig would be soooo much better with this change"
  5. "I can't/won't use Synfig without it!"


  • Bones with FK & IK + grouping of objects into folders (1) Bones cane move specific vector assigned to them or the bones can have envelopes that move the vectors within their field of influence, much Like Anime Studio/Moho does. It's quite a time saving process of animating. Objects created can be saved into separate groups or folders using the same system as Anime Studio/Moho -Shadowphoenix 27/8/2007
  • Copy & Paste/Image Importing (4) I sometimes make graphics in other programs, or use clipart and other images. Would it be possible for Synfig to be able to import images and/or copy and paste them?--Khlieeq 2007-07-19

Well, it doesn't support Copy & paste from the clipboard, but you can import images using "New Layer -> Other -> Import". This will create an Import layer, for which you can then edit the properties to point to the file containing your image. PXEGeek. 2007-07-19

  • Animated sketch (1) it would be great, if the tool Sketch will return and it will be animatable (for example, in a form of a special sketch-layer). --Zelgadis 2007-06-14
  • Recursive Waypoint Manipulation (4) it is really tiresome to revert changes to waypoints created by manipulating tangent/position ducks or change their interpolation functions. making it possible to right-click-modify the waypoint shown for objects that have some waypoint in a referenced sub-object would be great! -- timonator 2007-06-01
  • Automatic colour palette optimisation (0) it would be nice to use libcontrast [1] [2] [3] [4] to automatically adjust selected or all the palette items for best visual contrast. It would also be interesting to have a layer that uses this code to filter the image.
  • Tweening for images developed in other imaging programs. It's obvious I am a beginner at image movement, but morphing is not enough: movement across the page is needed. Thanks for listening. Comwell
  • Auto-link option in Draw tool (4) so that you can draw a line, and have its endpoint automatically link to a duck - or if Auto-connect is off, you can get a line object linked to the end of another line object. / I missed this too, it even should be like that by default I think. Maxy 13:22, 25 Apr 2006 (PDT)
  • Arbitrary Color Channels — The ability for the user to create any number of custom channels for various purposes.
  • Autorecover History — It would be great if autorecover could also recover the associated history of a file in the event of a crash.
  • Render target filetype (could be a bit of 3, and much more of 4) — the ability to save as/in the Free/Open MNG (.mng) format [5]
    • A partial implementation was committed in SVN r470.
  • Layer Convert (4) (2) — The original intent of this feature request has been solved and documented - How do I....Fill an Outline? - but it would still be nice to have a way to convert one sort of path layer to another. (Downgraded to level 2) Snap 12:32, 17 Jan 2006 (PST)
  • Layer hide boolean parameter (3) — An animatable way to remove a layer from visibility and consideration in tools. And as an option, to hide the layer in the layer list while it is invisible. This crosses over functionality from the Amount Parameter, the Show/Hide checkbox in the Layers Dialog, and builds upon it as well, allowing the Layers Dialog to dynamically unclutter. (This feature request is a refactoring of the Amount Parameter)
  • Vector fill bucket (3) — Like the traditional bitmap fill, but this fills the area clicked out to the nearest boundary paths with a region of that area, set to the foreground color (it actually would create a new region layer).

    Alternatively, a single-duck layer object, that performs a simple bitmap fill from its (animatable) location, with its stored color value. (This second approach is similar to the behavior of one of Softimage's TOONZ[6]'s tools)

    If this is implemented, it will probably be necessary to change the existing "fill" tool's name and icon to a "color injector" (hypodermic needle / turkey injector icon) tool, as that's closer to describing what it does.

  • redraw tool (4-5) — Intutive reshaping of path-based layers. See link.
  • Restore Default Layout (3) — It's very difficult to put all the dialogs back where they were when you started the program, if you've closed them. In addition, with many programs, if you've done something with your window manager to take a window's position off screen, this command is sometimes the only way to bring them back.

-> I'd like to second this one - especially with the bug where dialog boxes sometime shrink to nothing or offscreen, and no amount of maximizing or minimizing restores them. The only solution is to kill the windows, and none of the combo options in the dialog menu match the default configuration. 4/4/07 PXEGeek

  • Gnome HIG Compliance — This should solve all complaints about the layout, without requiring Synfig to be "just like program (x)". See UI Reloaded for progress on this.
  • Feedback for Smooth Move Tool (3) — This tool does what a lot of folks are looking for, warping selected ducks in a "soft" fashion. But it's not very obvious what sort of effect it will have, from the tool's interface. It needs some sort of momentary center-of-action and radius indicator at the very least. Perhaps an "influence gradient" overlaid on the canvas once Synfig's core is sped up?
  • Networkability (2) — Like Inkscape's "inkboard" feature (using Jabber), or Blender's Verse server [7], or OpenCanvas's Networking option. This should probably farm off all the networking stuff to the telepathy framework so that synfig doesn't have to deal with all the account/etc issues.
  • Riding ducks (2) — Not chocobos. The ability to link a duck from one shape to an arbitrary position on another path, without creating an extra shape duck on that path.
  • Intuitive tangent modification (3) — (BBQ Pulled Duck) Inkscape has this for still handles - basically, grab a section of the spline between handles, and pull it around, the program automatically alters the tangent handles to match. What would be really neat is if you could do the same for temporal handles - be able to grab the spline between keyframes, and yank it around, and have Synfig automatically adjust the key interpolation to match. Not sure exactly what the workflow in the UI would be for this, however.
  • Plugin API (1) — Would be nice to enable additional functionality to be added to the program without it necessarily needing to be in the Synfig source tree. According to the Synfig 0.61.01 roadmap on, there is a plugin API already implemented. So instead, this may be a Wiki Wish for documentation, depending on how much has already been completed. Snap 19:57, 13 Jan 2006 (PST)
  • Python support (1) of some sort will no doubt be demanded by the userbase eventually, for studio-specific automation of tasks, noncompiled plugins, etc. I (SnapSilverlight) don't have any particular use for it at the moment, tho'.
  • mod_synfig (1) — For Apache. Render .sif to some format like png/mng on access.
  • synfig nsplugin (1) — Let Mozilla and Mozilla-based view synfig files in-browser.
  • Image filmstrip import (2) — Allow import of a series of images (TGA, etc) as frames of an animation, on a layer.
  • Bitmap Objects and Backgrounds (5)(0) — Simmilar to the above but for more than for just purely bitmap based animations. I feel that the to do production quality animations you need production quality backgrounds, foregrounds, and effects. Many of which are very difficult or even impossible to achieve with vector based graphics. I suggest support for alpha transparencies as well to make this truely useful. An example of how this could be used would be a bitmap background and a bitmap foreground that can be panned as the scene moves.
Static bitmaps with alpha are possible already, if that is what you mean. I have just documented it in How do I. Maxy 06:35, 9 Apr 2006 (PDT)
  • Align function (3) — Align objects at a common border (as in Inkscape)
  • Improved SVG import (4) — Currently, all importing an SVG does is render it in ImageMagick. What I want is the ability to import the SVG document so that all the shapes, etc. of the SVG document show up as their equivilant synfig layers - i.e. if I had put them there myself. I'm trying to write a patch for this but the codebase is mostly undocumented. KMeist 16:38, 25 Feb 2006 (PST)
  • Gradient Paint Tool How about a tool that can 'paint' a gradient object. For example the options would be width and gradient type, one would make a stroke with the tool and the gradient would be automatically applied inside of the outline (set by width). This would save the trouble of having to the all the encapsulation stuff. (Actually any tool that makes creating gradient one step would be good).--Triclops 09:52, 9 Aug 2006 (PDT)
  • Character Animation Tools I have seen some interesting methods for helping character design/animation in different 2d/3d software. Hash's animation master has 'poses' which are extremes of a model, for example smiling and frowning, once you add these extremes ot a set you can use slider to create a pose that somewhere inbetween. The real power of this is when you have serveral different poses on the same object, a face say, you can easily come up with new facial expressions. Maybe something similar could be done with synfig using layers and groups, the implementation could something similar to Moho's switch layers. --Triclops 09:52, 9 Aug 2006 (PDT)

  • Another character Animation Tools Bone system with inverse kinematics, very important for quick animation. You put bones on a drawed man and you can animate him like a puppet. I'm using that in Moho (lost marble product).--ziolive 23 Aug 2006
  • AVI Backgrounds - Is there any way I can add an avi as a background so I could add facial expressions to a stop-motion animated figure. [zotz here, I was thinking DV background or extra timeline. I would like to mix animations with live footage. rating (3/4)]
  • Character tool on Tool Options Dialog I want to use the as a character generator for a TV show. By using chroma key hide the background. Even better interface to a video overlay card with Alpha blending.
  • Collect for Publication (3/4) - (zotz) Menu item, functionality that would collect alll files referenced in a sif and place them all in a tgz for sending elsewhere or publishing anumations in source form.
  • Object Library (3/4) - (zotz) Haven't thought this all through yet, but synfig could come with a library of categotrised "objects" with a copyleft license (GPL? CC BY-SA?) An animation clip art type deal.
    • I'd suggest this should be public domain and distributed by -- --pabs
  • Flash Export (3/4) Well, might just be me but if there was a posiblity to export in .swf or .fla, I think the project might become a lot more popular.Conceit
  • Single window (2/4)why does Synfig generate so many separate windows? just starting it clutters my desktop, I think it would be useful if they were atleast displayed as one in the start bar. Conceit


  • Optionally display RGB in Hex in Color dialog (3) When colors are quoted as 3 bytes of hexadecimal, you have to convert them to decimal, divide by 255, multiply by 100 to get a number to type into the dialog box. It's painful to match color schemes for example, with the Tango Icon Theme style guidelines. PXEGeek 3/16/07
    • Added in svn r354. You can type 3 or 6 digit hex codes and hit return to use. 3 digit code 36a gives colour 3366aa (each digit is duplicated) dooglus 3/18/07 Many thanks - already used many times! PXEGeek.