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Synfig Studio est un programme open source d'animation 2D vectorielle. Il a été conçu pour produire des animations de qualité films avec un minimum de personnes et de resources.

Comme vous devez probablement le savoir, une animation est l'affichage rapide d'une séquence d'images dans le but de créer l'illusion du mouvement. Traditionnellement les animations 2D sont créées en dessinant chaque image individuellement. Ces images sont appelés des 'frame' et cette méthode est donc ainsi appelée 'animation frame-by-frame'. Pour créer une une illusion du movuement assez bonne vous devez dessiner de très nombreuses frames, c'est pourquoi cette méthode requiert beaucoup de temps et de resources.

Synfig Studio is built to eliminate the need to draw each frame individually. There are two techniques for that:

  • Morphing animation
  • Cutout animation

Morphing is a technique that takes two images and creates a smooth transition between them. In the process of transition one shape is deformed into another and this transformation is usually defined by control points. In Synfig Studio images constructed from vector shapes and the morphing is done in automatic way. That allows to create animation by drawing only key positions at relatively wide time intervals. You can draw as many frames as he need to create basic sense of motion for the scene and Synfig Studio takes responsibility to create in-between frames.

Cutout animation is created by splitting objects into parts and applying some simple transformations to them (like translation, rotation or scale) at different moments of time. Synfig Studio uses those values to interpolate the motion for in-between frames. Cutout animation can be produced from bitmap images or vector graphics.

In both cases the role of Synfig Studio is to fill the gaps between the drawn frames (also called "keyframes") and produce smooth and fluid animation. This process is called "tweening". But tweening is not the only advantage of Synfig Studio.

Although Synfig Studio is not directly intended to draw animation frame-by-frame, it can be used to bring your hand-drawn frame-by-frame animation to the film-quality level by converting bitmap data of each frame into vector format. This process is called "tracing" and usually done by hand by constructing vector shapes on top of bitmap image. In the process of construction you can apply a lot of fascinating effects built into Synfig Studio to achieve a professional look for your animations.

Whether you do frame-by frame animation or not, Synfig Studio gives you flexible control over the repeated data, such as colors, outline characteristics, textures, images and many more - even animation trajectories and their sets (actions). Reusing repeated data is achieved via linking. This is a power of Synfig Studio, which is especially important for big animation projects.

Among the plain linking pieces of artwork data you can also define relations between them using a set of functions. That allows to create automatic animation based on the defined laws and bring whole animation process to the new level.

All those features of Synfig Studio are covered in detail in the chapters of this manual.

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