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Revision as of 10:06, 27 August 2009

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General FAQs

Why doesn't slogger talk on the Synfig IRC channel?

slogger is a bot that sits in the Synfig IRC channel and stores the IRC logs, not a human. It has no commands, so you won't get any response out of it either.

Why are the CIA in the Synfig IRC channel?

"CIA-28" and friends are bots that sit in the Synfig IRC channel and report whenever they detect a new commit in the subversion repository, giving the committer's name, revision number, and commit log message. The same information for recent commits can be found on cia.vc. ohloh.net has similar pages of statistics.

FAQs relating to the current Synfig release

Many issues are documented in the bug tracker and on the download page.

What is the status of the MacOS package?

Some people have volunteered to work on a pure MacOS X package for synfig, but there have not yet been any results. Currently options for using synfig on MacOS X include building it yourself, installing packages from fink or installing Linux or Windows on your machine and using it there.

Why do imported SVG images look bad?

Synfig doesn't have the ability to import SVG images, it can only auto-render them to PNG with imagemagick and import those. The closest you can get to importing complex formats like SVG or XCF is to use one of the converters.

Is there any Flash/SWF support?

Unfortunately not. Patches are welcome though. Please contact us to discuss your plans for adding SWF support so we can give any advice needed.

Procedure entry point ... could not be located?

If you are on Windows and it says "the procedure entry point_ZN6synfig5Color7set_hexERSs could not be located in the dynamic link library libsynfig-0.dll" that means you forgot to upgrade synfig when you upgraded synfigstudio. Due to the dependency systems on Linux you will probably not get this there unless your distro has broken packages. Be sure to install the latest version of synfig and synfigstudio.

If you get the same error but with gtk, glib, iconv.dll or libxml2.dll you should look for old versions of these DLLs in your Windows directory and rename them to iconv.dll.bak and libxm2.dll.bak etc.

libsynfig-0.dll was not found

If you get the error message "libsynfig-0.dll was not found" please check that you have synfig (as well as synfig studio) correctly installed.

Can I do anything to improve the stability of synfigstudio?

If you're running on a Hyperthreading or multi-core CPU (e.g Pentium 4 with Hyperthreading or Intel Core2 Duo or Quadcore, etc.) then you may find Synfig is more stable if you restrict it to run on only one processor.

How do I do this on Windows?

To do this on windows, start Synfig Studio, then press Ctrl-Shift-Esc this will start the 'Windows Task Manager', alternatively you can press Ctrl-Alt-Del and choose 'Task Manager'. Select the processes tab, find synfigstudio.exe in the processes list and right click on it. Choose 'Set Affinity...' and make sure only one CPU is checked. Unfortunately, this setting isn't preserved so you either have to do this manually each time you start Synfig Studio or use a tool such as the Tom's Hardware Guide Task Assignment Manager.

How do I do this on Linux?

On linux, you need to install schedutils.

Then run synfigstudio like this:

taskset -c 0 synfigstudio

Or if you have synfigstudio open already, run this:

taskset -p -c 0 `pgrep synfigstudio`

Why can't I get sound to work?

Synfig GUI implies that sound files can be loaded and played with the animation previews, to aid with e.g. lip synching. Synfig relies on a helper library called FMOD to handle sound. Unfortunately, it appears that this feature was not fully implemented, and the 'play' code is commented out. Windows support for sound does not even appear to have been attempted. If you need to need to synch to a soundtrack, the easiest way is to use video editing software to add the sound effects afterwards, or use an audio editor to take careful note of the audio cues, and animate the action to coincide with those timestamps.

See this page for sound implementation guidelines.

How do I render moving pictures from Synfig under Windows

Rendering to AVI video from Synfig is not enabled for the Windows builds. If you're looking for a file to include on a web page, rendering to an animated gif file does work. For mpg, there are a couple of options.

  • You can install FFMpeg to a directory in your PATH and use the ffmpeg target in Synfig to render to an mpg file.
  • If you want more control over the final video file, the best solution may be to render to a sequence of png files and use a separate program, such as the command line version of ffmpeg, to assemble them to a video file. This could also allow you to incorporate an audio track in the same step.

I have a weird problem building from source. What's up?

Your copy of pkg-config probably doesn't look in the right places for .pc files. If you are installing to /usr/local, try running "export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig" before building or installing anything.

Why does only the first frame of my animation render?

You probably have Use current frame checked in the render dialog box.

Why don't I get the colors I'm expecting?

This Wikipedia article talks about how color output is non-linear, that if 0 is black and 100 is white, then 50 is only about 22 percent of the brightness of white, rather than 50% as you might expect.

In synfig there is an option (on by default) to make sure that if you ask for 50, you get 50% of the brightness of white.

In the Toolbox see File>Setup which would open the Setup Dialog. Then go to the Misc tab and to the Visually Linear Color Selection checkbox. If you turn that off, everything will go back to its non-linear, yet strangely comfortable and familiar mode.

Why doesn't the rotate tool rotate rectangles?

The rotate tool works on ducks. The rectangle layer works by drawing horizontal and vertical lines between the two ducks, so when the rotate tool is used with a rectangle it only rotates the ducks around the rotation point, but the lines of the rectangle are still horizontal and vertical. What you are probably looking for is the Rotate Layer. If you have a build of Synfig SVN 1981 or later, there is a Rectangle -> Bline tool option which would allow the behaviour you might expect.

Tablet doesn't track as expected

When using some programs you may find that the mouse may not track as you would expect. Synfig, Inkscape and Gimp are ones that I have used that will give odd tracking. When drawing with the mouse the actual drawing is some distance from the cursor and when you use the pen the drawing is drawn where the cursor is. This can be easily fixed with the software that came with the tablet.

When using the tablet software that came with the graphire 4 tablet you will find that it uses two different tracking methods for the mouse and pen and these two tracking methods are called Mouse Mode and Pen Mode.

The Pen Mode uses absolute positioning, that means the active drawing area of the tablet is in proportion to the whole screen. Wherever you move the pen the cursor will move to the corresponding point on the screen, wether you drag the pen or you pick up the pen and move it to a new location that cursor will move or jump to where the pen is.

The Mouse Mode uses a positioning system similar to a traditional mouse where you can pick up and slide the mouse where you wish and the cursor will follow the mouse as it is moved. It will not jump to new locations on the screen even if you pick up the mouse and place it in a new position on the tablet, the cursor will just continue from it's last position.

In the case of the Wacom Graphire 4 tablet that I'm using in Windows XP I needed to open the program called Pen Tablet and change the settings for the mouse. To do this open Pen Tablet and you will see four tabs, click the tab marked Mouse and you will find a box called Tracking with two options. One is Pen Mode and the other is Mouse Mode. Select the Pen Mode and the mouse will now use absolute positioning.

FAQs relating to earlier Synfig versions

These issues have been addressed in the current version of Synfig.

Why Synfig 0.61.08 doesn't work in Ubuntu Intrepid 8.10?

Due to the incorporation if the newest GTK/GTKmm version (2.14) since Ubuntu Intrepid 8.10, the old version of synfigstudio included in that linux distribution has turned not usable. Until new Ubuntu version or the adoptation of a backport into 8.04 LTS, the only way to have synfigstudio running in Ubuntu Intrepid is build the binaries from he source code. Follow the build instructions or this thread to do that.

Where did the polygon, draw and sketch tools go?

They are disabled by default due to problems. Instead of the polygon tool, you should use the bline tool. The draw tool was never completed, is very buggy, and frustrating to use. Since the draw tool is being disabled, then we might as well disable the sketch tool too. You can re-enable them without recompiling by setting some environment variables (you can set environment variables on windows too). Set SYNFIG_ENABLE_POLYGON, SYNFIG_ENABLE_DRAW and SYNFIG_ENABLE_SKETCH to 1. On Linux/Unix/MacOSX this is as simple as running these commands in a terminal:


Then run synfigstudio from the same terminal. You can probably find some way of getting these variables set automatically when you log in, but it depends on the distro. In Ubuntu you can put them in ~/.xprofile for example.

The polygon, draw, and sketch tools will be on by default in future releases of Synfig, from 0.61.07 onwards. They can be disabled by replacing 'ENABLE' with 'DISABLE' in the above lines.

Where did the width tool go?

It is disabled by default due to problems. Instead of the width tool, you should just modify the width ducks directly. You can re-enable it without recompiling by setting an environment variable (you can set environment variables on windows too). Set SYNFIG_ENABLE_WIDTH to 1. On Linux/Unix/MacOSX this is as simple as running this command in a terminal:


Then run synfigstudio from the same terminal. You can probably find some way of getting this variable set automatically when you log in, but it depends on the distro. In Ubuntu you can put it in ~/.xprofile for example.

The width tool is enabled by default since Release 0.61.09. It can be disabled by replacing 'ENABLE' with 'DISABLE' in the above line.

Why doesn't walk.sif from the SVN work?

In the SVN repository, there's a walk cycle example, but the sif file includes features that are incompatible with the current version of Synfig. A re-worked example can be found in the Walk Cycle Tutorial.

If you can look at the source code and figure out why the .sif file won't load, we'd love to have a fix.

What happened to my synfig toolbox?

If you no longer have a synfig toolbox, it means the window positions in your settings file for the toolbox got corrupted during a crash or something and your synfig toolbox is now off the screen. You should remove or edit your settings file to get it back. This bug (1836848) was fixed in SVN r1167.

This is a very common issue on Windows computers. Quick fix: delete C:\Documents and Settings\*your user name*\Synfig. You should not lose any saved work. Synfig will run fine following this fix.

The plant layer doesn't work/displays erratically/doesn't render. Why?

The plant layer should allow pictures like this one to be drawn, but again it had a bug that prevented if from working correctly in Synfig 0.61.06 and earlier. The bug was fixed in svn r620 and release 0.61.07

Further fixes were later added to stop it crashing when 'stem size' or 'splits' were set too high.

Missing icons? synfig/studio doesn't render anything?

You probably compiled synfig with g++ 4.1 using optimisation level 2 or higher. g++ has a bug that prevents Synfig Studio from compositing the images properly. Please recompile synfig using ./configure --enable-optimization=0 or disable optimisation and then rebuild the synfig images. The binary packages for some GNU/Linux distributions are affected by this. Bug #1509627

As of svn r774, it is now OK to build with any optimization level. Also, using gcc 4.2.1 or newer it's possible to successfully build old versions of synfig with strong optimization.

synfigstudio can't find icons?

(I know they rendered fine, but they show up with red crosses everywhere).

This is #1568925 that was introduced in SVN 180. Workaround is to set an environment variable at runtime like this: export SYNFIG_ROOT=/usr (or similar) or just install into /usr/local instead. Fixed in SVN r486.

I'm using synfigstudio on a laptop but can't draw anything using my mouse. What gives?

Try disabling the the touchpad from the input devices dialog. Unfortunately synfigstudio will not remember this setting so you have to do it every time you start synfigstudio.

This was fixed in svn r487 and so synfig 0.61.06 and newer won't have this problem.

Why is everything yellow? / Why are all the colors wrong?

This can happen when you switch between locales, due to a bug in version 0.61.05. It's fixed in the subversion repository (r228). To work around the problem, do the following: from the main window, choose File > Setup what would open the Setup Dialog, then select the Gamma tab and set all 3 sliders back to the default value of 2.2.

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