Render options

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Here are the file types that can be rendered

  • bmp - Bitmap
  • dv - digital video
  • mpg - Motion Picture Expert Group file format for moving pictures
  • gif - graphic interchange format
  • imagemagick - image manipulation program
  • jpeg - Joint Photographic Expert Group - still format suited to photographs
  • libav - libavcodec is a free software/open source LGPL-licensed library of codecs for encoding and decoding video and audio data; it is written in the C programming language. It is part of the FFmpeg-project and many free/open source applications rely on it.
  • null - Dummy file for rendering engine testing?
  • null-tile - Dummy file for rendering engine testing?
  • open-exr - Still image designed for handling Motion picture frames developed by ILM
  • png - portable Network graphics - still images with lossless compression
  • ppm - portable pixmap - still image using very basic format
  • yuv420p - Still image format designed to preserve the images luminance
Target type Extension Helper app

Linux support

Windows support

Mac OSX support

  • .bmp->bmp
  • .dv->dv_trgt
  • .mpg->ffmpeg_trg
  • .gif->gif
  • .miff->imagemagick_trgt
  • .jpg->jpeg_trgt
  • .avi->Target_LibAVCodec
  • .mng->mng_trgt
  • .exr->exr_trgt
  • .png->png_trgt
  • .ppm->ppm
  • .yuv->yuv
Determined by extension
  • .bmp->bmp OK (but text layers upside down)
  • .dv->dv OK
  • .mpg->mpg OK
  • .gif->gif OK
  • .miff->OK (only last frame?)
  • .jpg->jpg OK
  • .avi->crash 1
  • .mng-> not render 3
  • .exr->exr OK
  • .png->png OK
  • .ppm->ppm OK
  • .yuv->yuv OK? 2

Seems to generate a bmp (or series of bmps) regardless of extension. (4)

  • .bmp-ok, but text layers upside down
  • .dv-crash synfig
  • .mpg-crash synfig
  • .gif-ok, also animated gif
  • .miff-crash synfig
  • .jpg-ok
  • .avi-crash synfig
  • .mng-"unable to create target for...
  • .mov-"unable to create target for...
  • .exr-"unable to create target for...
  • .png-ok
  • .ppm-ok
  • yuv-render a file in unknown format
bmp bmp Native Yes (but text layers upside down) Yes bmp-ok, but text layers upside down
dv dv encodedv Yes N/A - encodedv not supported under Windows .dv-crash synfig
ffmpeg mpg ffmpeg

It renders .mpg .avi, .mov and .flv

Working with FFMpeg 10464 and SVN 934

.mpg-crash synfig

gif gif native

yes (animated gifs also)

yes (animated gifs also)


imagemagick miff imagemagick

yes (but only last frame?)

Renders to a readable file, but the image is corrupted in builds prior to SVN 934. Working in 934 and later (October 17th 2007).

.miff-crash synfig

jpeg jpg native




libav avi libavcodec yes, tested on Ubuntu Feisty (fails on Ubuntu Edgy) N/A - libav support not compiled into the Windows version. ?
null n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
null-tile n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
open-exr exr native




png png native*.mpg->




ppm ppm native




yuv420 yuv native

yes but format in unknown format

yes but format in unknown format

.yuv-render file in unknown format

Rendering to Video

Rendering to video directly from Synfig under Windows presents some challenges.

If you want to render to anything other than mpg with ffmpeg, you'll want to save a series of images that represent your animation, to a still format that ffmpeg can read. I recommend png. Whilst you can render to any size image, if you're going to show your video on Youtube*.mpg->, you may want to take that into account when you render.

If you set up your render like Render.png

Image size - width 320 Xres 72.0 Phys width 4.44 Height 240 Yres 72.0 Phys Height 3.33 (Image span 11.0127

Image area Top left X: -3.67 Y:4.2 Bottom right X: 3.67 y:-4.2)

You will get a series of png files in your output directory. Open a command prompt, cd to that directory, then use ffmpeg to assemble these png files into the video stream of your choice. for example -

C:\output>ffmpeg -r 15 -i rfrac%04d.png -f flv fractal.flv

creates a Flash video file of with the same framerate as used on Youtube. You should be able to submit it to Youtube without the need for the Youtube servers to have to re-compress it.


note 1

The extension is recognized but it crashed. Please report if it renders in your machine (Using Ubuntu 6.10 and svn 945). The console output is this: synfig(5882): info: render target filename: '/home/carlos/Videos/pruebasynfig/RenderTest/avi-auto/RenderTest.avi'; extension: 'avi'

synfig(5882): info: 'avi' is a known extension - using target 'libav' Output #0, avi, to '/home/carlos/Videos/pruebasynfig/RenderTest/avi-auto/RenderTest.avi':
  Stream #0.0: Video: mpeg4 (hq), yuv420p, 480x270, q=2-31, 925 kb/s, 24.00 fps(c)
Fallo de segmentación (core dumped)

note 2

The yuv file is rendered but it seems to have a not compatible format. See the console output when try to convert to a avi using ffmepg.

ffmpeg -i RenderTest.yuv -sameq RenderTest.avi FFmpeg version SVN-rUNKNOWN, Copyright (c) 2000-2004 Fabrice Bellard

 configuration:  --enable-gpl --enable-pp --enable-pthreads --enable-vorbis --enable-libogg --enable-a52 --enable-dts --enable-libgsm --enable-dc1394 --disable-debug --enable-shared --prefix=/usr 
 libavutil version: 0d.49.0.0
 libavcodec version: 0d.51.11.0
 libavformat version: 0d.50.5.0
 built on Sep 20 2006 00:26:15, gcc: 4.1.2 20060906 (prerelease) (Ubuntu 4.1.1-13ubuntu2)
picture size invalid (0x0)
[rawvideo @ 0xb7f47c30]Could not find codec parameters (Video: rawvideo, yuv420p)
RenderTest.yuv: could not find codec parameters

note 3

The extension is recognized but it shows this pop-up window message: Unable to create target for /home/carlos/Videos/pruebasynfig/RenderTest/mng-auto/RenderTest.mng. Please report if it renders in your machine (Using Ubuntu 6.10 and svn 945)

note 4

Bug - Synfig was only checking the extension the first time Auto was selected -- fixed in r941.

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