Switching Scenes

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Suppose you've made a few different scenes in separate .sif files and want to edit them together.

Of course, you could render each .sif file to a separate video file and use some kind of video editing software to edit it together. But what if we want to use Synfig itself to do the editing?

In this example I'm going to take 3 sifz files made by Zelig and mix them together:

Make a new document in Synfig and set its time to 41 seconds (3 seconds for scene 1 + 28 seconds for scene 2 + 5 seconds each for opening and closing titles. Scene 2 includes a 6 second gap which scene 3 will fit into, so we don't need to allow extra time for scene 3).

Using Caret>File>Import, import each of the three scenes one at a time.

Select each of the three scenes in turn in the layer dialog, and export its canvas in the params dialog by right-clicking the Canvas Parameter and selecting Export from the context menu. Call the exported canvases "scene1", "scene2", and "scene3". Now we can delete the three encapsulated layers from our document. We don't need them yet.

We don't have any opening or closing titles, so we're going to have to make those ourselves. Make a new text layer: Caret > Layer > New Layer > Text and edit the Text Parameter to say something appropriate for the opening titles.

Encapsulate the Text layer, and export the encapsulated layer's canvas parameter. Call it 'titles'.

Turn on Animate Edit Mode, and make a keyframe at frame 0, and set the default interpolation type to "Constant". This can be found in the main 'toolbox' window, right at the bottom. It defaults to TCB, but we want our edits to be sharp and sudden, not interpolated.

Looking at the dialog now, we notice that we forgot to put a background behind the title text. Go to the Canvas Browser Dialog, open up the tree and double-click 'titles' to open the titles sub-canvas in a new window. There we can modify it. Add a new Solid Color Layer, make it white, and put it below the Text layer. Then close the sub-canvas window.

We want the first scene to start displaying at 5s. Move the time slider to 5s, make sure the main workarea is selected, select its only layer, [titles], and edit its Canvas parameter to be the 1st scene. The menu displays the titles of the scenes. Scene 1's title is "Sy'n'Fig say hi".

If we play the animation now, we'll see the title frame for 5 seconds, and then it will jump to the 1st scene. But the first scene has already ended - they've already done their wave. We need to delay the first scene by 5 seconds, so it only starts to play when it's displayed. With the time slider at 5s, edit our only layer's "Time Offset' parameter to be -5s. Now when we preview the animation, we see the static title frame for 5 seconds, and then the scene 1 plays until 8s.

Move the time slider to 8s and edit the Canvas Parameter to select the 2nd scene. Again we'll need to delay the start of this scene, so set the "Time Offset" to -8s.

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