Synfig Studio



  • I recently found Synfig Studio while searching for software to handle 2D animation and artwork, basically I'm looking to create some concept videos for a video game idea. To put things mildly, it's a mess. First off, I'm not really a designer, so some of the terminology and such is above my head, and I have no real expectations about what I should be able to do.

    WTF #1: The app opens a Command Prompt window which displays a ton of errors on application startup. Stuff like "CRITICAL: Object class blah-blah doesn't implement method blah-blah". This is on a fresh install, and I'm getting errors that look like compiler errors.

    WTF #2: Closing said Command Prompt window causes an unhandled exception which terminates the application.

    WTF #3: Okay, let me draw a couple things and add keyframes. Cool, it works. Click play...no animation. Oh, I had to click a button with the tooltip "Animate Editing Mode" first. Makes sense. Move the circle I drew...and crash.

    WTF #4: It has 5 windows/toolboxes open. This includes the CMD window.

    WTF #5: The main menu is not on the largest window where you might expect it, it's on the smallest toolbox.

    WTF #6: No copy-paste! I drew a shape, decided I wanted multiples, and well I can't. Or it's not obvious. Perhaps I have to type relatively undocumented parameters into the CMD window?

    WTF #7: I clicked the red X button in the corner of the main window, expecting it to shut down the application. It just closed the window, and left the other 4 up. So I started closing the toolboxes one at a time, until only CMD was left. I closed the CMD window, and...application crash and exception window.

    WTF #8: "Refresh" and "Stop" buttons in the bottom-right corner of the main window. What do these do? So I clicked them, and nothing apparently happened. Except the "Stop" button became disabled.

    WTF #9: Icon buttons everywhere! Many of the main menu commands are duplicated by buttons sitting directly next to the main menu! Many of the icons use unintuitive graphics...except for the "Save All" button. That's the one button with text instead of an icon. Oh, and some of the buttons are not in the main menu. Such as the "Save" button. Naturally I looked for it in the main menu and failed. There is "Save All" there but I'm not sure what that means compared to a normal save.

    WTF #10: "Play" button in the main window doesn't actually do anything. If you want to actually see the animation, you have to use a preview button which goes through a somewhat slow quick-render operation. Bear in mind my PC has an i5 2500K at 4.6 GHz and 16 GB of RAM...and it took dang near a minute to render 5 seconds of two random circles changing locations and size on the canvas.

    WTF #11: The preview mode seems to cause crashes a lot.

    WTF #12: Back to the copy-paste issue: I figured it could be resolved by importing some of my existing raster sprites. Except there appears to be no such thing as import.

    WTF #13: Clicked the fill button and attempted to paint the canvas black (I'm working on a sci-fi space game). It does nothing. The only feedback is in the CMD window (which I normally minimized because it's a stupid thing which shouldn't exist in a GUI application anyway), where I see "STATE FILL: Received layer clicked Event." What does that mean?

    WTF #14: So there are layers. Okay, I'm a Paint.NET user so I assume I understand what layers are. How do I create a new one? Well I see no "Layers" toolbox, no "Layers" menu, no "Layers" button. Actually, except for that thing in the CMD window I don't see anything about layers. Finally I right-clicked on the canvas, found a "Layer" menu, and inside that another flyout menu called "New Layer." Which contains things such as blurs, distortions, fractals, gradients, examples...things I would consider effects and not layers.

    WTF #15: Selecting a draw color. You'd expect a nice color picker wheel, perhaps with some predefined starting points like any sane editor. Even Visual Studio has this now. But nope, you get RGBA sliders, no palette, no custom colors, no memory. You do get a place to enter an HTML code though. But it won't preview the color for you.

    WTF #16: I clicked on "Setup" in the main menu, expecting to see some kind of preferences dialog. Instead, I got some kind of color palette labelled "Gamma." Clicking through the tabs didn't really reveal anything interesting, just odd items like timestamp formats, "Visually Linear Color Selection", "Restrict Real-Valued Handles", "Browser Command", "Use Cairo render on [misc items here]", and best of all "Use Only a Single Thread" which is checked by default. I think that last one was the only item I actually understood.

    WTF #17: I got frustrated, decided to save my two circles and quit (err, crash). I clicked "Save As" and was presented with this monstrosity:

    Windows provides standard save/open dialogs for a reason. Where did this come from, and why did someone bother building a new save dialog from scratch instead of using the one Windows gives you for free? It's hideous and looks like it was drawn in the VB5 designer.

    WTF #18 (and perhaps TRWTF): I'm going to promptly uninstall this piece of software and use Microsoft's Expression Blend to create animated scenes in WPF instead. While that's definitely a WTF, at least Blend is stable (albeit slow), discoverable, supports content importing, and doesn't vomit stupid windows/toolboxes/all-powerful CMD prompts all over my screen.



  • Looks like a GTK+ dialog box. Run. Run far away. Run.

    EDIT: I just checked the website. Yup, it's GTK+. Synfig: from the crack experts who brought you Pidgin and GIMP!



  • There's a lot of open-sourcey-ness here. Look at the comment to this bug. "The more useless text spew we show people, the more likely they'll become software developers and help us! Somehow!! Don't question it!!!"



  • @blakeyrat said:

    There's a lot of open-sourcey-ness here.
    Yes.

    The first comment says:

    Looks lile the solution is descripted here: http://www.arcknowledge.com/gmane.comp.gnome.gtk+.general/2003-06/msg00174.html
    which gives me a completely blank page in Firefox.  Using IE, I get this page:




  • Synfig Studio 0.64.0



    After a whole one year of development we are happy to present you a new major release of Synfig Studio!
    Version 0 is a major release!!



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    There's a lot of open-sourcey-ness here.
    Yes.

    The first comment says:

    Looks lile the solution is descripted here: http://www.arcknowledge.com/gmane.comp.gnome.gtk+.general/2003-06/msg00174.html
    which gives me a completely blank page in Firefox.  Using IE, I get this page:


    That looks like a spam website.

    This thread is now about ad blocking



  • @mott555 said:

    why did someone bother building a new save dialog from scratch instead of using the one Windows gives you for free?
    Because the library wants to be cross platform, if they used the windows dialog, it would confuse all those linuxy people when they use are forced to use gimp (or in this case synfig) on a windows box.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @El_Heffe said:

    The first comment says:

    Looks lile the solution is descripted here: http://www.arcknowledge.com/gmane.comp.gnome.gtk+.general/2003-06/msg00174.html
    which gives me a completely blank page in Firefox.  Using IE, I get this page:

    TRWTF is not using the correct Gmane link but rather some third-party site. Or at least I guess that's the right link; you can never be 100% sure (though it would appear to be relevant from reading the bug report and the linked message).

    Still doesn't change the fact that it's GTK+, which sucks. Now I happen to like open source software, but GTK+ could die in a fire and I'd just bring kindling and marshmallows. (Yes, I have done development with it, and I hated it for its general retardedness. Working with it was like trying to explain quantum electrodynamics to an inbred moron from Moronsville.)



  • @Ben L. said:

    This thread is now about ad blocking

    It's hard to tell if that was a joke or not, but it really is adblock which breaks that site; it has the entire html body set to hidden and only shows it when the ads load successfully.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    which gives me a completely blank page in Firefox.
     

    Uh, between this and the mystery meat navigation, I think something's wrong with your Firefox, since the page works just fine in FFX. Try disabling addons etc etc etc.



  • @dhromed said:

    Try disabling addons etc etc etc.
    This. And contrary to Salamander's post, it was Ghostery which broke it for me.



  • To me, the real WTF about this save dialog is not that it's the GTK one (on Windows, we're used to various programs using various save dialogs, including Windows itself); it's that it defaults to the program directory. In 2013, in a program that's presumably not a "mobile" version since it's installed in Program Files.



  • @Medinoc said:

    (on Windows, we're used to various programs using various save dialogs, including Windows itself);

    Yeah, there's a whole two. Raymond wrote that blog entry years ago, when there were three. (The third one never, ever, ever got used, being replaced buy a simple drag-and-drop action.)

    But hey this is very open source-y thinking here, too: "it's ok if the program sucks, as long as Windows sucks in a similar way!"



  • mott, not sure if it would serve your purposes, but check out Spine. It's a 2D animation tool for games, looks really slick.



  • @Medinoc said:

    To me, the real WTF about this save dialog is not that it's the GTK one (on Windows, we're used to various programs using various save dialogs, including Windows itself); it's that it defaults to the program directory. In 2013, in a program that's presumably not a "mobile" version since it's installed in Program Files.

    VLC video player  <font face="courier new,courier">open -> file</font>  and  <font face="courier new,courier">open -> folder</font>  both default to  <font face="courier new,courier">C:\Program Files(x86)\VideoLAN\VLC</font> 

    because that's obviously where everyone keeps all their video files.  WTF is wrong with these people?

     



  • Ask the OS where the videos folder is? That science fiction technology doesn't exist!



  • @lettucemode said:

    mott, not sure if it would serve your purposes, but check out Spine. It's a 2D animation tool for games, looks really slick.

    I'll give it a try, thanks for the link.



  • @mott555 said:

    @lettucemode said:

    mott, not sure if it would serve your purposes, but check out Spine. It's a 2D animation tool for games, looks really slick.

    I'll give it a try, thanks for the link.

    No go. Half the buttons cause the application to crash. And it's really important buttons like "New Project", "Save Project", and "New Skeleton". It also runs on OpenJDK so maybe the open-sourceyness of OpenJDK has infected it.

     



  • @mott555 said:

    @mott555 said:

    @lettucemode said:

    mott, not sure if it would serve your purposes, but check out Spine. It's a 2D animation tool for games, looks really slick.

    I'll give it a try, thanks for the link.

    No go. Half the buttons cause the application to crash. And it's really important buttons like "New Project", "Save Project", and "New Skeleton". It also runs on OpenJDK so maybe the open-sourceyness of OpenJDK has infected it.

     

     

     

    Java was shit before they open-sourced it*

     

     

     *for specific values of shit

     



  • Looks like a GTK+ dialog box. Run. Run far away. Run.

    Working with GTK is rather a bit of a pile of pain.

    However, using GTK programs over a forwarded X11 session is wonderful. (Or rather, working with QT programs over X11 forwarding is horrible.) If QT would stop assuming that the X11 client is always a memcpy away, my life would be complete.



  • I'm currently checking out BrashMonkey's Spriter and I think it fits the bill. Easy, intuitive, simple, and no crashing. Funny enough, I discovered it from the Kickstarter page for Spine. It seems Spine's creators didn't like Spriter and set out to make a better version. I don't think they've had a good start.

    Spriter isn't even finished yet, and a pre-order for Spriter Pro is only $25. Not a bad investment at all.



  • @mott555 said:

    I'm currently checking out BrashMonkey's Spriter and I think it fits the bill. Easy, intuitive, simple, and no crashing. Funny enough, I discovered it from the Kickstarter page for Spine. It seems Spine's creators didn't like Spriter and set out to make a better version. I don't think they've had a good start.

    Spriter isn't even finished yet, and a pre-order for Spriter Pro is only $25. Not a bad investment at all.

    Maybe BrashMonkey should jack up the price to $26 and use the extra money to increase the default size of their embedded youtube videos.


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