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Synfig Studio: Professional 2D Animation Software for Free

Synfig Studio is intended to be professional 2D animation software and is available to download for free. It has been around for quite some time now and seems to have had a fairly checkered history in terms of development, as noted in TildeHash's blog last year, Potential for Free Animation Software dead? Not overly surprising for free, open source software.

However the program keeps getting updated with release 0.63.05 being made available on the 9th April 2012. There are versions available for Mac, Windows and Linux.

I've had previous versions of Synfig installed on my computer for some time and, I'm going to confess, I've never used it. So, even though I've just installed the latest version, don't expect a review.

The reason being, I fire this software up and it just looks like hard work to learn. Which is not the same as being hard to learn. It's just going to take quite some time and quite a few tutorials to get myself up to speed to the point where I could do a proper review.

Synfig Studio Interface.

For now I just wanted to make you aware that this software is out there for free - for all you would be animators dreaming of the day you can afford something like Adobe Flash (CS5) or ToonBoom Animation Studio - this looks like a good alternative if you're really serious about 2D animation.

Synfig is both Vector and Bitmap based and from the it's 2012 demo reel embeded below, I'd say, looks to have amazing potential.



One thing to note is that Synfig is not intended as a complete animation studio. You will need to export your animations into video editing software to add audio etc. From what I've read it doesn't support true flash exports (so you won't be using this to make props for your GoAnimations). However, if you have a graphics tablet, Synfig will support it, including pressure sensitivity.

If you want to graduate from using MS Paint and Windows Movie Maker (which seems to be a popular combination for many beginner animators) Synfig is definitely a giant leap forward. It could take your animations from looking obviously amateur to very professional looking indeed.

I do hope to learn this software in the future. When I do, expect to see a detailed review.

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