The last time we reviewed Synfig Studio, we were deeply impressed by this powerful freeware animation suite but more than a little daunted by the installation and setup process (make that processes). Synfig Studio is still totally free, but now it's also totally easy to install and easier than ever to use. Of course, creating digital animations is not exactly the same thing as applying the red-eye filter in your image editor; it's still a detailed process that involves a lot of steps. But Synfig offers tons of help, tutorials, examples, and extras, making it as easy or … Read more
(Read about other alternatives for Adobe Creative Suite in the first part of Roll your own Adobe CS3 for free.)
Okay, so you can get the basic functionalities of Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and Dreamweaver without the gut-punch to your wallet. What's that you say? How about Flash?
Synfig Studio is a great answer to the replace-Flash question. Like Flash, it's a 2D vector-based animation tool, and it's one of several programs I found that tries to conquer that particular programming mountain, and does an admirable job of it--especially for freeware.
Synfig takes a bit of effort, but if you're reading this blog post then you can probably handle it. There are four install files that need to be installed in order: Gtkmm, Gtk+, Synfig Core and Synfig Studio. (Apparently, I can't handle it, since it took me two tries to get a successful installation.) There's also what seems like several metric tons of documentation and tutorials on the Synfig wiki, which is befitting for any app with Linux roots that has been ported to Windows.
Neither Flash nor Synfig make for quick studies without a guide, but both are learnable. Whether Synfig is truly capable of competing with Flash for complex multimedia animations remains to be seen. Is anyone out there giving it a try?… Read more