Synfig Studio 0.63.05 released with recursive outline grow

Synfig Studio 0.63.05 released with recursive outline grow

Synfig Team released a new revision of Synfig Studio, the 2D vector open source animation application for Linux, Mac and Windows. 

Lately, the small team of developers of the Synfig project are releasing more frequent updates with minor changes but including the always needed result of the efforts on kill the remaning and new bugs.

From the new additions there is one feature that outstand from the others notably. It is called the "outline grow". 

In Synfig, outlines have, in general, one width parameter to specify the base thickness of the outline shape. They also can have individual width multipliers on the vertices that define the outline geometry (Outline Layer), but also can have widht control points that can be placed anywhere in the outline geometry acting as a multiplier of the base width (Advanced  Outline).

In Synfig, the layers are grouped in Paste Canvas layers, that act like folders to treat a group of layers like a single one that can be translated, scaled, applied a filter or whatever. Since version 0.63.04 the team had been working on a new feature that would allow to increase the width of the layers that are inside a Paste Canvas layer just changing one single parameter. That feature would bring  two new improvements to users:

  1. It is possible to change the width of the oulines of a complex composition just with one single parameter.
  2. As the parameter controls the width multiplier of the layers in a exponential way, it is very easy to keep the outline width constant even if the composition is zoomed in or out, by linking the outline grow value to the zoom amount value pre multiplying it by minus one. When the user zooms in, the outline grow scales down the width and viceversa.

One interesting thing of the outline grow parameter is that it affects all the layers that are of outline type. It also affects any other Paste Canvas layers that were inside, so that the composition is affected recursively.

Here is an example of the effect in use.

Outline Grow example

After this release the Synfig team has initiated the long and complex trevel of apply the Cairo render engine to the Synfig core. They have one initial idea of the way to achieve it but there are many problems ahead all related to the differences of the color storage and the lack of some blend methods and effects they use in the Cairo libraries.

With Cairo renderer they expect to increase the responsiveness of the application on the graphical user interface although it won't bring all the special effects that Synfig uses to offer. It is planned to keep the current render engine to keep the backwards compatibility and compensate for lack of features in Cairo.

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