On the other hand, this page will server as an introduction to the web-tools topic within “tools”, and will build as the topic grows, but is a bit boring for now, and the main updates at this time have been:
- Reverse Salami Tactics In Ukraine: The dream scenario of the Russian convoy to Kiev being “taken out” and the troops from the convoy abandoning their mission to side with Ukraine.
- Opportune Arguments: Confirmation Bias Weaponised.
The web-tools topic be mostly about reviews and deliberations on the software and tools used to make this website. Pages so far include:
- WordPress.com to the next level: My steps to improve the web site.
- Making animated gifs: Solving the colour problems.
- The Blook: A blog that builds an continuously new editioned book.
- And 2D animation diagram tools, as initially coved within this page.
2D Animation Diagram Tools and Techniques.
Why? What is the Problem?
On of the early animated gif diagrams on this site was a graph exported each day from an Excel spread sheet, and them combined to show how the data changed over time.
I have been working with Inkscape to create vector graphics, but the use to create animation is tedious, with the need to save each frame and them importing into gimp to create the animation.
When updating the page on confirmation bias and opportune arguments, and an animated diagram able to convey the steps as an animation would really help. I looked at it and thought, “there has to be a better way, than saving every single image, then importing and adding time”.
Blender vs Pencil2D vs Synfig.
There were my choices, after searching “2d animation” and 2d animation open source.
Blender is the the “goto” open source program for creating 3D modelling and animation. I have used Blender before, although for modelling not animation. Blender is extremely capable, but even having used Blender before, there is still going to be a steep learning curve to use blender for 2D diagrams. A huge plus is that blender is a highly successful and active project.
Pencil2D is the next choice, to consider. However, pencil2D(site) seems on animation where every frame is drawn, which is tedious for animated diagram. The project started in 2005, and releases seem to be slow now (Feb 2022), with the most recent two releases being 0.6.6 in 21 Feb 2021, and 0.6.5 in July 2020. Past month activity on the repository is just 2 commits, and 1 pull request. Pencil2d site states they participated in “hactoberfest” 2019 and 2020, but does not mention 2021.
Synfig is the other choice I have found. Synfig(site) crates “tweener” frames, automating the process of having an object move, and works well with Inkscape, which can save a project as a Synfig animation file. This project also started in 2005, but the most recent releases being 1.5.1 (October 2021), 1.5.0 (August 2021) and 1.4.2 July 2021 and the past month activity on the repository has 35 commits and 19 pull requests suggesting more activity right now than with pencil2d. Synfig states they will again participate in “google summer of code” 2022 in March.
Both Synfig 1.5.x releases are listed as “development” release, and all 1.4.x releases are listed as “stable” releases, so there may be an odd number = development thing in play.
My conclusion as this point is to try Synfig.