Ideas List

This year we plan to apply to Google Summer of Code. Currently we are looking for project ideas. If you are a contributor, you are welcome to explore existing project ideas towards the GSoC application phase. There are ways to reach out to mentors, and many projects have lists of newcomer friendly issues you can start from. Contributors are also welcome to propose their own project ideas.

Projects Ideas

Performance optimization (175 or 350 hrs)


Improve Synfig rendering speed.
If you want to learn about how to find bottlenecks in an application, especially in a complicated one like Synfig, and fix them - select this project :)

Requirements: Linux (perf) / Windows (MSVC)

  • add flag to synfig CLI binary for performance test (it should measure the time taken to render the file, and allow to set the number of repeats)
  • optimize rendering of the Solid Color layer
  • test and optimize standard layers (circle, rectangle, gradient, etc)
  • using multithreading to render the Solid Color layer
  • fix the issue with creating unnecessary render threads

Where to begin:

Calculate the theoretical number of operations required to draw a Solid Color layer (without blending). Find why the Solid layer in practice spends more operations than in theory.

Expected results:

  • At least 4 standard layers are optimized and the performance is close to theoretical (175 hours)
  • At least 8 standard layers are optimized and the performance is close to theoretical (350 hours)

Difficulty: Medium/High

Skills required: C++

Planned mentor(s): Ayush Chamoli, Rodolfo Ribeiro Gomes

macOS app bundle (175 or 350 hrs)

Requirements: macOS

  • add script/program to collect executable/library dependencies (python/c++ preferred) to folder
  • add support for signing binary files (this should be done in reverse order, files without dependencies should be signed first, should be signed last)
  • remove the macOS launcher script, add the code to set up the required macOS environment from the synfig/synfigstudio apps
  • add cpack support to build installer on macOS
  • add python and lxml packaging to .app (with signing))
  • interface/menu improvements for more native macOS support

Where to begin:

  • create prototype script/program to collect executable/library dependencies

Expected results:

  • CMake/CPack builds ready for distribution (175 hours)
  • Synfig Studio is better adopted to macOS guidelines (350 hrs)

Difficulty: Medium

Planned mentor(s): Dhairya Bahl, Rodolfo Ribeiro Gomes

Optimization of internal operations with layers (175 or 350 hrs)


The goal of this task is to introduce caching mechanism to allow Synfig work faster with layers and their parameters.

There are two places where it is possible to introduce cache optimizations:

  1. The “set_time()” function. In current implementation, the “set_time()” is called every time when Synfig retrieves value of any layer parameter. This function recalculates parameters of all layers for specific moment of time, and writes them directly to layer objects. This is a slow operation and also leads to some bugs when using TimeLoop layer, time shift feature for groups and exported canvases. Instead of writing values into layer objects every time, it would be better to cache them.
  2. Converting layers into rendering tasks. When rendering process started, it reads layers tree and converts it into tree of “tasks” (structures, understandable by render engine). When any change is made to document, Synfig have to re-render everything again, so it reads full tree again and makes new set of tasks. When document have many layer, then this process takes much time and even with a small change to single parameter it repeats the whole process (reads full layers tree). This process can be optimized by introducing an algorithm, which analyzes the change made to layers (their parameters) and propagates this change to the tree of rendering tasks.

Depending on available time and project size, aspiring contributor can choose to implement only first issue or both.

Expected Results:

  • Synfig will work faster on complex animations with many layers.

Difficulty: Medium

Skills required: C++

Planned mentor(s) Anish Gulati, Ankit Kumar Dwivedi

Select Tool (175 or 350 hrs)

- Description

New users easily strugle with Synfig Studio when they are trying to just move a rectangle around the workarea: ‘why in hell the (Smooth) Move tool does not move anything?!’. Understanbly, they don’t get that Synfig Studio tool palette has some vertex-editor tools (Smooth move, rotate, scale, mirror), new-shape-layer tools (circle, rectangle, polygon, spline, draw), and a do-a-lot-of-stuff-but-it-is-another-vertex-editing tool (transform).

This projects proposes to create a new tool: Select Tool. This tool is responsible to ease the movement/translation of elements on the screen. By elements I mean composite layers (e.g. Rectangle and Region layers) and canvases (e.g. Groups and Switch Groups).

Other affine transformations, like rotation and scale, may be added in a well stablished user experience: the selected element is surrounded by a dashed or continuous rectangle with special handles on its vertices and edges that allows to scale or rotate the element. Currently in Synfig, it would be ‘easy’ to add to PasteCanvas layers (Group, Switch Group, Filter Group).

- Expected Results

UX will be greatly improved by allowing users to easily select and move layers around the scene, without having to select all vertex handles. Inkscape and LibreOffice Draw (and MANY other software) do it since their begining, and Synfig Studio lacks it since ever, making it weird for newcomers and unpratical in many cases.

- Difficulty Medium

- Skills required C++ (see synfig-studio/src/gui/states and synfig-studio/src/gui/duckmatic.cpp)

- Mentor(s) Rodolfo R Gomes

Propose a Project

If you have a project idea, edit the “Project Ideas” section below by filling the required details and sending a pull request (this page is editable at, even if you could not mentor (we will find a mentor).

Required information for project proposal

A descriptive title (175 or 350 hrs)
**- Description**

A brief description about the project

**- Expected Results**

What benefit this deliver?

**- Difficulty** Easy | Medium | High

**- Skills required** Knowledge Prerequisite

**- Mentor(s)** Put your name if you are willing to mentor + other mentors.

Please mention the following as comment on your proposal pr

Your name::)
Your profile:github | linkedin | etc
Your role:I am a making this proposal as a <student | mentor | community member | contributor | etc>